Trump leaves Trump Tower to be grilled under oath by New York Attorney General Letitia James – Daily Mail

By Katelyn Caralle, U.S. Political Reporter and Rachel Bunyan For Dailymail.Com and Ap
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Donald Trump has criticized New York Attorney General Letitia James’ ‘political attack on me, my family, and my great company’ and confirmed he would not answer questions when grilled under oath in the investigation into his business practices.
In a statement exclusively obtained by DailyMail.com, the former President says James campaigned on the policy of ‘Get and Destroy Trump’ and her probe is nothing more than a witch hunt.
He also confirmed that on the advice of counsel he will plead the fifth when questioned in Manhattan and insists: ‘I did nothing wrong’. 
‘She even assured her supporters in an Election promise that, ‘we’re going to definitely sue him. We’re going to be a real pain in the ass. He’s going to know my name personally’, and she claimed I was an ‘illegitimate President’, he said in the statement.
Trump called her ‘a failed politician who has intentionally colluded with others to carry out this phony years-long crusade that has wasted countless taxpayer dollars, all in an effort to prop up her political career’.
He tore into her focus on him, while ‘New York is suffering its worst murder, drug, and overall crime rate in many decades.’ 
‘Criminals are running rampant, shooting, slashing, and hurting people on the sidewalks of New York, while she and her Office spend a big percentage of their time and money on their ‘Trump’ vendetta, he said. 
In a Truth social post on Wednesday afternoon, Trump said that he was still in James’ ‘very plush, beautiful and expensive’ office.
‘Nice working conditions, as people are being murdered all over New York – and she spends her time and effort on trying to ‘get Trump,’ he said in slamming the NY AG over the crime rates in the city.
Wearing a blue suit with a red tie, the former president left Trump Tower to face questioning from James two days after his Mar-a-Lago residence was raided by the FBI in relation to a separate probe.
‘I did nothing wrong, which is why, after five years of looking, the Federal, State and local governments, together with the Fake News Media, have found nothing,’ Trump said in the statement.
Donald Trump raises a fist to bystanders as he departs Trump Tower Wednesday morning to face a deposition from New York Attorney General Letitia James
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The former president is facing a long-running investigation into his real estate empire. Pictured: Secret Service stand guard as Trump leaves Trump Tower for the New York Attorney General’s office on Wednesday morning
Trump’s motorcade arrived at the NY Attorney General’s office building Wednesday for the deposition
Trump waves and smirks toward bystanders and the press gathered for his departure for the deposition Wednesday. The New York civil probe, led by Attorney General Letitia James, involves allegations the Trump Organization misstated the value of prized assets like golf courses and skyscrapers, misleading lenders and tax authorities
James (pictured) alleges the Trump Organization exaggerated the value of its holdings to impress lenders or misstated what land was worth to slash its tax burden, pointing to annual financial statements given to banks to secure favorable loan terms and to financial magazines to justify Trump’s place among the world´s billionaires
Attorney General Letitia James openly campaigned on the policy of ‘Get and Destroy Trump.’ This political attack on me, my family, and my great company is her despicable attempt to fulfill that cynical, and very corrupt promise. 
James developed a political platform and made a career out of maliciously attacking me and my business before she was even elected, or reviewed one of the millions of pages of documents we willingly produced. 
She proclaimed, ‘I look forward to going into the Office of Attorney General every day, suing him. . . and then going home!’ She announced, ‘what is fueling my soul right now is Trump’, and that she had her ‘eyes on Trump Tower.’ She even assured her supporters in an Election promise that, ‘we’re going to definitely sue him. 
We’re going to be a real pain in the ass. He’s going to know my name personally’, and she claimed I was an ‘illegitimate President’. In her AG victory speech, she promised to ‘shine a bright light into every dark corner of Trump’s real estate holdings.’ 
Shortly thereafter, she vowed to ‘use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions, and that of his family as well.’ Letitia James is a failed politician who has intentionally colluded with others to carry out this phony years-long crusade that has wasted countless taxpayer dollars, all in an effort to prop up her political career. 
During her heated ‘Trump’ rhetoric, she ran for Governor of New York State, using ‘Getting Trump’ as her primary credential. 
It didn’t work, she got very low poll numbers, and ran back into the Office of Attorney General to continue the persecution of ‘President Donald J. Trump’, despite the fact that New York is suffering its worst murder, drug, and overall crime rate in many decades. 
