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Eric Trump says he will comply with New York attorney general's subpoena but only after the 2020 election

CNBC logoCNBC 9/17/2020 Kevin Breuninger
  • Lawyers for Eric Trump said Thursday that he is willing to be deposed as part of the New York Attorney General's office's probe of the Trump Organization but only after the 2020 presidential election.
  • In a court filing in New York State Supreme Court, the lawyers for President Donald Trump's son said they were requesting the delay in part to "avoid the use of his deposition attendance for political purposes."
  • The lawyers also denied that he had previously refused to comply with the subpoena for his testimony, as New York Attorney General Letitia James' office had alleged.
Eric Trump wearing a suit and tie: US businessman and son of the US president Eric Trump. © Provided by CNBC US businessman and son of the US president Eric Trump.

Lawyers for Eric Trump said Thursday that he is willing to be deposed as part of the New York Attorney General's office's probe of the Trump Organization but only after the 2020 presidential election.

In a court filing in New York State Supreme Court, the lawyers for President Donald Trump's son said they were requesting the delay in part to "avoid the use of his deposition attendance for political purposes."

The lawyers also denied that he had previously refused to comply with the subpoena for his testimony, as New York Attorney General Letitia James' office had alleged.

James, in a statement to CNBC, said that "while we cannot comment on the particular steps we're taking on specific litigation, 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 said.

The AG's office last month revealed a civil investigation into Trump and his company over how they valued multiple Trump assets on annual financial statements that were used to obtain loans, as well as to get economic and tax benefits.

In an August court filing, the AG's office said that the Trump Organization had "refused entirely to comply with a subpoena for Eric Trump's testimony." 

"Eric Trump's categorical refusal to appear is unlawful, and he should be compelled to testify," James' office wrote. 

But lawyers for Eric Trump, the executive vice president of the Trump Organization, replied Thursday that he "at no time indicated that he was refusing to comply" with the subpoena.

"Rather, counsel simply requested certain assurances first" from the attorney general's office, the lawyers said.

Those conditions include confirmation from the AG that it "has not provided, and will not provide any materials, information or transcripts developed or collected in the course of its investigation to any other law enforcement authority, agency or regulator."

Regardless, Eric Trump's counsel wrote, they have since made clear that their client is willing to comply with the subpoena. The lawyers proposed four possible dates after Nov. 3, when the president faces reelection against Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

The lawyers said they proposed that timeline "because of Mr. Trump's extreme travel schedule and related unavailability between now and the election, and to avoid the use of his deposition attendance for political purposes."

"It is well known that most, if not all, law enforcement and regulatory agencies studiously avoid certain actions within the 60-day period prior to a major election," the lawyers said.

The earliest proposed date is Nov. 19.

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