Donald Trump to testify under oath in New York fraud trial
The closed-door deposition comes a week after Trump was arraigned on criminal charges in a Manhattan courtroom in a separate case.
The 76-year-old Republican was to be questioned under oath in the lawsuit filed by New York State Attorney General Letitia James.
Trump raised his fist as he left Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue shortly after 9:30 a.m. (1330 GMT), arriving at James’ office in lower Manhattan around 10:00 a.m.
“This civil case is ridiculous, just like all the other election interference cases brought against me,” he wrote on his social media site Truth Social.
James sued Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump And Ivanka Trump in September last year, alleging that he had committed “unbelievable” fraud at the Trump Organization.
His lawsuit claims they lied to tax collectors, lenders and insurers for years in a scheme that regularly misrepresented the value of the organization’s properties to enrich themselves. James said they provided fraudulent statements of Trump’s net worth and false asset appraisals “to obtain and satisfy loans, obtain insurance benefits and pay less taxes.”
Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination next year, used his common “witch hunt” refrain to describe the affair.
He appeared for six hours of questioning in the inquest last August, shortly before James filed his lawsuit.
In a dramatic appearance last Tuesday that shook the nation, Trump denied 34 charges related to money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 election that brought him to power.
He became the first former president or sitting president to be charged with a crime.
The case was criticized almost unanimously by Republican officials, including congressional leaders who asked Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, to testify about the investigation before Congress.
James, also an elected Democrat, has demanded that Trump pay at least $250 million in penalties – money she says she made from the alleged fraud – and that her family be banned from running businesses in the state.
No criminal charges can arise from his case, which is expected to go to trial later this year.
Trump faces a slew of state, federal and congressional investigations that threaten to complicate his bid to win back the presidency.
They include his efforts to overturn his 2020 election defeat in the state of Georgia, his alleged mishandling of classified documents taken from the White House, and his involvement in the storming of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
A civil trial for a sexual assault and defamation lawsuit filed by former E. magazine columnist Jean Carroll against Trump is scheduled to begin in New York later this month.