The ruling will almost certainly be appealed, but if it is upheld, it could force Trump to make a difficult decision: either answer the questions or remain silent, appealing to the Fifth Amendment.
The decision of American justice came at the end of ‘virtual fire hearing, during which the lawyers of both sides fought without resorting to strikes. Lawyers Alina Happa and Alan Wouterfas attacked James harshly, accusing her of seeking information to aid in the criminal investigation of Southern Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
James has also been accused of political bias and motives in her civil investigation into the practices of the Trump Organization, including inflating the value of the company’s assets to obtain better-priced loans and financing. The hearing was so violent that Trump’s lawyers raised the tone on multiple occasions, prompting the judge to step in and ask for a reprieve, as happens at sporting events.
James sings victory after Engoron’s decision. ‘No one will be allowed to obstruct justice’, he tweeted. However, the judge’s ruling does not mean that James will automatically receive the answers he requests from the Trump family. The former president and his sons can already invoke their constitutional right not to accuse themselves, as Eric Trump did. But they can also appeal the decision, which obliges them to be heard within 21 days, that is, by March 10.
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