Trump Jr., who runs the Trump Organization with his brother Eric Trump, did not assert the Fifth Amendment and answered the state’s questions, one of the people said. It is not clear what he was asked or how he answered the questions.
Former President Donald Trump is expected to testify later this month.
A lawyer for Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump declined to comment, and representatives from the Trump Organization did not respond to requests for comment. The New York attorney general’s office declined to comment.
The depositions raise the legal stakes for the Trump family members as they face two investigations, one civil and one criminal, into the accuracy of Trump Organization financial statements.
The former President and the Trump Organization have previously denied any wrongdoing and called the civil investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, politically motivated.
Trump Jr.’s decision to answer state questions breaks with that of Eric Trump and former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg who both asserted their Fifth Amendment right when deposed in 2020.
In a civil case, the jury can draw an “adverse inference” and hold it against individuals who don’t answer questions.
That is not the only calculus at play. There’s been some discussion over the stigma of asserting the Fifth Amendment and how it would play politically, one of the people familiar with the matter said.
By answering questions, Trump Jr. increases his possible legal exposure. He was involved in several properties, including 40 Wall Street, and certified the accuracy of the financial statements from 2017 forward, the attorney general’s office has said. Ivanka Trump was a key liaison with Deutsche Bank, which loaned the Trump Organization more than $300 million.
The firm, which broke ties with Trump after January 6, 2021, has denied any wrongdoing. Banks, which supplied financing, also didn’t lose any money on the loans they underwrote.
The New York attorney general’s investigation is in an advanced stage. Lawyers with the office have said publicly that they expect to take some kind of enforcement action but would engage in discussions with the Trump Organization before a decision was made.
Bragg told CNN in an interview in April: “Anytime you have a parallel civil, criminal investigation, if there’s testimony in that proceeding, obviously we will look at it.”
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect that Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. were supposed to sit for their depositions in July. It also has been updated with additional background information.