A New York State Judge ruled Wednesday that Eric Trump must testify in a New York investigation into the Trump family’s business before Election Day.
New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron said Eric Trump must comply with a subpoena to testify no later than Oct. 7 after Eric Trump said he would testify after the election, noting his “extreme travel schedule,” according to the Associated Press (AP).
“This court finds that application unpersuasive,” Engoron said during the virtual hearing. “Mr. Trump cites no authority in support of his request, and in any event, neither petitioner nor this court is bound by timelines of the national election,” according to The Hill.
Engoron’s order comes after New York State Democratic Attorney General Letitia James asked the court to enforce a subpoena of Eric Trump after his lawyers canceled a July interview with investigators regarding a probe into the Trump Organization to determine whether the company lied about the value of its assets in order to get loans or benefits, according to the AP.
Eric Trump’s lawyers said last week the president’s son would comply with the subpoena only after Nov. 3, citing schedule concerns as well as avoiding “the use of his deposition attendance for political purposes,” the AP reported. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Eric Trump Addresses Whether Trump Profits From The Presidency)
A lawyer for Eric Trump, Alan Futerfas, said during the Wednesday hearing they were “happy for him to sit down and be deposed,” but that more time was needed for Eric Trump to review the documents that James’ office is seeking, per the same article.
“As the world knows, there’s an election going on in about four weeks in this country, maybe five weeks,” Futerfas said, according to the AP. “Eric Trump is a vital and integral part of that, and he’s traveling just about seven days a week.”
However, Matthew Colangelo, a lawyer for the attorney general’s office, argued Eric Trump’s defense was delaying the proceedings “on the grounds of personal inconvenience to the witness,” according to the AP.
James tweeted her approval of the order, saying “Justice and the rule of law prevailed today.”
The judge also ordered the Trump Organization to submit financial records about the Seven Springs Estate and other properties related to our investigation.
Justice and the rule of law prevailed today.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) September 23, 2020
“We will immediately move to ensure that Donald Trump and the Trump Organization comply with the court’s order and submit financial records related to our investigation,” James said in an official statement. “Further, Eric Trump will no longer be able to delay his interview and will be sitting down with investigators in my office no later than October 7.”
“To be clear, no entity or individual is allowed to dictate how or when our investigation will proceed or set the parameters of a lawful investigation,” the statement continued. “The court’s order today makes clear that no one is above the law, not even an organization or an individual with the name Trump.”