Video Of Trump In New York Fraud Probe Shows Him Taking Fifth Over And Over

Donald Trump taking Fifth

Former President Donald Trump

The New York Attorney General’s office has released a new video that shows former President Trump repeatedly dodging questions by pleading the Fifth Amendment at his deposition last August in an ongoing $250 million civil fraud lawsuit against him and his beleaguered company, the Trump Organization.

CBS News obtained and published the 37-minute-long video Tuesday after it became public under New York state’s Freedom of Information law, showing a stony-faced Trump — fresh off decrying the FBI’s search of his Mar-a-Lago club for stolen classified documents — delay accountability by invoking the privilege against self-incrimination hundreds of times, on the advice of his counsel.

The video opens with Trump answering New York Attorney General Letitia James’ preliminary questions, after which he read a prepared statement that branded the investigation a “witch hunt” — a label he’s attached to the many probes into his affairs — and assailed James, his former attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen, and the FBI.

“This is a vindictive and self-serving fishing expedition, the likes of which this country has perhaps never seen before,” Trump said, blasting the then-criminal probe into his company.

Then, Trump defended his decision to invoke the Fifth Amendment after suggesting in the past that an innocent party wouldn’t need to, saying that this “politically motivated witch hunt, supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and even the fake news media” had left him no choice.

“Anyone in this position not taking the Fifth Amendment,” Trump said, “would be a fool, an absolute fool.”

After the defeated president wrapped up his unhinged opening statement, which lasted nearly seven minutes, the senior counsel of James’ office, Kevin Wallace, began the questioning.

"For all of the reasons provided in my answer [the opening statement], which is incorporated herein — in its entirety — I decline to answer the question," Trump responded to the first few questions at the behest of his counsel. However, to save time, Wallace permitted Trump to say “same answer” if he intended to invoke the Fifth.

According to CNN, Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment right over 400 times during the August 10, 2022, deposition, declining even to answer a question noting he had decided not to answer questions.

“Same answer,” Trump replied to questions about the Trump Organization, its financial statements, the people running the company, and other questions that followed in the deposition, all the while sporting an indifferent facial expression.

Video of Trump deposition in New York fraud investigation released | full

After the deposition, Trump boasted in a statement he had “declined to answer the questions” because he “did nothing wrong," citing the search of his Florida club and resort as a development that left him “no choice” but to plead the fifth.

In late September, over a month after the deposition, James sued Trump, his organization, and its executives, including three of Trump’s children — Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump — for “years of financial fraud” on a “staggering” scale. The twice-impeached president, James’ office alleged, inflated his net worth to the tune of billions of dollars “to further enrich Himself and cheat the system.”

Last month, Trump dropped two lawsuits, one in Florida and the other in New York, seeking to stonewall James’ investigation after Florida judge Donald Middlebrooks fined Trump and his attorneys $937,989 for filing a frivolous lawsuit against the former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton.

In a court filing Tuesday, James accused Trump and his adult offspring of lying in their court responses to her civil case seeking $250 million in damages, to bar the embattled Trumps from serving as executives in New York-based business entities, and to ban the Trump Organization from receiving loans or real estate from financial institutions in New York for five years.

"Defendants falsely deny facts they have admitted in other proceedings, they deny knowledge sufficient to respond to factual allegations that are plainly within their knowledge, and they propound affirmative defenses that have been repeatedly rejected by this Court as frivolous and without merit," the filing read.

The filing stated that James will ask Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron, who threatened in early January to sanction Trump for recycling allegations he ruled frivolous, to “sanction Defendants and their counsel.”


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the new video released by the New York Attorney General's office?

The New York Attorney General’s office has released a 37-minute-long video of former President Trump's deposition in an ongoing $250 million civil fraud lawsuit against him and his company, the Trump Organization. The video shows Trump repeatedly pleading with the Fifth Amendment to avoid answering questions.

Why did Trump invoke the Fifth Amendment?

Trump invoked the Fifth Amendment to protect himself from self-incrimination. He stated in the video that the ongoing investigation was a "politically motivated witch hunt" and that anyone in his position not taking the Fifth Amendment would be a fool.

What was the outcome of the deposition?

After the deposition, the New York Attorney General's office sued Trump, his organization, and its executives for "years of financial fraud." In a court filing, the Attorney General accused Trump and his adult offspring of lying in their court responses to her civil case. She also asked the judge to sanction the defendants and their counsel.


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Chip Roy
Reps. Chip Roy

House Republicans are determined to pass funding bills that have no chance of becoming law as the U.S. Senate seeks a bipartisan agreement to avert a government shutdown.

Keep reading...Show less
Angry Trump Hints Anti-Abortion Movement Is A Grift

Former President Donald Trump

Photo by quapan licensed under CC BY 2.0

Donald Trump cannot stop blundering on his abortion stance.

Keep reading...Show less
{{ }}