Trump declines to answer questions in NY attorney general probe, following FBI search

Former President Trump on Wednesday said he declined to answer questions in the New York attorney general’s probe into his business and finances. 

“I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?’ Now I know the answer to that question,” Trump wrote in a statement on his website.

“When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded, politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and the Fake News Media, you have no choice.”

The former president reportedly arrived at the New York attorney general’s office on Wednesday morning, after multiple attempts to block the probe and the calls to testify ultimately failed.

Trump said that he declined to respond to questioning under the advice of his legal team.

“The United States Constitution exists for this very purpose, and I will utilize it to the fullest extent to defend myself against this malicious attack by this administration, this Attorney General’s Office, and all other attacks on my family, my business, and our Country,” the former president wrote in the statement. 

The former president also lashed out at “renegade and out-of-control prosecutor” New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) for what he called a “phony years-long crusade” against him.

James’s office is investigating whether the former president misled investors and tax authorities by inflating the property value of his Trump Organization to get investments and subsequently deflating them to get tax and loan benefits.

The civil investigation could reportedly lead to a lawsuit seeking financial penalties for the former president.

Though Trump indicated that he invoked his Fifth Amendment rights in Wednesday’s questioning, the deposition process may go on for hours as the attorneys continue their inquiries regardless, according to The New York Times.

Two of Trump’s children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., were subpoenaed along with their father earlier this year and sat for depositions earlier this month.

The Trump family fought the New York attorney general’s subpoenas and efforts to obtain related documents for months before a judge and appellate court forced their appearance.

Initially scheduled for mid-July, James postponed the depositions for Trump and his children when the former president’s first wife, Ivana Trump, died the day prior.

James’s probe and Trump’s deposition come as the Justice Department continues its investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attacks on the U.S. Capitol.

On Monday, the FBI executed a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida. 

Republican lawmakers and Trump allies have slammed the FBI over the search and pressed the Justice Department to justify it. The department and the FBI have not yet revealed the warrant’s basis. 

Updated at 12:37 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Jr. Ivanka Trump Letitia James
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