Former President Donald Trump came Wednesday morning for a planned deposition as part of the New York attorney general’s civil probe into his family’s real estate company.
In New York City, he was observed arriving to the attorney general’s office about 9:00 a.m. local time.
In a statement emailed to reporters around an hour and a half later, Trump said he had used his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.
“Under the advice of my counsel … I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution,” he said in a statement that also contained extensive criticisms of the inquiry conducted by the state attorney general.
The deposition in the civil action in New York followed an intensification of the federal inquiry into Trump’s handling of secret information. Monday, the FBI conducted a search of Trump’s Palm Beach, Florida, property.
The hearing on Wednesday, which had been postponed since July due to the death of Trump’s ex-wife Ivana, comes after a months-long court battle in which Trump was found in contempt for resisting the attorney general’s subpoena.
Trump has denied any misconduct and said that the inquiry is driven by politics.
When reached by ABC News, a representative for New York Attorney General Letitia James declined to comment.
Trump himself seemed to corroborate his deposition in a tweet on Truth Social, his social media platform “In New York City tonight. Seeing racist N.Y.S. Attorney General tomorrow, for a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in U.S. history! My great company, and myself, are being attacked from all sides. Banana Republic!”
According to the sources, two of the former president’s adult children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, have already been deposed as part of the civil investigation.
Trump unsuccessfully contended that he should not be required to give a deposition while the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office conducted a parallel criminal probe. Two top prosecutors who had been overseeing the Manhattan DA’s investigation resigned earlier this year due to the absence of an indictment.
James has stated that her agency has discovered evidence of possibly fraudulent behavior in the manner in which the Trump Organization assessed its real estate holdings when requesting loans and tax advantages.
Her office’s attorneys have stated in court that a decision on an enforcement action is imminent.