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Trump faces questioning in NY civil probe

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Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump, have agreed to testify in a New York civil probe. Photo: Getty
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Former US president Donald Trump, his namesake son and his daughter Ivanka have agreed to answer questions under oath next month in the New York attorney general’s civil investigation into his business practises, unless their lawyers persuade the state’s highest court to step in.

A Manhattan judge signed off on Wednesday on an agreement that calls for the Trumps to give depositions — a legal term for sworn, pre-trial testimony out of court — starting July 15.

The agreement comes after a series of setbacks for Donald Trump’s efforts to put a stop to New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ three-year investigation.

Ms James has said the probe has uncovered evidence that Mr Trump’s company misstated the value of assets such as skyscrapers and golf courses on financial statements for more than a decade.

Two weeks ago, a New York state appeals court ruled that Mr Trump had to sit for a deposition in the matter.

The next day, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit that Mr Trump had filed to seek a court order stopping James from investigating him.

The suit claimed that Ms James, a Democrat, targeted the Republican ex-president because of political animus and violated his free speech and due process rights.

Wednesday’s ruling acknowledges that Mr Trump can appeal to New York’s top court, called the Court of Appeals, to try to overturn the decision that requires his deposition.