ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Former President, Donald Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment rights today at a deposition issued by New York State Attorney General, Tish James. The deposition is part of James’ three-year investigation into Trump’s real estate properties. Capitol Correspondent, Amal Tlaige spoke with an attorney to get the inside scoop on all things legal.
“The fifth amendment is a very tricky thing meaning that attorneys have a way of asking a question that if you claim the fifth you kind of answer the question by pleading the Fifth,” said Majorie Mesidor, a Partner at Phillips & Associates. She says a deposition is part of the discovery process where both sides can get the facts and it can be quite lengthy. Just last week Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. sat for their depositions as part of the investigation.
President Trump posted to Truth Social today saying Tish James is disgracing the legal system and New York taxpayers. He went on to say in a statement: “I once asked, ‘if you’re innocent, why take your fifth amendment right? Now I know the answer to that question. When your family, your company and all the people in your orbit have become targets of an unfounded, politically motivated Witch Hunt… you have no choice.”
The investigation began back in 2019, after Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, told Congress that Trump’s annual financial statements inflated his assets to gain favor for loans and insurance coverage. Cohen also said Trump deflated the value of other assets to reduce real estate taxes. AG James said this was done to win hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks and bank loans.
Attorney Mesidor says the process for this trial could be lengthy and nuanced, “I think that we are gonna be geared up with a lot of these constitutional nuances not only as his position as a pirate citizen now, but also whether or not he’d be able to invoke any level of executive privilege for the things that he did while he had the office of president,” she said. Capitol Correspondent Amal Tlaige reached out to the attorney generals office for comment, but did not hear back.