Trump answers questions for 7 hours in New York fraud lawsuit

Former US president blasts civil case as ‘ridiculous’ ahead of hours-long deposition.

Former US President Donald Trump has claimed the criminal and civil cases against him are a political witch hunt [File: Seth Wenig/AP]

Former United States President Donald Trump spent nearly seven hours answering questions in a New York lawsuit that accuses him and three of his children of fraud, according to his lawyer.

Trump’s deposition on Thursday came a week after the former president’s historic indictment in an unrelated criminal case regarding hush payments to adult actress Stormy Daniels.

New York Attorney General Letitia James has accused the former president, Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump of lying to tax authorities, lenders and insurers for years as part of an “incredible” fraud at the Trump Organization.

Trump arrived at James’s office before 10:00am (14:00 GMT) for the deposition, which was conducted in private, and returned to Trump Tower, his New York residence and headquarters of the Trump Organization, a little after 6:30pm (10:30 GMT).

Trump previously attended James’s office in August, during which he refused to answer most questions and invoked his right to silence several hundred times.

Christopher Kise, a lawyer for Trump’s businesses, said the former president spent nearly seven hours answering questions about his “extraordinary business success” and that “everyone will scoff at the notion any fraud took place” once the facts are out in the open.

Ahead of his testimony, Trump, who is facing a slew of civil and criminal investigations, described the lawsuit as “another unjust & ridiculous persecution”.

“This civil case is ridiculous, just like all of the other Election Interference cases being brought against me,” Trump wrote on his social media site Truth Social.

James’s lawsuit alleges that the Trump family routinely misstated the value of the Trump Organization’s properties for their own enrichment.

Trump last week pleaded not guilty to 34 felony charges related to hush money payments made during his successful run for president in 2016.

Republicans have condemned the hush-money case as a politically-motivated effort by Manhattan’s District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, to derail Trump’s candidacy for the 2024 presidential election.

Trump is also under investigation over his bid to overturn the results of the 2020 election, the alleged mishandling of classified documents and his involvement in the January 6 riot at the US Capital.

He is also facing a civil lawsuit filed by E Jean Carroll, a former magazine columnist who has accused Trump of defamation and sexual assault.

Source: News Agencies