The hearing, which lasted barely four hours, took place on August 10 last year in a conference room in lower Manhattan, New York. The hearing was part of a civil fraud investigation and dealt with Trump’s activities as a real estate mogul.
On the advice of his lawyer, Trump declared that he “respectfully declines to answer questions in accordance with the rights and privileges of every citizen under the Constitution of the United States.”
He was referring to the Fifth Amendment, which protects people from testifying against themselves.
Trump: The witch hunt
Before the session, Trump read one of them Prepared statement in which he called the investigation “the largest witch hunt in the history of our country.” He also accused State’s Attorney Letitia James — a Democrat — of being a “backslider” and “an out-of-control plaintiff.”
At the start of the questioning, Trump was heard to answer three times: “For all the reasons I have indicated in my answer, and which are enclosed here in full, I refuse to answer the question.”
Then repeat the phrase “same answer” to the remaining questions. In all, the former president has invoked the Fifth Amendment on more than 400 occasions.
He was sued for $250 million
In the prepared statement, Trump himself explains why he uses the Fifth Amendment.
“I asked once—if you’re innocent, why do you invoke the Fifth Amendment? Now I know the answer to that question,” Trump said, continuing:
“When your family, your business and everyone around you becomes the target of a baseless, politically motivated witch hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and the fake news media, you have no choice.”
In September 2022, New York State Attorney Letitia James chose to Sue Donald Trumpand three of his children and his $250 million family business.
The Trump family is suspected of, among other things, lying to banks by having inflated assets in order to obtain loans.
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