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Trump refuses to answer questions in New York business surveyDonald Trump

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Donald Trump on Wednesday refused to answer questions under oath in a New York state civil investigation into his business dealings, and the FBI asked for classified documents taken from the White House at his home in Florida. on the fifth day, five days after the house was searched in the criminal case.

The former U.S. president’s decision to exercise his Fifth Amendment constitutional right to self-incrimination follows closed-door depositions in Manhattan as New York Attorney General Letitia James investigates the Trump family’s real estate empire. was told to

In a statement released after the questioning began, Trump said, “I have refused to answer questions regarding the rights and privileges accorded to all citizens under the United States Constitution.

The Trump deposition, which took place in lower Manhattan, appears to have lasted about four hours. The former president departed 28 Liberty Street at 3:20 p.m. and peered out the back window of his service black SUV.

Trump asked every question, except confirming James’ name at the beginning of the closed-door interview, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Trump took several breaks during the deposition, the person said.

“Attorney General Letitia James participated in depositions in which Trump exercised his Fifth Amendment right to self-incrimination,” James’ office later said. “[She] Pursue wherever facts and law lead. Our investigation continues. “

One of Trump’s attorneys, Ronald Fischetti, confirmed that the former president answered just one question.

According to The New York Times, Trump accused the Attorney General of “openly campaigning for policies that would destroy me.”

Since then, from 9:30 a.m. to about 3:00 p.m., Mr. Trump repeated “the same answer” to all questions about “valuations, golf clubs, etc.,” Fischetti told The Times.

Fichetti added that Trump decided on the fifth score just before the interview began. “He absolutely wanted to testify. It took very strong persuasion from me and a few others to convince him,” added Fischetti.

Trump left the deposition in a black SUV. Photo: Hugo Lowell

A high-risk court meeting is a whole other case, with senior Republican officials pressuring the U.S. Department of Justice to reveal details of a federal investigation that took place Monday at Trump’s Maralago mansion and a private club in Palm Beach. done when pressed. .

The FBI investigation, reported by The Guardian, was empowered to search for presidential and classified records that the Justice Department believes were illegally held by Trump after his term in the White House ended.

News of the raid sparked outrage among Republican leaders, demanding that Joe Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland quickly explain the Justice Department’s move.

On Tuesday, Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence expressed “deep concern”, adding on Twitter:

Senate Minority Leader and Republican Kentucky Rep. Mitch McConnell called for a “thorough and prompt explanation.”

Meanwhile, Palm Beach County state attorney Dave Aronberg, a Democrat, denied calling the search a “raid.” Tell MSNBC It was a “gross exaggeration.”

“This was a very methodical and smooth raid conducted by plainclothes FBI agents, escorted by Secret Service agents,” Aronberg said.

Politico reported that Trump’s attorney has a copy of the warrant issued for the investigation and a list of what the FBI has seized.

Christopher Wray, who was appointed director of the agency by President Trump in 2017, called the widespread online threats to federal agents and the Justice Department “deplorably dangerous.”

Wray spoke after a long-planned press conference for the FBI’s field office in Omaha, Nebraska, to discuss the FBI’s cybersecurity efforts. He declined to answer questions about the hours-long search Monday in Mar-a-Lago.

Back in New York, before Wednesday’s deposition session, he announced legal encounters in a cheeky post on his Truth Social social media platform, his alternative after he was banned from Twitter. accused of

“Tonight in New York City. I will meet the racist NYS Attorney General tomorrow for the continuation of the greatest witch hunt in American history!” He reiterated that he had repeatedly hurled insults at Mr James, who had been elected to the overall elected office.

“My great company and myself are being attacked from all sides,” Trump wrote, adding, “Banana Republic!”

The lawsuit includes allegations that Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, misrepresented the value of assets, including some of his golf courses and skyscrapers, to mislead lenders and tax authorities. I’m here.

At the heart of the lawsuit are allegations that Trump has been falsely inflating his fortune for decades. It’s a dance that involves advertising, maximizing access to bank loans and minimizing tax liability. “I look better when I’m worth $10 billion than when I’m worth $4 billion,” he once said. In his book The Art of the Deal, he describes his business as “true exaggeration.”

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Letitia James, Attorney General of New York. Photo: Mike Seeger/Reuters

Two of Trump’s adult children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, are believed to have testified at the recent investigation. It was postponed after the death of his wife, Ivana Trump.

Trump denied the allegations, saying it was common practice in the real estate industry to ask for the best possible valuation.

While James was considering suing Trump or his company, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has been pursuing parallel criminal investigations. The issue arose after the chief prosecutor resigned after raising questions internally about the

Bragg said the investigation is ongoing.

Trump further commented on his refusal to answer Wednesday’s question: Now I know the answer to that question… your family, your company, and everyone around you are being forced into unfounded politics supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and the fake news media. When you become the target of a sexually motivated witch hunt, you have no choice.”

Legal experts said answering questions at depositions was risky.

The Fifth Amendment protects people from being forced to testify against themselves in criminal cases.

The Associated Press contributed to the report