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Donald Trump came for questioning to the New York prosecutor, but never said anything to her.


Nadezhda Verbitskaya

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The 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, invoked his rights under the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution and refused to answer questions from the New York Attorney General during his testimony on August 10, reports CNN Politics.

“On the advice of my lawyer… I refused to answer questions in accordance with the rights and privileges granted to every citizen under the United States Constitution,” Trump said in a statement.

Trump was invited to testify by lawyers from the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James as part of more than a three-year civil investigation. It aims to find out whether the Trump Organization misled creditors, insurers and tax authorities by providing fictitious financial statements.

Trump wrote in a Truth Social post on Wednesday morning that he would be seeing James for the continuation of the greatest “witch hunt” in US history!

“My wonderful company and myself are under attack from all sides. Banana republic!" - said the politician.

Trump was seen leaving Trump Tower in New York on the morning of August 10. And shortly thereafter, his cortege arrived at the New York Attorney General's office.

It's been a tough week for Trump. 8 August FBI raids Mar-a-Lago, Trump's primary residence in Florida. On Aug. 9, a federal appeals court dismissed his long-standing efforts to prevent a House committee from obtaining his tax returns.

Some of Trump's lawyers have argued for him to answer questions from James. After all, he had previously testified about his financial statements under oath. Even though others have warned him against providing any answers due to the potential legal danger he may face.

On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump suggested that refusing to answer questions was a sign of guilt. During a campaign rally in Iowa in 2016, Trump said: “If you are innocent, why are you resorting to the Fifth Amendment?” Then this remark did not concern him, but another politician. But on August 10, 2022, Trump changed his mind and said that he “now knows the answer to the question of why the innocent should resort to the 5th Amendment.”

He condemned James's investigation, once again emphasizing his innocence.

“When your family, your company, and everyone around you is the target of an unwarranted, politically motivated witch hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and fake news media, you have no choice,” Trump said.

The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution states that the government cannot force a person to provide information that could be incriminating against himself. When a person refuses to answer a question, he or she exercises this right. This is not an admission of guilt. “No person shall ... be compelled in any criminal proceeding to be a witness against himself,” states the Fifth Amendment.

Investigation and previous testimony

In January, James's office said it found evidence that the Trump Organization used false or misleading asset estimates in its financial statements to obtain loans, insurance and tax credits. The Attorney General's civil investigation is drawing to a close. And soon a decision on enforcement may be made.

Trump's invitation to testify follows his failed attempt to block subpoenas for him and his children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump. Ivanka testified last week. And Trump Jr. - at the end of July.

Donald Trump Jr., who runs the Trump Organization with his brother Eric, and Ivanka Trump did not use the Fifth Amendment and were answering questions from the state's attorney. It is not clear what exactly they were asked about or what they said. Their decision runs counter to Eric Trump and former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, who have invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 500 times.

On the subject: Two New Yorkers used Trump photo in $27 million investment scam

Legal risks for Trump

This testimony poses significant legal risks for the Trumps. If James goes to trial, the jury could draw an unfavorable conclusion against him for not answering questions. And that could lead to a harsher sentence against him if found guilty.

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