CNN’s Toobin: Trump, Family Could Be in Trouble if They Take the Fifth in Civil Case


CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said Thursday on “The Situation Room” that if former President Donald Trump and his children Ivanka and Don Jr. plead the Fifth when testifying in the civil suit by the state of New York, the jury could draw an “adverse inference.”

Anchor Wolf Blitzer said, “Former President Trump and his kids argued that sitting for a deposition would violate, they say, their constitutional rights; this judge certainly disagreed. What do you make of this ruling?”

Toobin said, “Well, it was very straightforward. This is a legitimate investigation, and the attorney general of New York has subpoena power. She subpoenaed the former president and his two children, and they have a choice. They could testify, or they could take the Fifth. The problem with taking the Fifth is, first of all, it is embarrassing, but that is no bar to doing it, but in a civil case, as opposed to a criminal case, a jury could draw what is called an ‘adverse inference.’ The jury could assume, if it comes to that, that you did something wrong, that there is an incriminating answer there.”

He added, “So that is why the Trump family wants to avoid having to take the Fifth. But the answer to that is too bad. That is what the law is, and so it is not a surprise that the judge ruled this way.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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