The former president invokes the Fifth Amendment in the investigation into alleged fraud of the Trump Organization
Former US President Donald Trump is refusing to answer questions from the office of the New York Attorney General Letitia James that this Wednesday is questioning under oath to the Republican as part of a civil investigation into potential financial and tax irregularities in your company, the Trump Organization.
In a statement released through your Truth social network when the interrogation had already begun, Trump has justified his decision to avail himself of the Fifth Amendment, that protects against self-incrimination. In that message he has insisted on his denunciation, without evidence, that the case is part of a “Witch hunt baseless and politically motivated,” an argument the court has repeatedly rejected as he has been trying to end the James investigation.
The day before, in another statement also in Truth, Trump had accused the prosecutor, a black Democratic woman, of “racist” motivations, and had linked this case with the search of her house in Mar-a-Lago this past Monday by of the FBI, part of an investigation focused on his handling of official documents. “My great company and myself are being attacked from all sides. Banana Rebublic!”, said.
Trump had come this far, postponed a month due to the death of his ex-wife Ivana, after losing the court battle to annul the subpoena from James’s office.
two of his children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trumphave already been interrogated in recent days in the same investigation, which tries to clarify whether the Trump Organization manipulated asset valuations, inflating them to get more favorable conditions in bank loans and insurance or undervaluing them to obtain fiscal benefits.
They answered investigators’ questions but another Trump son, Ericwho was questioned in 2020, also accepted the Fifth Amendment like his father and refused to answer more than 500 questions over six hours.
As it is a civil investigation, the New York prosecutor’s office can only file a lawsuit against Trump and not criminal charges. James could also choose to seek a financial settlement and not go to trial. In any case, the Democrat’s office is also collaborating with a Manhattan District Attorney’s criminal investigation and could share information obtained in the interrogations of the Trumps or during their investigations.
The two cases in New York are just two of several open legal and political investigations against the former president.
This case has already taken its toll on Trump. The former president was declared in contempt for refusing to respond to a court summons that demanded the delivery of documents and records. Until he settled that statement he had to pay $10,000 a day, a time in which he accumulated $110,000 in fines.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.