Trump will likely take the Fifth in NY AG's case — and that could come back to bite him: analysts
Photo: AFP Photo/Timothy A. Clary

Former President Donald Trump and his two children Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. lost a case Thursday trying to dodge questions in the New York Attorney General Office's civil fraud case against the Trump Organization.

According to CNN legal analyst Elie Honig, the Trumps are likely to appeal. The Trumps were given three weeks to appear and answer questions, so the Supreme Court would have to move quickly to decide whether to accept the case or uphold the New York Supreme Court decision.

"Assuming appeal is unsuccessful, Trump, Ivanka and Don Jr. must testify under oath," Honig explained. He anticipated that the Trumps would plead the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination as Eric Trump did for six hours.

Former federal prosecutor Joyce White Vance agreed that Trump will likely plead the Fifth. It presents a political problem for Trump, who has attacked those who've done so in the past.

“The mob takes the Fifth,” Trump once declared.

Vance further said Trump will likely claim his Fifth Amendment plea is "not because he’s guilty but because NY prosecutors are running a witch-hunt and they’ll use what he says against him no matter what."

If that's the route Trump goes, fellow former federal prosecutor Renato Mariti explained, then Trump is between a rock and a hard place. Because this is a civil case, Trump pleading the Fifth means that it can be used in the Manhattan DA case. The jury in that case would be able to hear the context in which Trump pleaded the Fifth as part of the accusations against him.

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