The New York attorney general’s office released a video of Trump using his right to remain silent when questioned in August 2022.
Former US President Donald Trump on August 10, 2022, presented to the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James regarding allegations of fraud at the Trump Organization. James’ office on January 31 released a video of the interrogation, in which the former US president repeatedly used the right to remain silent to refuse to answer.
“Anyone in my position who doesn’t invoke the Fifth Amendment would be a fool – a complete idiot,” Trump said. The Fifth Amendment provides that summoners may refuse to answer questions whose answers could be used to incriminate them.
In the video, Mr. Trump, wearing a dark blue suit, red tie and American flag pin, sits in front of the camera. Trump replied “yes” when James asked him if he understood the rules of testimony. When questions about financial matters were raised, Mr. Trump repeatedly refused to answer.
“I refuse to answer based on the rights and privileges afforded to all citizens under the US Constitution,” Trump said. “This will be my answer to the follow-up questions.”
Mr. Trump was then asked to say “answer as above” to speed things up. Sources familiar with the matter say Trump invoked the Fifth Amendment a total of more than 440 times during the interrogation that lasted about four hours.
Trump’s attorney has not yet commented on the video. Meanwhile, Ms. James’s office said it released the video after receiving a request to enforce New York’s Freedom of Information law from CBS News.
Attorney General James in December 2021 sent subpoenas to Mr. Trump, son of Donald Trump Jr. and their daughter Ivanka, asking them to provide testimony in an investigation into the family business. James’s office suspects that the Trump corporation has overstated the value of some assets to secure bank loans and evade taxes.
Trump’s two children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka showed up at Mrs. James’s office in August 2022 and answered questions. Eric Trump, Trump’s second son, invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 500 times when questioned in October 2020.
In September 2022, Ms. James filed a lawsuit in state court in Manhattan, accusing the Trump Organization of engaging in “multiple acts of fraud”. She proposed a fine of $ 250 million to Trump, and asked the court to permanently ban the former US president and his children from holding office or running any licensed or registered company in New York.
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