Criminals are running rampant, shooting, slashing, and hurting people on the sidewalks of New York, while she and her Office spend a big percentage of their time and money on their ‘Trump’ vendetta. Letitia James openly stated her hostilities toward me, and a kind of retribution that is unthinkable. 
Years of work and tens of millions of dollars have been spent on this long simmering saga, and to no avail. James now realizes I built a great company with tremendous value, and her case is a ‘Scam’, which is why for years, they haven’t been able to file a single charge. What Letitia James has tried to do the last three years is a disgrace to the legal system, an affront to New York State taxpayers, and a violation of the solemn rights and protections afforded by the United States Constitution. 
I did nothing wrong, which is why, after five years of looking, the Federal, State and local governments, together with the Fake News Media, have found nothing. We cannot permit a renegade and out-of-control prosecutor to use this investigation as a means of advancing her political career. 
New York deserves better, and this Country deserves better. This is a vindictive and self-serving fishing expedition, the likes of which our Country has never seen before. The United States Constitution exists for this very purpose, and I will utilize it to the fullest extent to defend myself against this malicious attack by this administration, this Attorney General’s Office, and all other attacks on my family, my business, and our Country. 
I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?’ Now I know the answer to that question. 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. 
If there was any question in my mind, the raid of my home, Mar-a-Lago, on Monday by the FBI, just two days prior to this deposition, wiped out any uncertainty. I have absolutely no choice because the current Administration and many prosecutors in this Country have lost all moral and ethical bounds of decency. 
Accordingly, under the advice of my counsel and for all of the above reasons, I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution. 
Eric Trump also slammed James’ ploy to investigate the Trump family as a ‘coordinated attack’ that has revitalized Trump’s base and is helping the candidates he endorsed.
Joe Kent defeated Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, one of the 10 Republicans to vote to impeach, in the GOP primary in Washington state. 
Trump confirmed the upcoming under-path testimony in a Truth Social post late Tuesday evening in the long-running civil investigation into his real estate mogul business.
James’ investigation involves allegations that the former president’s company, the Trump Organization, misstated the value of prized assets like golf courses and skyscrapers, misleading lenders and tax authorities.
Trump lashed out at James, who is black, in his Tuesday night Truth post, saying she was ‘racist’ and the probe is the ‘greatest witch hunt in U.S. history. 
‘In New York City tonight. Seeing racist N.Y.S. Attorney General tomorrow, for a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in U.S. history!’ Trump wrote on Truth Social on Tuesday night, invoking his oft-repeated claims about James, who is Black, and the investigation. 
‘My great company, and myself, are being attacked from all sides,’ Trump added. ‘Banana Republic!’ 
Trump’s testimony comes amid a flurry of legal activity surrounding him, taking place just days after FBI agents searched his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida as part of an unrelated federal probe into whether he took classified records with him when he left the White House. 
The former president also lashed out at the Monday raid in a Wednesday Truth post, claiming that the agents wouldn’t allow his lawyers to observe the search and insisting it’s possible evidence was ‘planted’ in the raid.
Eric Trump told DailyMail.com that the FBI agents refused to hand over the search warrant and kicked an attorney off the property.
The former president’s son said the 30 agents who arrived at the property asked staff to turn security cameras off – but they refused.
He also said that his father’s attorney Christina Bobb was forced to stand at the end of the driveway while the team searched inside – and allegedly the agents used safe crackers to break into his father’s safe.
‘There’s 30 agents there,’ he recalled of the Monday search in a phone call with DailyMail.com. ‘They told our lawyer… you have to leave the property right now. Turn off all security cameras.’
‘They would not give her the search warrant,’ he claimed. ‘So they showed it to her from about 10 feet away. They would not give her a copy of the search warrant.’
Eric said he would be ‘thrilled’ to find out if there was a valid search warrant.
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Members of the Secret Service pictured gathered in the basement garage of the offices of Attorney General Letitia James, in Manhattan, New York as they awaited the arrival of Trump
The former president’s motorcade pictured arriving in the basement garage of the NY Attorney General’s office building
Trump was in New York Monday during the raid of his Mar-a-Lago estate as he prepared for the deposition. Pictured: Trump departs his residence in Manhattan on Wednesday morning for the New York Attorney General’s offices
‘It’s all a coordinated attack with the FBI,’ the former president’s son added, insisting the raid was approved by President Biden.
‘Do you think that the FBI director is going to raid the former president’s house, especially a house as you know, kind of world renowned as Mar Lago is in a place as public as Mar Lago is without getting the approval of President [Biden]?’ Eric questioned.
