Litigation /

UPDATE: Donald Trump Declines to Answer Questions Under Oath from New York Attorney General

AG's Office claims it has evidence of financial fraud by the Trump Organization

Former U.S. President Donald Trump invoked the Fifth Amendment when asked questions from New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office in connection with the AG’s investigation into properties owned or controlled by Trump or the Trump Organization.

“I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution,” Trump said in a statement, per Reuters.

Court filings show that the AG’s office is investigating whether the Trump Organization misstated the value of certain assets on financial statements, loan applications, tax submissions or other documents. The investigation also includes whether anyone made “material misrepresentations” to secure favorable loan terms and insurance coverage and for tax and other economic benefits.

On the night before his hearing, Trump posted on his social media platform Truth Social, “In New York City tonight. Seeing racist N.Y.S. Attorney General tomorrow, for a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in U.S. history! My great company, and myself, are being attacked from all sides. Banana Republic!”

Trump’s deposition with New York State attorneys comes just two days after the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations ignited a firestorm when it raided the former president’s palatial Florida estate Mar-A-Lago allegedly in search of documents the agency believes belong with the National Archives.

James’ office has previously stated that it has “uncovered substantial evidence establishing numerous misrepresentations in Mr. Trump’s financial statements provided to banks, insurers, and the Internal Revenue Service.”

The Trump Organization has turned over nearly a million documents and roughly a dozen current and former employees have testified in the investigation.

Attorneys representing Trump have asserted that the entire investigation is politically motivated.

“The New York Constitution, as interpreted by the Court of Appeals, and the CPL promulgated thereunder, created protections for subpoenaed witnesses that federal law does not provide,” a filing from the Trump legal team stated. “Under the New York Constitution and the Criminal Procedure Law (CPL), an agency conducting a criminal investigation through an active grand jury is required, if the witness is subpoenaed, to examine the subject or target of the investigation before the grand jury.”

The court filing also states that the AG’s “investigation and prosecution [is] based solely on political animus” and that “such selective prosecution violates the Equal Protection Clauses of the Federal and New York States Constitutions and requires that the subpoenas be quashed.”

James — a member of the Democratic Party who won her 2018 election to succeed appointed Attorney General Barbara Underwood — pledged to investigate the Trump family as part of her campaign.

The Trump Organization has denied any wrongdoing.

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