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New York attorney general asks court to enforce subpoenas of Trump children in tax fraud probe

The Trump children are joining their father in fighting subpoenas by the state attorney general, who is conducting a civil tax fraud investigation into the family's company.
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New York Attorney General Letitia James has subpoenaed Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. as part of her civil tax fraud investigation into the Trump Organization, court filings made public Monday reveal.

James' office "recently" filed subpoenas seeking testimony and documents from former President Donald Trump's children "in connection with an investigation into the valuation of properties owned or controlled by Donald J. Trump or the Trump Organization," according to a New York Supreme Court order unsealed Monday and first reported by The New York Times.

James is also seeking to depose the former president, who has called her investigation "corrupt" and a "witch hunt."

On Monday evening, lawyers for Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and their father filed a motion arguing the subpoenas are improper because James' office is also assisting the Manhattan district attorney in a criminal probe of the Trump Organization.

The state attorney general "is engaged in a criminal investigation that has an active grand jury. It cannot issue subpoenas for testimony under the guise of a civil investigation that will immediately become available" to its own criminal investigation, the lawyers argued in their motion to quash the subpoenas.

"The subpoenas are an obvious improper end-run around the rules," they added.

Attorneys for the Trumps also requested the judge postpone the depositions until after the criminal probe if the motion to quash the subpoenas is rejected.

Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. arrive on the west front of the Capitol for Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20, 2017.
Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. arrive on the west front of the Capitol for Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20, 2017.Win McNamee / Getty Images

James contended the Trumps were stalling.

"For more than two years, members of the Trump family and the Trump Organization have continually sought to delay and impede our investigation into Donald Trump and the Trump Organization, but despite their names, they must play by the same rules as everyone else," James said in a statement Monday. "These delay tactics will not stop us from following the facts or the law, which is why we will be asking the court to compel Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump to testify with our office under oath."

The legal fight was revealed after a New York judge signed off on a Dec. 30 stipulation allowing the Trumps to file a motion to quash the subpoenas and for James to respond with a timetable for the judge to review the filings.

Lawyers for the state attorney general's office deposed Trump's son Eric Trump in their probe in late 2020.

James' office is looking into whether to file a civil suit against the company and has been assisting a criminal investigation headed by the Manhattan district attorney into alleged tax fraud schemes at Trump's company.

The DA's office charged the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, with tax fraud last year. Both have pleaded not guilty.

The former president and his children have not been accused of any wrongdoing in either the state AG's case or the Manhattan district attorney's probe. After news that Trump had been subpoenaed became public last month, his attorney Ronald Fischetti said he was not worried about the probe.

"They have been investigating this for three years. We are not concerned about it because he has done nothing wrong," Fischetti said, referring to Trump.