According to a source familiar with the case, the New York attorney general seeks to depose former President Donald Trump in connection with a civil fraud investigation into the Trump Organization.
The Washington Post reports that New York attorney general Letitia James has asked Trump to deposition by January 7.
A probe is being conducted to determine if values of Trump Organization properties were manipulated. In addition, a criminal investigation is operating in conjunction with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. While the two investigations are separate, some attorneys from James’ office are working on the criminal investigation, which is ongoing.
James’ Disposition Against Trump
Danny Frost, a spokesman for Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, states that the deposition that James was seeking was not part of the criminal investigation.
“This is just another political witch-hunt,” a Trump Organization spokesperson said in a statement.
“Violence is sweeping across New York. Whereas children are getting shot in Times Square, arsonists are setting Christmas decorations on fire, and homelessness is at an all-time high. Still, the Attorney General has only interested in investigating Trump. The prosecution is illegal, unethical, and a travesty to our great state and legal system. Moreover, it is all aiming at furthering her political ambitions,” the spokesperson said.
Neither James’ office nor a spokesperson would comment.
After announcing that she would run for governor of New York in October, James suspended her campaign on Thursday. James could file a lawsuit against Trump or the Trump Organization if she finds civil wrongdoing.
James’ office could fight Trump’s deposition request given the ongoing criminal investigation. If an investigation launches, Trump could invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to refuse to answer questions. In a civil inquiry, if he refuses to answer questions. A judge or jury could draw an adverse conclusion about his liability.