Lawyers: Trump son won't testify in NY probe before election

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Eric Trump, the son of President Donald Trump, speaks at a campaign rally for his father, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Saco, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

NEW YORK – President Donald Trump’s son Eric is willing to comply with a subpoena to testify in a New York investigation into the family’s business practice, but only after the Nov. 3 election, the Trumps’ lawyers said in a court filing Thursday.

The lawyers argued Eric Trump’s “extreme travel schedule” related to his father’s reelection campaign prevented him from testifying sooner in state Attorney General Letitia James’ civil probe. They said they also wanted “to avoid the use of his deposition attendance for political purposes.”

James, a Democrat, slammed the younger Trump’s purported scheduling conflicts, responding in a statement: "We won’t allow any entity or individual to dictate how our investigation will proceed or allow anyone to evade a lawful subpoena. No one is above the law, period.”

James went to court last month to compel Trump’s business associates, including Eric, to testify and turn over documents as part of an investigation into whether the family's company, the Trump Organization, lied about the value of its assets in order to get loans or tax benefits. Investigators have yet to determine whether any law was broken, James' office wrote in a court filing.

James sought court intervention after Eric Trump's lawyers abruptly canceled an interview with investigators that had been planned for late July. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for next Wednesday in state court in Manhattan.

Eric Trump, the third of Trump’s five children, visited a Trump campaign field office in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Thursday and attended an event titled "Fighting for Maine Lobster with Eric Trump."

The Trumps’ lawyers contend most law enforcement agencies refrain from actions involving political figures within 60 days before an election, though that wasn't the case when then-FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congress a week before the 2016 presidential election regarding a probe into Trump rival Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Eric Trump’s lawyers have proposed four dates for him to testify, the earliest being Nov. 19, which they contend is just 30 days after others are scheduled to be deposed in the investigation. They are also seeking assurances that the attorney general's office won't share testimony and evidence it collects with other law enforcement agencies or regulators.