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Judge orders Eric Trump to sit for N.Y. attorney general deposition before the election

Eric Trump had tried to delay answering questions in Attorney General Letitia James' investigation of the Trump Organization.
Eric Trump
Eric Trump arrives to speak at the Republican National Convention at Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington on Aug. 25.Olivier Douliery / AFP - Getty Images file

A New York state judge on Wednesday ordered Eric Trump to answer questions under oath within the next few weeks as part of the New York attorney general's civil fraud investigation into the Trump Organization's business practices.

Trump, who has been running the company since his father, Donald Trump, was elected president, had sought to have his deposition delayed until after the Nov. 3 election, citing his "extreme travel schedule and related unavailability between now and the election" and the need "to avoid the use of his deposition attendance for political purposes."

The prosecutor's office fought the delay, noting that investigators have been trying to interview him for months and that he'd backed out of a scheduled deposition in July.

State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron sided with Attorney General Letitia James' office, ruling that neither her office "nor this court is bound by timelines of the national election."

The Supreme Court is New York's general trial court. That means Eric Trump could still appeal, because there are two courts higher than the Supreme Court.

In a statement after the ruling, Eric Trump said he would sit for the interview "as scheduled."

"The New York Attorney General has called my father an 'illegitimate' president and pledged to take him down while she was running for office," he said. "Her actions since demonstrate a continued political vendetta and attempt to interfere with the upcoming election. That said, since I previously agreed to appear for an interview, I will do so as scheduled."

He later took to Twitter to continue to blast James and portray himself as a political victim.

"The NYAG's targeting of my family violates every ethical rule she was elected to protect," he wrote.

"Last month alone there were over 240 shootings in NYC, yet the NYAG's sole focus is an anti-Trump fishing expedition that she promised during her campaign," he said. "New York is so lost."

The judge ordered Eric Trump to appear by Oct. 7.

"Justice and the rule of law prevailed today," James said in a statement. "No entity or individual is allowed to dictate how or when our investigation will proceed or set the parameters of a lawful investigation. 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."

James' sprawling civil investigation is based in part on former Trump attorney Michael Cohen's testimony to Congress about the Trump Organization's business practices. It seeks to learn whether the company's financial filings were inflated or deflated to obtain loans or reduce potential taxes.

Allan Smith and Monica Alba contributed.