Former President Trump refuses to answer questions in the civil investigation into potentially fraudulent and deceptive practices in his family business, the Trump Organization. The former president had to testify under oath in New York today, but invoked the Fifth Amendment, the right not to have to make a statement.
The investigation revolves around whether Trump and his family have exaggerated the value of their property. That way, they would have been able to take out higher loans and received tax breaks. Trump denies the allegations.
In a statement, the former president explains why he did not want to answer the Attorney General‘s questions. “I once wondered why innocent people invoke the Fifth Amendment, but now I know the answer,” he writes. In his own words, he had no other choice, because he feels that his family and business have become the target of an “unfounded, politically motivated witch hunt”.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son Donald junior have already testified in recent weeks in the civil case, which has been filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James. Because the testimonies are behind closed doors, what they said has not been made public.
the same time as the civil proceedings, a criminal investigation is underway into the Trump Organization. US media write that anything Trump would have said in the civil case could possibly have been used against him in the criminal case.
Before the former president had to testify today, he spoke of “the largest witch hunt” in the history of the United States. “My great company and myself are being attacked from all sides,” he reported on his own social medium Truth Social.
On Monday, the FBI raided Trump‘s villa in Mar-a-Lago, Florida for a search. According to the National Archives, the former president unlawfully brought confidential government documents after leaving the White House. The raid is therefore separate from the civil suit against the Trump Organization.
Watch the footage of the raid:
More investigations and cases against Trump are ongoing. According to the news site Business Insider, there are at least twelve. In addition to the fraud case and the investigation into government documents, it includes an investigation into Trump’s role in the storming of the Capitol.