Former President Donald Trump to be deposed by NY attorney general on Wednesday - CNN
Aug 10, 2022 2 mins, 38 secs
"Under the advice of my counsel and for all of the above reasons, I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution," Trump said in a statement.

Trump was to be deposed by lawyers from New York Attorney General Letitia James' office as part of a more than three-year civil investigation into whether the Trump Organization misled lenders, insurers and tax authorities by providing them misleading financial statements.

Trump said in a post on Truth Social earlier Wednesday morning that he would be "seeing" James "for a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in U.S.

Some Trump advisers had advocated that the former President answer questions since he previously testified about his financial statements under oath, while others warned him against providing any answers because of the potential legal jeopardy he may face, people familiar with the matter tell CNN.

be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself," the Fifth Amendment states.

Investigation and previous depositions

In January, James' office said it found "significant" evidence indicating the Trump Organization used false or misleading asset valuations in its financial statements to obtain loans, insurance and tax benefits.

had his deposition in late July, people familiar with the matter said.

Trump Jr., who runs the Trump Organization with his brother Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump did not assert their Fifth Amendment rights and answered the state's questions, the people said.

Questions about Trump's net worth

Trump has been questioned about the accuracy of his net worth and financial statements in previous lawsuits, something some advisers say is one reason why he should answer questions in the current investigation.

"Not beyond reason," Trump said.

In the past Trump has tried to push responsibility for his valuation decisions onto Weisselberg, while at the same time, documents and depositions appear to show that, even as Trump claimed that he left those valuation decisions to others, he was also deeply involved in running his business.

Trump said in the 2007 deposition that the only person he dealt with in preparing the statements of financial condition was Weisselberg.

"I would give my opinion," Trump said in the deposition.

"We'll talk about it," he said, adding that "ultimately" and "predominately" it was Weisselberg who came up with the final values, which Trump said he viewed as "conservative."

When questioned specifically about swings in values from one year to the next Trump had ready explanations.

During the deposition, Trump was questioned over the family compound in Westchester County, New York, called Seven Springs where its value nearly doubled in one year from $80 million in 2005 to $150 million in 2006.

"The property was valued very low, in my opinion, then and it became very -- it just has gone up," Trump said.

He was asked if he had any basis for that view, other than his own opinion.

"I don't believe so, no," he said.

In addition to Weisselberg, two others involved in the preparation of the financial statements, Jeff McConney, the Trump Organization's controller, and Donald Bender, the real estate firm's external accountant, have both been interviewed by the attorney general's office and Manhattan district attorney.

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