Trump refuses to answer questions in court case over his family's business practices

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Former US President Donald Trump.
Former US President Donald Trump.
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  • Donald Trump has refused to answer questions during a civil court case into his family's business practices.
  • The case centres around whether Trump Organisation inflated real estate values. 
  • His children, Donald Jr and Ivanka, are also part of the case.


Former US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he declined to answer questions during an appearance before the New York state attorney general in a civil investigation into his family's business practices.

"I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution," Trump said in a statement.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James is looking into whether the Trump Organisation inflated real estate values. Trump and two of his adult children, Donald Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump, fought to avoid testifying but lost. Trump raised his fist as he left Trump Tower on Wednesday morning, wearing a blue suit with a flag pin on his lapel.

Late on Tuesday, Trump said in a posting on his app Truth Social that he would see the New York attorney general on Wednesday. A source also told Reuters that Trump is scheduled to testify in the probe on Wednesday. Trump's children already have been questioned, the source said.

READ | Trump says Florida home 'under siege' from FBI

The deposition will not be public.

A spokesperson for James has declined to comment. A lawyer for Trump did not respond to requests for comment.

James has said her investigation uncovered significant evidence that the Trump Organisation, which manages hotels, golf courses and other real estate, overstated asset values to obtain favorable loans and understated the values to get tax breaks.

Trump has denied wrongdoing and called the New York investigation politically motivated. James is a Democrat.

Separately, the FBI searched Trump's Florida estate on Monday, an escalation of the federal investigation into whether he illegally removed records from the White House as he was leaving office in January 2021.

Trump has been flirting publicly with the question of running again for president in 2024 but has not said clearly whether he will do so.

The warrant to search Trump's Florida estate relates to the National Archives and Records Administration, which is charged with safeguarding presidential records that belong to the public, and whether there were classified documents at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Trump has had to deal with a slew of legal troubles since he left office, after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in an unsuccessful bid to overturn his election loss. Trump continues to claim falsely that the election was stolen through widespread voting fraud.


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