Donald Trump had pleaded the fifth and is refusing to answer any questions regarding his business dealings. This all comes during the FBI’s raid of his Mar-a-Lago estate.
The former president testified under oath Wednesday and used his Fifth Amendment as protection against self-incrimination. After arriving at Attorney General Letitia James’ Manhattan office, he announced an hour later how he denied answering any questions in the long-running civil investigation.
Indeed, this is just the beginning of what seems to be a long journey for the former president.
The statement said, “I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?’ Now I know the answer to that question. 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.”
Legal experts advised Trump that answering questions in the attorney general’s office was “risky” and could be used against him in a “parallel criminal investigation.” Therefore Trump cited his refusal to answer any questions as “the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution” (Fifth Amendment).
AP News reports, “The Fifth Amendment protects people from being compelled to be witnesses against themselves in a criminal case.”
Though this is shocking news, this isn’t the first time Trump has used his Fifth Amendment right. In 1990, he invoked his right to avoid answering 97 questions regarding a divorce deposition.
The former president is in some legal heat right now. The FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago estate on suspicions of him obtaining classified records after leaving the White House. In other Trump news, the January 6 hearings continue after the riots at Capitol Hill are still being investigated and whether Trump had his hands in the chaotic day of history.
The New York investigation led by James’ office claims that Trump’s company, Trump Organization, “misled lenders and tax authorities about the value of prized assets like golf courses and skyscrapers,” which has led to his civil investigation.
James said in a court filing that her office had discovered some “significant” evidence suggesting Trump is guilty.
Once the investigation wraps, James can seek financial penalties and bring a lawsuit against Trump, banning him and his company from being involved in certain businesses.
So far, two of Trump’s adult children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, have testified, though it’s unknown if they also invoked their Fifth Amendment.
Trump has denied all allegations about his real estate industry and called James racist in pursuing the investigation.