President Donald Trump speaks on the final night of the Republican National Convention on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington D.C., on August 27, 2020. A New York court said Trump and two of his adult children must comply with subpoenas to testify about their business dealings. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
May 26 (UPI) -- A New York appellate court on Friday ruled that former President Donald Trump and two of his children must sit for depositions as part of the state's investigation into his business practices.
A four-judge panel of the New York Supreme Court's Appellate Division said Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump must answer questions under oath about how their real estate business valued its holdings.
The ruling upheld New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron's Feb. 17 ruling ordering the family members to comply with subpoenas issued by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Donald Trump said he shouldn't have to comply with the subpoena because James' investigation is politically motivated. The appellate court disagreed.
"The political campaign and other public statements made by [James] about appellants do not support the claim that [James] initiated, or is using, the subpoenas in this civil investigation to obtain testimony solely for sure in a criminal proceeding or in a manner that would otherwise improperly undermine appellants' privilege against self-incrimination," the ruling said.
James' investigation is a civil matter examining whether Donald Trump's business inflated the value of its assets over the years for financial gain. A separate criminal investigation by Manhattan's district attorney indicted its former chief financial officer last year and could potentially lead to criminal charges against Trump.
"Once again, the courts have ruled that Donald Trump must comply with our lawful investigation into his financial dealings," James said. "We will continue to follow the facts of this case and ensure that no one can evade the law."