Former US President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he refused to answer questions while appearing under oath as part of a civil investigation by the New York state attorney general into alleged fraud in his family’s business.
“I declined to answer questions under the rights and privileges granted to all citizens by the Constitution of the United States,” Trump said in a statement. “When your family, your company and everyone around you have become the target of an unfounded and politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by fake lawyers, prosecutors and media, you have no other choice,” he added.
New York Attorney General Letitia James is investigating whether the Trump Organization inflated real estate values. Trump and two of his adult children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, fought to avoid testifying but lost.
Trump raised his fist as he left Trump Tower Wednesday morning, wearing a blue suit with a flag lapel pin.
Late Tuesday, Trump said in a post on his Truth Social app that he would see the New York attorney general on Wednesday. Trump’s children have already testified, a source told Reuters.
“In New York City tonight. Watching the racist New York Attorney General tomorrow, for the continuation of the largest Witch Hunt in American history! My great company, and myself, are being attacked by everywhere. Banana Republic!” Trump said in a post on Truth Social late Tuesday.
James said his investigation uncovered significant evidence that the Trump Organization, which manages hotels, golf courses and other real estate, overstated asset values to obtain favorable loans and understated values to obtain tax breaks.
Trump denies wrongdoing and called the New York investigation political. James is a Democrat.
Separately, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) searched Trump’s property in Florida on Monday, an escalation of the federal investigation into whether the former president illegally removed records from the White House when he left office in January 2021.
With information from AFP and Reuters