By not turning off the security cameras, Eric said they saw the FBI raiding areas of the property that they ‘shouldn’t have been.’
James’ deposition came at a critical point in the investigation into his business, and comes midway through a pivotal week in his post-presidency.
In May, James’ office said that it was nearing the end of its probe and that investigators had amassed substantial evidence that could support legal action, such as a lawsuit, against Trump, his company, or both.
The Republican billionaire’s deposition – a legal term for sworn testimony that’s not given in court – is one of the few remaining missing pieces, the attorney general’s office said.
Two of Trump’s adult children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, testified in the investigation in recent days, two people familiar with the matter said. The people were not authorized to speak publicly and did so on condition of anonymity.
Messages seeking comment were left with James’ office and with Trump’s lawyer. 
The Trumps’ testimony had initially been planned for last month but was delayed after the July 14 death of the former president’s ex-wife, Ivana Trump, the mother of Ivanka, Donald Jr. and another son, Eric Trump, who sat for a deposition in James’ investigation in 2020.
On Friday, the Trump Organization and its longtime finance chief, Allen Weisselberg, will be in court seeking dismissal of tax fraud charges brought against them last year in the Manhattan district attorney’s parallel criminal probe.
James, a Democrat, has said in court filings that her office has uncovered ‘significant’ evidence that Trump’s company ‘used fraudulent or misleading asset valuations to obtain a host of economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage, and tax deductions.’
James alleges the Trump Organization exaggerated the value of its holdings to impress lenders or misstated what land was worth to slash its tax burden, pointing to annual financial statements given to banks to secure favorable loan terms and to financial magazines to justify Trump’s place among the world´s billionaires.
The company even exaggerated the size of Trump’s Manhattan penthouse, saying it was nearly three times its actual size – a difference in value of about $200 million, James’ office said.
NYPD pictured outside of the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James this morning ahead of the grilling today
James alleges the Trump Organization exaggerated the value of its holdings to impress lenders or misstated what land was worth to slash its tax burden, pointing to annual financial statements given to banks to secure favorable loan terms and to financial magazines to justify Trump’s place among the world´s billionaires. Pictured: Trump Tower
Trump has denied the allegations, explaining that seeking the best valuations is a common practice in the real estate industry. He says James´ investigation is part of a politically motivated ‘witch hunt’ and that her office is ‘doing everything within their corrupt discretion to interfere with my business relationships, and with the political process.’
‘THERE IS NO CASE!’ Trump said in a February statement, after Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that James´ office had ‘the clear right’ to question Trump and other principals in his company.
While James has explored suing Trump or his company, the Manhattan district attorney´s office has long pursued a parallel criminal investigation.
That probe had appeared to be progressing toward a possible criminal indictment, but slowed after a new district attorney, Alvin Bragg, took office in January.
A grand jury that had been hearing evidence disbanded. The top prosecutor who had been handling the probe resigned after Bragg raised questions internally about the viability of the case.
Bragg has said his investigation is continuing, which means that Trump could invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and decline to answer questions from James´ investigators.
According to the subpoena issued by James´ office, Trump was to appear in person at the attorney general´s office, located in a Manhattan office tower that has doubled as the fictional conglomerate Waystar Royco´s headquarters on HBO´s ‘Succession.’
As vociferous as Trump has been in defending himself in written statements and on the rally stage, legal experts say the same strategy could backfire in a deposition setting because anything he says could potentially be used against him or his company in the criminal investigation. No former president has even been charged with a crime.
In fighting to block the subpoenas, lawyers for the Trumps argued New York authorities were using the civil investigation to get information for the criminal probe and that the depositions were a ploy to avoid calling them before a criminal grand jury, where state law requires they be given immunity.
Last summer, spurred by evidence uncovered by James´ office, Manhattan prosecutors filed charges against Weisselberg and the Trump Organization. Prosecutors said Weisselberg collected more than $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation.
Weisselberg and the company have pleaded not guilty.
Weisselberg and Eric Trump each invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 500 times when questioned by James´ lawyers during separate depositions in 2020, according to court papers.
That could be a successful strategy, since Trump is known as more of a ‘big-picture guy’ Gillers said. ‘So he´ll answer the big-picture questions and those answers will be general enough to keep him out of trouble, or so his lawyers will hope.’
Once her investigation wraps up, James could decide to bring a lawsuit and seek financial penalties against Trump or his company, or even a ban on them being involved in certain types of businesses.
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group

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