Former President Donald Trump will testify in New York on Thursday in the $250 million civil lawsuit filed by Attorney General Letitia James alleging fraud in his real estate business practices.
The former president tweeted overnight that he had arrived in Manhattan for the deposition, which he called «another ridiculous and unfair persecution of the 45th President of the United States.»
Two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said the statement would be made in the morning.
Trump previously sat down for a statement at the attorney general’s office in August, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination more than 400 times. The trial is set for October.
Trump’s appearance in New York comes after he pleaded not guilty last week to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to his role in hush money payments toward the end of his 2016 presidential campaign in a case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Separately, James filed a lawsuit last September against Trump, his three oldest children and the Trump Organization in connection with his office’s years-long civil investigation into the company’s business practices.
The lawsuit accused Trump of making efforts to inflate his personal net worth to attract favorable loan agreements and alleges more than 200 cases of fraud over 10 years.
James seeks to permanently bar the Trump family from serving as officers of New York-based companies and prevent Trump and his firm from making commercial real estate acquisitions in the state for five years. She is also seeking around $250 million in fines.
In March, Trump requested that a judge extend the deadline for discovery of facts to the end of September and for discovery of expert witnesses to December, arguing that the deadline set for completing that process, March 20, was unfair and unrealistic given the «staggering» amount. of evidence that Trump’s legal team had to review from James’ office.
However, last month, James urged the court to reject Trump’s attempt to delay the case, saying he fears Trump will use his 2024 presidential bid as an excuse to try to postpone the trial.
Judge Arthur Engoron remains committed to an October 2 trial date, but recently agreed to shift some pretrial deadlines to allow attorneys more time to review evidence, interview witnesses and file motions, The Associated Press reported.
The Associated Press contributed.