Trump expected to sit for deposition this week in civil lawsuit brought by New York attorney general
Former President Donald Trump is expected to be back in New York City to face another legal battle Thursday – this time in a civil lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, multiple sources told CNN.
Trump is scheduled to sit for another deposition for the suit brought against him, his children and Trump Organization, alleging they were involved in an expansive scheme lasting over a decade by providing false financial statements to lenders and others that the former president used to enrich himself.
Trump sat for a deposition for the case in August 2022, when he refused to answer questions, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to more than 400 questions.
The following month, the attorney general’s office filed the lawsuit seeking $250 million and bans on the Trumps’ ability to operate a business in the state. The case is set for trial in October. The Trumps have denied wrongdoing.
The deposition has been scheduled this week as part of the discovery process. It’s unclear whether Trump is more willing to cooperate now.
The former president’s attorneys have not responded to requests for comment.
After his first sit-down in August, Trump and his legal team have been able to glean more knowledge about the allegations against him because documents and other materials have been turned over to them.
Other strategic decisions could be at play. In a civil case, if a defendant asserts the Fifth Amendment, the jury can make what’s known as an “adverse inference” and place weight against Trump for refusing to answer questions.
Last August, some of Trump’s attorneys advised him to assert the Fifth Amendment because of the potential risk he could put himself in due to the Manhattan district attorney’s office ongoing investigation into the same issues in the attorney general’s civil case.
Trump has switched up his legal team since then.
Ronald Fischetti – who represented Trump in the matter last fall – attended that deposition and advised Trump to not answer questions, told CNN on Monday: “I know nothing about this.”
Last year, sitting before James and her team, Trump criticized her and her office.
“Anyone in my position not taking the Fifth Amendment would be a fool, an absolute fool,” Trump said in a video of the deposition released by the Attorney General’s Office. “One statement or answer that is ever so slightly off, just ever so slightly by accident, by mistake, such as it was a sunny, beautiful day when actually it was slightly overcast, would be met by law enforcement.”
Trump’s trip to New York comes on the heels of his unprecedented indictment obtained by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office last month. Last week, the former president was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to 34 charges of falsifying business records following an investigation into hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels.