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Trump becomes fifth in office

Former president is constitutionally against self-incrimination in deposition to the office of New York State Attorney General Tish James, who exercised the right of 20}

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday declined to answer questions during a deposition in the office of New York Attorney General Tisch James, citing his Fifth Amendment right to self-incrimination. claim.

Mr Trump, who has long accused Mr James of conducting politically motivated investigations into his family's real estate business, said in a statement Wednesday in an interview conducted under oath. "I had absolutely no choice," he said. Attorney General's office. James is leading an investigation into the Trump Organization's business practices, looking into allegations that the former president's company misrepresented property values ​​in its financial statements.

"'If you are innocent, why adopt the Fifth Amendment?' When you become the target of a baseless, politically motivated witch hunt supported by the fake news media, you have no choice.”

POLITICO said Trump was questioned under oath by James' office on Wednesday. A spokeswoman for the attorney general declined to comment.

Trump's depositions against the New York Attorney General's team show the agency conducting his three-year investigation into whether the Trump Organization misrepresented the value of assets on its financial statements. It was done while I was on my way. For months, Trump has tried to avoid Wednesday's deposition — an investigation into alleged mishandling ofWhite House records that led the FBI toIt is a very dangerous moment for the former president, just two days after his house was raided. He is also under investigation as to whether he has fraudulently inflated the value of his property. It has been speculated for months that Trump would be the fifth defender in James' investigation to avoid incriminating himself in the district attorney's investigation.

During the 2016 campaign. Trump suggested not answering questions was a sign of guilt, saying at an event in Iowa, "If you're innocent, why are you adopting the Fifth Amendment?" rice field. But he retracted that meaning in a statement Wednesday, admitting he knew "the answer to that question." The FBI's raid on my home, Mar-a-Lago, on Monday, just two days before this deposition, wiped out the uncertainty," Trump said.

state appeals court ruled in his May that the Attorney General's investigation found that Trump and his two eldest sons must file affidavits. got down. Subpoena. The former president's meeting on Wednesday came days after the Attorney General's Office questioned Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump.

James' office said it had found "substantial evidence" that the Trump Organization fraudulently valued multiple assets and misrepresented them to mislead financial institutions. , Trump has denied wrongdoing and said the investigation was politically motivated.

Wednesday's deposition of the former president could represent the final stage of James' civil investigation, after which she could file a lawsuit against Trump or negotiate a settlement with Trump's lawyers.

Betsy Woodruff Swan contributed to this report.