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A New York judge ruled Thursday afternoon that former President Donald Trump and two of his children—Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr.—must comply with subpoenas issued by New York Attorney General Letitia James as part of her ongoing civil investigation into whether Trump and his company committed bank and insurance fraud. James has been scrutinizing Trump for several years. For most of that time, the Trump Organization had cooperated with her investigators. But in early January, James issued subpoenas to force the Trumps to sit for depositions in the case. The former first family decided to fight the subpoenas in court.
New York Superior Court Judge Arthur Engoron issued a scathing ruling following a hearing on Thursday morning, writing that the Trumps’ attorneys had little evidence on their side and had almost entirely failed to make their case. The Trumps have 14 days to turn over documents that were subpoenaed and 21 days to sit for depositions.
James has said she is investigating whether Trump may have committed fraud by misleading banks, insurance companies, and tax authorities over the value of his properties—providing higher values when it was helpful for getting a loan, for example, and lower figures when it came time to pay taxes that are based on property values. James is also working with the Manhattan district attorney’s office, which is conducting a criminal investigation into similar allegations.
During a hearing Thursday morning, the Trump attorneys appeared to have few serious points of legal argument to make. Alan Futerfas, a corporate attorney for the Trump Organization, argued that James had publicly made statements promising voters that she would target Donald Trump as attorney general and that her cooperation with the Manhattan DA’s office in its simultaneous criminal investigation was creating a quandary for the former president. Ron Fischetti, a criminal defense attorney representing Trump,…