WASHINGTON — Donald Trump was sworn in on Wednesday in the New York Attorney General's lengthy civil investigation into his business dealings amid a flurry of legal action. I was being questioned under Former president.
Mr. Trump's testimony indicates that as part of another federal investigation into whether Mr. Trump had classified records as he left the White House, FBI agents This was just days after he searched his Mar-a-Lago mansion.
He arrived at the Attorney General's Office in New York in several convoys shortly before 9:00 am. As he left Trump's tower in New York City and made his way downtown, he waved to reporters gathered outside but made no comment.
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A civil investigation led by Attorney General Letitia James found that Trump's company, the Trump Organization, misrepresented the value of valuable assets such as golf courses and skyscrapers, misleading lenders and tax authorities.
"Tonight in New York City. The racist N.Y.S. Attorney General tomorrow for the continuation of the largest witch hunt in US history." } Writing in Truth Social, he repeatedly alleges about James, who is black, and his investigation.
"My great company and myself are under attack from all sides," Trump wrote beforehand on Truth Social, the social media platform he founded. "Banana Republic."
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Messages seeking comment were left in James' office and Trump's attorneys.
Trump's testimony comes both at a critical moment in the James investigation and during the pivotal week of his presidency.
In May, James' office said the investigation was nearing its end, and investigators had gathered enough evidence to support legal action, including a lawsuit against Trump, his company, or both. said.
The Republican billionaire's deposition — the legal term for sworn testimony not given in court — is one of the few remaining missing pieces of him, says the Attorney General's Office. place said.
Two of Trump's adult children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, testified during the recent investigation, according to two people familiar with the matter. People were not allowed to speak publicly and did so on condition of anonymity.
The three Trumps' testimony was originally scheduled for last month, but was postponed following the July 14 death of former president ex-wife Ivana Trump.
The Trump Organization and its longtime chief financial officer Allen Weisselbergwill attend on Friday. The court last year sought to dismiss tax evasion charges brought against them in the Manhattan District Attorney's parallel criminal investigation. of companies “used fraudulent or misleading asset valuations to secure loans, insurance coverage, and tax credits.”
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points to annual financial statements provided to banks to secure favorable loan terms and pointed out to financial magazines to justify Trump's status among the world's billionaires.
Almost three times as many, a difference in value of about $200 million, James' office said.
Mr Trump denied the allegations, explaining that seeking the best possible valuation is a common practice in the real estate industry. He said the investigation into James was part of a politically motivated "witch hunt" and that her office "does everything within its corrupt discretion to interfere with my business relationships and the political process." “There are.”
"There is no case," Trump said in a February statement. After ruling that there is a “right”, he said:
While James is considering suing Trump or his firm, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office has long had a parallel criminal investigation.
That investigation The court appeared to be moving toward potential criminal charges, but slowed after new district attorney Alvin Bragg took office in January. Disbanded. The chief prosecutor in charge of the investigation resigned after Bragg internally questioned the feasibility of the case.
Bragg said his investigation was ongoing. there is That is, Trump could exerciseFifth Amendment rightsagainst self-incrimination and refuse to answer questions from James' investigators.
According to a subpoena issued by James' office, Trump saidHBO's "inheritance."
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Trump has been vocal in defending himself in written statements and rallies. The same strategy could backfire in a deposition environment, legal experts said, as his statements could be used against him or his company in criminal investigations. No ex-president has even been charged with a crime.
In the fight to block the subpoenas, lawyers for the Trumps said New York officials were using civil investigations to obtain information for criminal investigations, and that depositions would go to a grand jury. It was a ruse to avoid the convocation of the If state law requires them to be granted immunity.
Last summer, prosecutors in Manhattan indicted Weisselberg and the Trump Organization, spurred on by evidence uncovered by James' office. Prosecutors said Weisselberg collected more than $1.7 million of his off-the-books compensation.
Weisselberg and his company have pleaded not guilty.
Court documents show that Weisselberg and Eric Trump each invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 500 times when questioned by James' attorneys during separate depositions in 2020.
The former president may choose to do the same, but "he will argue that he is ignorant on many issues," said Steven Gillers, a law professor at New York University. says.
According to Gillers, this could be a successful strategy because Trump is known as a "big picture person." "So he will answer big-picture questions, and those answers will be general enough to keep him out of trouble, or else his lawyers would expect." }
"On the other hand, his impulsiveness makes him a lawyer's nightmare, and his overconfidence may lead him astray. Anyone questioning him will encourage it." added the professor. may even decide
Her Associate Press writer of New York Jill Colvin contributed to this report.
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