Donald Trump arrived Wednesday morning for his long-awaited deposition in the NY attorney general's 3-year probe of his business




  • In Politics
  • 2022-08-10 13:18:00Z
  • By Business Insider
Former president Donald Trump waves as he leaves Trump Tower on Manhattan
Former president Donald Trump waves as he leaves Trump Tower on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue on Aug. 10, 2022 en route to be deposed by NY Attorney General Letitia James in her lower Manhattan offices.  
  • Trump is the key witness in the NY Attorney General's three-year probe into the Trump Organization.

  • He arrived Wednesday morning at the AG's Manhattan offices for a closed-door deposition.

  • AG Letitia James has signaled she will sue Trump over millions of dollars in allegedly ill-gotten loans and tax breaks.

Donald Trump arrived Wednesday morning for his long-delayed, court-ordered deposition in New York Attorney General Letitia James' three-year probe of the Trump Organization.

Trump arrived just before 9 a.m. at the attorney general's New York City headquarters in a skyscraper on Liberty Street in lower Manhattan.

He entered the building's underground parking garage inside one of three black SUVs in a small motorcade of Secret Service and NYPD vehicles.

James has insisted that Trump be deposed in-person and that he show up at her offices like any other target in one of her investigations, a source involved in the matter told Insider.

Deposing Trump in person is a smart move, according to one of the only other lawyers to depose the former president in recent years.

"Body language, eye contact, facial expressions get lost if you're doing it remote," said the lawyer, Benjamin Dictor, who deposed Trump in October at Trump Tower as a lawyer for four Mexican-Americans who have sued Trump for allegedly siccing security on them during a 2015 protest outside Trump Tower.

"I would say that's particularly the case with Mr. Trump," added Dictor.

"In my experience examining him, it was important to be able to pick up on small cues - small tells - in the examination that I think would have been difficult to pick up had we done the examination remotely."

An in-person deposition also allows a lawyer to make sure the deponent is not somehow being fed answers, Dictor pointed out.

"And when you need to show them a document, it can be physically just handed across the conference table," he said.

Investigators for James' office have waited all year to ask the former president under oath about alleged financial wrongdoing at his Manhattan-based real estate and golf resort empire.

Her office had issued its original subpoena in December, setting a January 7 date to question the former president on what she has alleged is a decade-long pattern of misstating the value of Trump Organization properties on financial documents. James alleges these inflated or deflated valuations were used by Trump to win hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks and bank loans.

Trump's lawyers fought the December subpoena for more than six months, losing in both state Supreme Court and in the First Department Appellate Division, both in Manhattan.

As a result of those court losses, the former president and his eldest son and daughter - Donald Trump, Jr. and Ivanka Trump - agreed to sit for depositions on July 20, 21, and 22.

But those dates were rescheduled with the AG's consent due to Ivana Trump's death on July 14.

Donald Trump, Jr. and Ivanka Trump - both of whom who have served as Trump Organization executive vice presidents - sat for their depositions in the last week.

Their brother Eric Trump, also a vice president for the company, invoked his 5th Amendment right more than 500 times when he sat for a James deposition in October 2020.

The deposition is taking place a dozen blocks south of Manhattan's main criminal courthouse.

A week from this Friday, lawyers for the Trump Organization and for former Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg are scheduled to appear at a pre-trial hearing at the courthouse.

A judge has promised to set a trial date for the Trump Organization and Weisselberg to stand trial in an alleged decade-long payroll tax scheme.

 

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