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Trump refuses to answer questions in New York attorney general investigation: “I declined to answer the questions under the rights”

(Evan Vucci/AP)

Former US President Donald Trump stated on Wednesday, August 10, that he would not be responding to any questions in response to a civil investigation of his family’s business practices, due to his constitutional right against self-incrimination.

The investigation by state Attorney General Letitia James is looking into whether the Trump Organization inflated real estate values to get favorable loans and understated asset values to get tax breaks. Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., and daughter Ivanka Trump had fought unsuccessfully to avoid giving testimony.

“I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution,” Trump said in a statement issued roughly an hour after he arrived in a motorcade at the attorney general’s office in lower Manhattan for the deposition behind closed doors.

Self-incrimination is protected by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution. Trump’s decision to avoid answering some questions could still have consequences. In the event that the investigation results in a trial, the jury might consider his silence.

Politically, it might give opponents more reason to believe that Trump is hiding something as he considers running for office again in 2024.

The Trump Organisation, which manages hotels, golf courses, and another real estate, has allegedly given banks and tax authorities false financial information in order to receive benefits, according to James, who claims her investigation has found a lot of evidence to support this claim.

Trump left her office around six hours after arriving, suggesting he spent most of the day being questioned. After the deposition, Trump talked about his company on social media and described it as a “very professional meeting.”

James took part in the deposition, the New York attorney general’s office stated in a statement, and he confirmed that Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment rights.

“Attorney General James will pursue the facts and the law wherever they may lead,” the spokesperson added. “Our investigation continues.”

The investigation by James, a Democrat, is part of a years-long vendetta against him by her and others, including the news media, according to Trump, a Republican, who once again denied wrongdoing.

He also made an effort to connect James’s investigation to the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida on Monday, which marked an extension of a federal investigation into whether he had illegally removed White House documents before he left office in January 2021.

“I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?'” Trump said. “Now I know the answer to that question.”

Trump added, “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.”

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