CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig on Tuesday broke down how Donald Trump’s children could be damned if they do and damned if they don’t take the Fifth during their scheduled upcoming testimony in the former president’s civil fraud trial in New York.
Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump are all set to appear — as well as their father — on the stand before Judge Arthur Engoron to give evidence in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ $250 million lawsuit against Trump and the Trump Organization over allegations of overvaluing assets to secure loans and sign deals.
Honig , a former assistant U.S. attorney, acknowledged to CNN’s Jake Tapper that they could all take the Fifth but said under New York State law it means the judge “can consider that against them” and can “essentially say I’m going to assume the worst of what your testimony would have done.”
“So there’s risk either way,” he added.
“So they take the fifth, the judge just assumes they have incriminated themself to all sorts of crimes?” Tapper asked.
“Exactly, that’s the way it could work under New York State law,” Honig replied. “It’s up to the judge, he can say, ‘I assume that your testimony would have been bad for you here in this civil case.’”
However, Honig suggested “the risk of testifying could be even greater” because “anything they do say could be used against them in any future criminal prosecution” and even prompt prosecutors to revisit the case and reopen a criminal investigation into the fraud.
“The biggest risk they are facing here is the potential of some kind of criminal liability,” he added.
Watch the video here: