A Former President Is Being Deposed Today

Former president complains he's 'being attacked from all sides' ahead of NY deposition
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2022 6:21 AM CDT
Trump Is Being Deposed Today
Former President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower, late Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, in New York.   (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

(Newser) – Former President Trump will sit for a deposition—one he has fought for months—on Wednesday as part of the final stage of the New York investigation into the Trump Organization's business practices. For the past three years, New York attorney general Letitia James' lawyers have been investigating whether Trump and his company fraudulently inflated the value of assets on financial statements provided to banks to secure loans. Earlier this year, James indicated there was "significant" evidence of "fraudulent or misleading" practices and only a questioning of Trump, his daughter Ivanka, and his son Donald Jr., would determine who was responsible.

Ivanka Trump was questioned last week and Trump Jr. sat for a deposition in late July, per CNN. Neither asserted their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, per the New York Times. Deposed in 2020, Eric Trump and former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg did so more than 500 times. Trump acknowledged the deposition on his Truth Social account days after FBI agents searched his Florida home as part of a separate investigation into the removal of classified material from the White House. "Seeing racist N.Y.S. Attorney General tomorrow, for a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in U.S. history!" he wrote. "My great company, and myself, are being attacked from all sides. Banana Republic!"

James cannot file criminal charges as the investigation is civil. But she can sue Trump. His statements under oath could also be used in the parallel criminal investigation by the Manhattan district attorney's office, per the Times. Trump could argue that his company guessed the value of assets without intending to improperly inflate them, or that he wasn't particularly involved in the valuation. In a 2007 deposition, he said Weisselberg "ultimately" came up with the values, per CNN. If the former president does invoke the Fifth Amendment, there are likely to be "political implications" for his rumored 2024 presidential run, per CNN. In 2016, Trump famously said, "If you're innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?" (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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