Friday, 23 Oct 2020

Judge orders Eric Trump to testify in New York probe before election

Photo: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

A judge on Wednesday ordered Eric Trump to comply with a subpoena to testify in a New York probe into his family business before the presidential election.

The state of play: New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) last month said her office had filed a lawsuit to compel the Trump Organization to comply with subpoenas related to an investigation into whether President Trump and his company improperly inflated the value of its assets on financial statements.

  • The investigation was launched after the president's former personal attorney Michael Cohen testified to Congress that Trump inflated and deflated his net worth at various times in order to obtain tax benefits and more favorable terms for loans.

Context: Lawyers for Eric Trump said the president's middle son had agreed to testify, but only after the election. They said his “extreme travel schedule” warranted the delay.

  • The New York attorney general's office argued that “Mr. Trump shouldn’t be able to profit from his own dilatory conduct here.”
  • A state judge on Wednesday said that he found Eric Trump's argument "unpersuasive."

What's next: Eric Trump must testify before Oct. 7, per the judge's order, which added that probe and court are “bound by the timelines of the national election.”

The big picture: The attorney general's investigation is one of several probes that Trump and his company are facing as he seeks re-election in November, including a criminal inquiry led by the Manhattan district attorney.

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