Under oath on Wednesday, former Pres. Trump took his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination as he testified in the long-running NY attorney general’s civil inquiry into his business activities.
An hour after entering Letitia James’ Manhattan offices, Trump stated that he “refused to answer any of the questions under the privileges and rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution.”
“I once asked, ‘Why would you take the Fifth Amendment if you’re innocent?’ Now I know the answer to that question,” it continued. “You have no option when your family, business, and all of your friends become targets of a politically motivated Witch Hunt backed by attorneys, prosecutors, and fake news media.”
During over six hours at the office complex, Trump utilized his own social media platform, Truth Social, to inspect the décor — “extremely luxurious, beautiful, and pricey” — as well as urge Attorney General Letitia James to focus on crime in New York rather than investigating him.
After he left at around 3:30 p.m., he characterized the event as “very professional” and praised his “great company.”
The interview confronted him with a racist and an “out-of-control prosecutor,” forcing him to confront a call he made for the official to be removed from office. James is the first African American to serve in her position.
According to The New York Times, one of Trump’s attorneys, Ronald Fischetti, said the former president responded to just one question, which was about his name, and read a statement containing an allegation against James’ motives, then took the Fifth Amendment. Trump then stated “same answer” to all the questions he was asked over several hours after that, according to Fischetti.
Trump’s attorneys advised him that taking part in a deposition, as vociferous as he has been in defending himself through written remarks and on the campaign stage, was dangerous because anything that he said could have been used against him in a parallel criminal investigation by the district attorney in Manhattan. The Fifth Amendment safeguards individuals from being forced to become witnesses in a criminal case against themselves.