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Trump deposition in NY probe on hold while ruling appealed

Trump and his two eldest children must sit for depositions within two weeks of a ruling from the appeals court if it upholds last month's lower court decision.
Credit: AP Photo/John Raoux, File
FILE - Former president Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, in Orlando, Fla.

NEW YORK — Former President Donald Trump and the New York attorney general's office have reached an agreement that spares him from answering questions under oath while he appeals a ruling requiring he testify in the office's civil investigation into his business practices.

Under the agreement, detailed in court papers Thursday, Trump and his two eldest children must sit for depositions within two weeks of a ruling from the appeals court — if it upholds the lower court decision requiring their testimony.

Lawyers for the Trumps and the attorney general's office also agreed to an accelerated briefing schedule to speed up the appeals process, with court papers due by March 31.

Lawyers for Trump and his two eldest children, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., filed papers on Monday with the appellate division of the state's trial court, seeking to overturn Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron's Feb. 17 ruling that they testify.

They argue that ordering the Trumps to testify violates their constitutional rights because answers they give in Attorney General Letitia James' civil investigation could be used against them in a parallel criminal investigation.

In an eight-page ruling, Engoron set a March 10 deadline for the Trumps to sit for depositions. Under the agreement reached Thursday, that deadline is moot.

James, a Democrat, has said her investigation has uncovered evidence Trump's company, the Trump Organization, used "fraudulent or misleading" valuations of assets like golf courses and skyscrapers to get loans and tax benefits.

In a statement following Engoron's decision, Trump called the ruling "a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in history."

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