Former United States president Donald Trump's children have been ordered by a New York state judge to answer questions under oath in a civil investigation into their father's business practices.
Ivanka and Donald Trump JR have been ordered by Judge Arthur Engoron to comply with subpoenas that Attorney General Letitia James has issued, the New York Times reported.
According to the New York Post, Attorney General James is probing the former U.S. President and Republican Leader Donald Trump's real estate development group, saying that her investigation has revealed evidence Trump's company used "fraudulent or misleading" valuations.
These valuations are in the form of assets like golf resorts and skyscrapers, and Donald Trump is alleged to have used them to get loans and tax benefits.
Judge Engoron wrote in the ruling:
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"
On Thursday, Trump's attorneys accused James of attempting to compel Trump and his children to testify in order to use what they said against them in a parallel criminal investigation.
Trump's legal team also highlighted how his testimony in the civil probe could be lethal given the fact that anything he says could be used against him in the criminal investigation.
Trump's lawyers said to Judge Arthur Engoron:
Having Trump sit for a civil deposition now, while his company is also the subject of a parallel criminal investigation, is an improper attempt to get around a state law barring prosecutors from calling someone to testify before a criminal grand jury without giving them immunity.
On Tuesday, Trump called this investigation a racially motivated "continuation of a Witch Hunt the likes of which has never been seen in this country before".
Both Attorney General Letitia James and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg are Black.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is charging a criminal inquiry into the Trump Organization, a probe that Attorney General James reportedly joined in May 2021, according to Aljazeera.
Trump railed against what he called a bogus probe of a terrific corporation that has done a fantastic job for New York and the rest of the world, an AFP report highlighted.
Ivanka and Donald Trump JR have been granted three weeks to sit for a deposition within 21 days.