Trump challenges judge in bid to duck scheduled Letitia James deposition: report
Photo via Mandel Ngan for AFP

According to a report from the Guardian, attorneys for former president Donald Trump filed a new legal challenge on Monday in effort to void a judge's ruling that he, daughter Ivanka and oldest son Don Jr. must sit for depositions related to the business practices of the Trump Organization.

The Guardian report states that Trump is challenging a ruling made by Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron ordering the three to show up to answer questions posed by the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James.

At issue, Trump's lawyers contend, Engoron "failed to properly weigh constitutional and ethical concerns that they’d raised about the investigation," and they want the appellate division of the state’s trial court to overturn his February 17th ruling.

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In an effort to invalidate James' subpoenas, Trump's lawyers reasserted "prior claims that James, a Democrat, had a political vendetta against Trump, a Republican, and that forcing the Trumps to testify would violate their constitutional rights because answers could be used against them in a parallel criminal investigation," the report states.

"The Trumps’ lawyers contend that Engoron was wrong to limit the scope of a two-hour hearing prior to his ruling and that he didn’t have all of the information necessary to make a proper ruling," the Guardian report states. "The lawyers said Engoron denied their requests for hearings exploring the nature of coordination between James’s office and the Manhattan district attorney’s office, which is running the criminal investigation, and whether James was engaging in selective prosecution."

In response, James issued a statement contending, "Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and Ivanka Trump were ordered by a judge to comply with our investigation into Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization’s financial dealings. Despite continuous efforts to impede this investigation, no one can stop our pursuit of justice, no matter how powerful they are. We will continue to follow the facts without fear or favor.”

The report adds, "If Engoron’s ruling is upheld, it could force Trump into a tough decision about whether to answer questions, or stay silent, citing his fifth amendment right against self-incrimination – something he’s criticized others for doing in the past."

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