(NEW YORK) — Former President Donald Trump turned to New York Attorney General Letitia James and smiled briefly as she began to depose him Aug. 10, newly released video obtained by ABC News shows.
The video represents the first time the public can see portions of the hours-long deposition that preceded James’ $250 million civil lawsuit filed against Trump, his eldest children, his business and its top executives for inflating his net worth.
Trump declined to answer most questions other than affirming he understood the ground rules and the procedures.
When Kevin Wallace, the attorney general’s senior counsel, asked what Trump did to prepare for the deposition he answered “very little.”
Trump began the deposition with a statement that denounced the investigation and the investigator.
“This is the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country,” Trump is seen saying. “She has made a career out of maliciously attacking me and my business even before she understood or was elected.”
Wallace replied, “Obviously we disagree.”
When Wallace began to ask question about his finances, Trump repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment and continued to do so for the next several hours.
Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. were also deposed in the investigation. All three depositions were briefly delayed in the wake of Ivana Trump’s death.
James eventually filed the lawsuit against Trump, both children and his business in September 2022.
“We found that Mr. Trump, his children and the corporation used more than 200 false asset valuations over a 10-year period,” James said at a press conference announcing the charges.
The suit claims that the former president’s Florida estate and golf resort, Mar-a-Lago, was valued as high as $739 million, but should have been valued at $75 million. Trump is also alleged to have overvalued assets such as his Trump Tower apartment; Trump Turnberry, his golf course in Scotland; and 40 Wall Street.
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