Donald Trump and two of his adult children no longer need to rush to the hot seat, after New York’s attorney general agreed to put their depositions on ice until after their appellate battle.
According to an agreement filed by the parties, New York Attorney General Letitia James will allow Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump to delay appearing for depositions until after their appeal of a judge’s Feb. 17 order that they provide testimony within 21 days.
“In order to promote a swift resolution of this proceeding the parties have agreed to an expedite briefing schedule[,]” the AG’s office said in a letter Thursday to Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron.
“Given the expedited merits briefing we believe a stipulated extension of the testimony date will promote judicial economy without causing undue delay,” the letter also said.
Eric Trump already sat for a deposition in October 2020, where he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination more than 500 times.
According to the stipulation, all briefing on the Trumps’ appeal of Engoron’s order will be completed by March 31. The AG’s office will request that the appeals court hear the case in May.
Under the agreement, Trump, Donald Jr., and Ivanka must appear for their depositions within 14 days of a decision on the appeal, unless the appeals court issues a stay.
The joint stipulation comes after James had originally slammed the appeal as a delay tactic.
“Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and Ivanka Trump were ordered by the court to comply with our lawful investigation into Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization’s financial dealings,” James said in a statement at the time of the appeal. “While they have the right to seek a delay, they cannot deter us from following the facts and the law wherever they may lead. Make no mistake: My office will continue to pursue this case without fear or favor because no one is above the law.”
Although the depositions have been delayed, the former president must still partially comply with the subpoena while the appeal is pending: the stipulation provides that Donald Trump “comply in full with that portion of the OAG subpoena seeking documents and information by March 31, 2022.”
Engoron had previously ordered the trio to appear for depositions within 21 days of his Feb. 17 ruling that denied the Trumps’ request to quash the subpoenas.
James had issued the subpoenas in January as part of her investigation into the finances of the Trump Organization.
James’ subpoenas seek 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,” according to court documents.
James has been looking into the Trump Organization’s finances since 2019. Her civil investigation has been running in tandem with the Manhattan District Attorney’s criminal investigation, which resulted in an indictment last year of Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg.
That criminal investigation, however, appears to veering away from the former president after two of the top prosecutors on the case resigned after DA Alvin Bragg reportedly expressed doubts that the case against Trump could hold.
You can read the stipulation and order, as well as the letter from James’ office to Engoron, below.
[Image via TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images.]
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