A New York judge ruled on Thursday that former US President Donald Trump and two of his adult children must answer questions under oath in the state attorney general's civil probe into their family company's business, Reuters reported.
Justice Arthur Engoron of New York state court in Manhattan ruled in favor of Attorney General Letitia James, who sought to enforce subpoenas to compel testimony by Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr. and his daughter Ivanka Trump.
Engoron said James had "the clear right" to question the Trumps after having uncovered "copious evidence of possible financial fraud." Engoron directed the Trumps to submit to questioning within 21 days.
Alan Futerfas, a lawyer for the younger Trumps, declined to comment. Lawyers for Donald Trump did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
James recently issued the subpoenas for Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump as part of the probe, requesting testimony and documents “in connection with an investigation into the valuation of properties owned or controlled by Donald J. Trump or the Trump Organization, or any matter which the Attorney General deems pertinent thereto.”
She said in a court filing that neither was cooperating. The Trump Organization charged that the subpoenas were not properly issued.
Thursday’s decision followed a two-hour hearing in which the Trumps' lawyers accused James of doing an end run around their clients' constitutional rights by seeking testimony she could them use against them in a parallel criminal probe.
The hearing followed last week's decision by Trump's longtime accounting firm Mazars USA to cut ties with him and the Trump Organization, saying it could no longer stand behind a decade of financial statements.
Last month, Trump asked a federal judge in New York to throw out the probe into his company, arguing that the probe is a “targeted attack against a political adversary” by James, who is a Democrat.