Trump pleads for Fifth Amendment
Former President Donald Trump refused to answer questions on Wednesday when the deposition with the Office of the Attorney General New York Tish James, confirmed the rights of his fifth amendment to his own accusations.
Trump, who has long accused James of conducting a political motivated investigation into his family’s real estate affairs, said on Wednesday in a statement that he had “absolutely no choice” than taking the fifth during his interview sub oath with the attorney general’s office. James led an investigation of the business practice of the Trump organization, examining the accusation that the former president’s company wrongly stated the values of assets on financial documents.
“I once asked:” If you are not guilty, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment? “Now I know the answer to that question,” Trump said in a statement published by his office. “When your family, your company, and everyone in your orbit has become the target of unjustified, politically motivated witch hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and fake news media, you have no choice.”
A spokesman for the State Attorney General confirmed on Wednesday that his office made a declaration of Trump and that the former president invoked his rights of the fifth amendment. The spokesman refused to provide more details.
“The Attorney General James will pursue the facts and the law wherever they lead. Our research continues”, said the spokesman.
The media followed the former president from the Midtown Manhattan apartment at Trump Tower Downtown to the Attorney General’s office at around 8:30 in the morning on Wednesday morning. Trump waved to the audience and members of the media and held his fist when he departed for the deposition.
Agents of Secret Services and New York Police Department officers patrolled at the garage entrance to James’s office where Trump’s car processions drove around 9 am. The officers stood guard all morning, with people who passed by gathering on the sidewalk and the corner of the road around the entrance to the skyscraper.
Trump’s deposition with the Deputy Attorney General for New York came in the middle of an official investigation for three years about whether the Trump organization had wrongly stated the value of the assets in the financial statements. Trump had tried for months to avoid the deposition of Wednesday, which occurs at a time of high risk for the former president only two days after the FBI raided his house in Florida in an investigation into the alleged mismanagement of the records of the White House.
The former president is also the subject of a parallel criminal investigation that is carried out in the Manhattan district prosecutor’s office about whether the values of the properties were fraudulently inflated. It has been forecasted for months that Trump will beg for a fifth in the James investigation to avoid burdening himself with the investigation of district lawyers.
Trump on the campaign track in 2016 had suggested that not answering questions was a sign of guilt, saying at an Iowa event: “If you are innocent, why do you take the fifth amendment?” But he resumed this involvement in his Wednesday declaration, admitting that he now knows “the answer to this question”.
“If there was a question in my mind, the raid of my house, Mar-A-Lago, Monday by the FBI, only two days before this testimony, erased all uncertainty,” said Trump.
On Wednesday, the meeting of the former president intervened just a few days after the prosecutor’s office interviewed Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, who did not plead the Fifth.
The possibility that Trump pleads for the fifth amendment has been discussed at length in recent months in the disputes of the State Court on the depositions of Trump and his children.
The former president’s deposition on Wednesday can represent the final stage of James Civil Investigation, after that she can file a lawsuit against Trump or negotiate a settlement with Trump’s lawyer to get faster financial payments.