Former United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday refused to answer any question by invoking the Fifth Amendment during the New York Attorney General’s investigation into his business dealings, The New York Times reported.
The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees individuals the right to refuse to answer questions in order to avoid incriminating themselves.
“I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution,” Trump said in a statement after arriving at New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office in the Manhattan area, according to Reuters.
James has been conducting a civil investigation into Trump and his family business. The former president’s company – The Trump Organization – is accused of fraudulently inflating the value of his properties to mislead lenders and tax authorities.
The former president’s deposition comes two days after the Federal Bureau of Investigation searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida’s Palm Beach. The raid was part of an investigation into whether Trump took classified records from the White House in 2021.
Meanwhile, Trump alleged that the investigation by the attorney general was politically motivated.
“If there was any question in my mind, the raid of my home, Mar-a-Lago, on Monday by the FBI, just two days prior to this deposition, wiped out any uncertainty,” he said, according to Reuters. “I have absolutely no choice because the current administration and many prosecutors in this country have lost all moral and ethical bounds of decency.”
He added: “I did nothing wrong, which is why, after five years of looking, the Federal, State and local governments, together with the fake news media, have found nothing.”