Former President Donald Trump was scheduled to be deposed Wednesday as part of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil investigation into Trump and his businesses. However, following the meeting, Trump revealed he invoked the Fifth Amendment rather than answer questions.
Calling the proceedings an “unfounded politically motivated Witch Hunt,” Trump blasted the Biden administration and prosecutors for continuing to pursue investigations into his activities.
“What Letitia James has tried to do the last three years is a disgrace to the legal system, an affront to New York State taxpayers, and a violation of the solemn rights and protections afforded by the United States Constitution,” Trump said in a statement Wednesday morning. “I did nothing wrong, which is why, after five years of looking, the Federal, State and local governments, together with the Fake News Media, have found nothing.”
Trump added that “We cannot permit a renegade and out-of-control prosecutor to use this investigation as a means of advancing her political career. New York deserves better, and this Country deserves better. This is a vindictive and self-serving fishing expedition, the likes of which our Country has never seen before.”
Trump is the last member of his family to be deposed as part of the investigation.
Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. were deposed earlier this month. All three depositions were expected to take place last month, but Trump’s lawyers had asked for a delay, after the unexpected passing of Ivana Trump, Trump’s first wife and the mother of his 3 eldest children, on July 14. The depositions had been scheduled to take place the next day.
James’ office has been conducting a civil investigation into the Trump Organization to find out whether Trump and his company improperly inflated the value of assets on financial statements in order to obtain loans and tax benefits.
Those financial dealings that the NY AG believes could have been potentially fraudulent include properties such as Trump’s estate Seven Springs in Westchester, New York, 40 Wall Street, and his residence at Trump Tower in New York City.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has said the investigation is politically motivated and a “witch hunt.”
The deposition comes the same week that the FBI conducted a highly-publicized search of the former president’s estate at Mar-a-Lago. He has been quite vocal in the wake of that raid, with several Republicans (and even some Democrats) questioning the motivation behind it.