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Judge rules Donald Trump, Ivanka, Donald Jr. must comply with subpeonas

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Judge rules Donald Trump, Ivanka, Donald Jr. must comply with subpeonas
A judge in New York ruled Thursday, Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr must testify under oath in an investigation into the past business dealings of the Trump Organization. File Photo by Michael Wyke/EPA-EFE

Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Former President Donald Trump must testify at a deposition over his company's business practices, a New York judge ruled Thursday.

Trump, along with daughter Ivanka and son Donald Trump Jr., must comply with subpoenas issued by New York Attorney General Letitia James, according to the ruling.

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New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron made the ruling, rejecting claims that James was wrongly pursuing a politically-motivated investigation.

Lawyers for Trump and the Trump Organization had sought to block the subpoenas.

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They argued that James' investigation into the Trump Organization violates Trump's constitutional rights and is motivated by "her own self-interests," according to the 30-page lawsuit.

They also argued a parallel criminal investigation being conducted by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg violated his rights.

Engoron's ruling means all three family members must testify under oath within 21 days.

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James began the inquiry two years ago to determine whether the organization committed fraud by inflating and minimizing the value of assets to gain fiscal breaks.

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She sent the subpoenas to Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump in December, seeking sworn testimony and documents from the former president.

Trump's longtime accounting firm has cut ties with the Trump organization and said that a decade of annual financial statements it prepared for him may be unreliable, according to court documents filed Monday.

"In the final analysis, a State Attorney General commences investigating a business entity, uncovers copious evidence of possible financial fraud, and wants to question, under oath, several of the entities' principals, including its namesake. She has the clear right to do so," Engoron wrote in the 8-page ruling.

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