To avoid incriminating himself, the former President refused to answer 97 questions from investigators probing his business affairs.
Trump says he declined to answer questions in NY civil investigation
Donald Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination as he testified under oath Wednesday in the New York attorney general’s long-running civil investigation into his business dealings, the former president said in a statement.
Trump arrived at Attorney General Letitia James’ Manhattan offices in a motorcade shortly before 9am, before announcing more than an hour later that he “declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution.”
“I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?’ Now I know the answer to that question,” the statement said. “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.”
As vociferous as Trump has been in defending himself in written statements and on the rally stage, legal experts said answering questions in a deposition was risky because anything he said could potentially be used against him in a parallel criminal investigation by the Manhattan district attorney. The Fifth Amendment protects people from being compelled to be witnesses against themselves in a criminal case.