Near the start of the deposition, Trump gave his name and read a statement that called the investigation into whether his real estate company violated New York tax laws a continuation of “the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country” and said James “openly campaigned on a policy of destroying me,” his lawyer, Ronald Fischetti, told the New York Times. James did not visibly react, Fischetti noted.
Amid “questions about valuations and golf clubs and all that stuff,” Trump invoked his right against self-incrimination as he repeated “same answer” throughout the deposition, which was interspersed with breaks, per the lawyer.
A statement released by Trump after the deposition, which lasted from around 9:30 am to 3 pm, said he “declined to answer” questions during his deposition. James’s office affirmed that Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
“While we will not comment on specific details, we can confirm that today, our office conducted a deposition of former president Donald Trump,” the office said. “Attorney General Letitia James took part in the deposition during which Mr. Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Attorney General James will pursue the facts and the law wherever they may lead. Our investigation continues.”
James, a Democrat, has been conducting a civil inquiry into whether the Trump Organization improperly manipulated asset valuations for tax and business benefits. This is one of several investigations Trump is facing as he mulls a third run for president.
Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing, said in a post to his Truth Social platform, “Accordingly, under the advice of my counsel and for all of the above reasons, I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution.”
“He absolutely wanted to testify, and it took some very strong persuasion by me and some others to convince him,” Fischetti said.
Original Location: Trump repeated ‘witch hunt’ answer all throughout NY AG deposition, attorney says
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