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Trump lost appeal and must testify in civil investigation in New York

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Juicio desacato Steve Bannon
  • Former President Donald Trump lost his appeal, authorities announced Thursday.
  • Now that he has lost the appeal, Trump will be forced to testify in a New York investigation.
  • Will he answer questions or will he remain silent?

Former President Donald Trump lost his appeal and will now have to answer questions under oath in the New York state civil investigation into his business practices, a state appeals court ruled Thursday, May 26, multiple media outlets reported, including the AP, U.S. News and WLBT.

A four-judge panel of the state trial court’s appellate division upheld Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron’s February 17 ruling that enforced subpoenas for Trump and his two eldest children to testify in the investigation by Attorney General Letitia James, according to the AP.

Trump lost his appeal

Trump lost the appeal

Trump had appealed to try to overturn the ruling. His attorneys argued that ordering the three family members to testify violated their constitutional rights because their responses could be used in a parallel criminal investigation, according to the AP report.

“The existence of a criminal investigation does not preclude civil discovery of related facts, in which a party may exercise the privilege against self-incrimination,” the four-judge panel wrote, citing the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Could Trump have committed fraud?Could he have committed fraud?

Lawyers for the Trumps and James’ office received a message seeking comment. The Trumps can still appeal the ruling to the highest court in the state: the Court of Appeals. On this matter, James, a Democrat, has said that her investigation has uncovered evidence that Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, used “fraudulent or misleading” valuations of assets such as golf courses and skyscrapers to obtain loans and tax benefits.

Thursday’s ruling could mean a difficult decision for Trump on whether to answer questions or remain silent, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Anything Trump says in a civil plea could be used against him in the criminal investigation overseen by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, the AP explained.

Alleged collection of nearly $2 million off the books

Alleged collection of nearly $2 million off the books
Photo: AP

At a February 17 hearing previous to Engoron’s ruling, attorneys for Trump argued that making him testify civilly is an improper attempt to circumvent a state law that prohibits prosecutors from calling someone to testify before a criminal grand jury without giving them immunity.

An attorney for the attorney general’s office told Engoron that it was not unusual to have civil and criminal investigations at the same time, and Engoron denied a request by the Trumps’ attorneys to halt the civil investigation until the criminal matter is over. Last summer, spurred by evidence uncovered in the James civil investigation, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office charged the Trump Organization and its former chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, with tax fraud, alleging that he charged more than $1,7 million in off-the-book compensation. But Weisselberg and the company have pleaded not guilty, the AP recalled.

The post Trump lost appeal and must testify in civil investigation in New York appeared first on Mundo Hispanico.

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