In ordering Donald Trump to sit for questions from state Attorney General Tish James within the next two weeks (and Don Jr. and Ivanka within the next three weeks), Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron did the nation a service — but not because the under-oath depositions are going to shine a bright light on what the former First Family knows about the rotten inner workings of The Trump Organization.
The always litigious Donald and his kids will probably appeal, dragging things out, or they will actually appear for their sit-downs, then proceed to rampantly invoke their right to refuse to answer.
Eric Trump gave his sworn statement to the AG’s lawyers on Oct. 5, 2020, and more than 500 times during the course of six hours, he refused to answer anything while invoking his rights under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and 14 Amendments. We’re surprised he couldn’t work in the Second (about guns) and the 21st (repealing Prohibition). If Eric can remember to say “I decline to answer that question” again and again for a couple of hours, so can his older siblings and dad.
Still, the mere order that the Trumps must at least go through these motions, given the reams of compelling evidence James’ investigators have already accumulated, is itself a healthy assertion that no one is above the law.
Engoron stresses in his order that this is strictly a civil proceeding and not a grand jury matter examining crimes. That’s being handled by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. For his part, Trump (Donald, that is) went off against both James and Bragg for harassing his accountant — who has now disowned Trump — and ignoring street crime. We’re confident that the DA has enough competent lawyers to both prosecute killers and pursue racketeering scams disguised as real estate companies.
After a lifetime of lies, what would be truly refreshing is if Trump and his offspring would tell the whole truth to the AG. Though we’re sour on gambling, this is one wager we would confidently place. We’d put everything on “never going to happen.”