Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he refused to answer questions at a deposition by investigators for the New York attorney general as part of a civil investigation into his business.
Trump made that announcement shortly after he arrived for his scheduled interview under oath at the offices of AG Letitia James in New York City.
“I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?’ Now I know the answer to that question,” Trump said in a furious statement that railed against James as a renegade prosecutor with a vendetta against him.
“When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded, politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and the Fake News Media, you have no choice,” Trump said.
“Accordingly, under the advice of my counsel and for all of the above reasons, I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution,” he said.
Trump’s refusal to answer questions came two days after the FBI, in an unrelated criminal investigation, searched his resort home Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. The search was related to a investigation into whether laws were broken when boxes of White House records — which included some documents marked as classified — ended up at Mar-a-Lago instead of the National Archives, NBC News and other outlets reported.