Trump Asks Appeals Court to Block Order to Testify in Probe

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
March 1, 2022 Updated: March 1, 2022

Former President Donald Trump on Feb. 28 appealed an order that he and two of his children testify in a probe being conducted by New York’s attorney general.

Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump through lawyers asked the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court to overturn the order, which was handed down on Feb. 17.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat who is leading the probe into the Trump Organization, was given notice that an appeal was filed, court documents show.

Trump’s lawyers have not entered the actual appeal document, which will lay out their arguments to the court as to why the order from New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron should be blocked.

Engoron ruled that James “has the clear right” to question principals of an entity being investigated after finding “copious evidence of possible financial fraud,” the judge said in his ruling.

James said ahead of the expected appeal that the Trumps “have the right to seek a delay” but “they cannot deter us from following the facts and the law wherever they may lead.”

“Make no mistake: My office will continue to pursue this case without fear or favor because no one is above the law,” added James, who has said her office has uncovered evidence that Trump Organization financial papers such as tax submissions contain “material misstatements and omissions.”

Trump said in a recent statement said that his company’s assets “are unique, extremely valuable and, in many cases, far more valuable than what was listed in our financial statements.”

He also said the statements don’t include brand value, which would close the gap of any discrepancy they may have found, “if there is a discrepancy at all.”

Mazars USA, an accounting firm, informed the Trump Organization in February that statements filed for Trump for 2011 through 2020 “should no longer be relied upon,” citing filings from James and an internal investigation.

“While we have not concluded that the various financial statements, as a whole, contain material discrepancies, based upon the totality of the circumstances, we believe our advice to you to no longer rely upon those financial statements is appropriate,” Mazars counsel William Kelly wrote, adding that Mazars performed the work in question “in accordance with professional standards.”

Kelly said Mazars would no longer be able to work for the Trump Organization.

Trump said Mazars “has been threatened, harassed, and insulted like virtually no other firm has ever been” and was “forced to resign from a great long-term account by the prosecutorial misconduct” by James.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.