“President Donald Trump said he refused to answer questions Wednesday at a deposition by investigators for New York Attorney General Letitia James as part of her civil probe into his business,” CNBC reported.
Trump said he invoked his 5th Amendment right against making self-incriminating statements shortly after arriving for his scheduled, court-ordered interview under oath at James’ offices in New York City.
“I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?’ Now I know the answer to that question,” Trump said in a statement that blasted James as a prosecutor on a witch hunt.
“When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded, politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and the Fake News Media, you have no choice,” Trump said.
“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 said.
— Bloomberg (@business) August 10, 2022
Trump, who once indicated innocent people don't plead the Fifth, defends doing so while sitting with lawyers from New York Attorney General Letitia James' office. "I once asked, 'If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?' Now I know the answer to that question." pic.twitter.com/xdUck1GiED
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) August 10, 2022
A spokeswoman for James did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump’s deposition came two days after the FBI, in an unrelated criminal investigation, raided his home at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, and seized what his attorney has said were about a dozen boxes of documents.That search was related to an ongoing investigation into whether laws were broken when boxes of White House records — which included some documents marked as classified — ended up at Mar-a-Lago instead of the National Archives.
James’ investigation, meanwhile, is focused on allegations that the Trump Organization improperly reported the stated valuations of some of its real estate assets for financial gain.
Trump has denied wrongdoing.
Trump said he decided he had “absolutely no choice” but to plead the Fifth in James’ deposition following the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago “because the current Administration and many prosecutors in this Country have lost all moral and ethical bounds of decency.”
President Trump issued the following statement via Truth Social: