Jan 19, 2022
Former President Donald Trump's son Eric Trump invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 500 times over the course of a six-hour deposition to avoid answering questions as part of New York Attorney General Letitia James' ongoing civil probe of the Trump Organization.
"No one in this country can pick and choose if and how the law applies to them."
That detail was made public late Tuesday as part of a 115-page filing that James submitted to the Supreme Court of New York in an effort to compel Donald Trump, his eldest son Donald Trump Jr., and his daughter Ivanka Trump to testify under oath as part of the investigation, which began in 2019.
The new legal document outlines James' case that Trump and his family business "falsely and fraudulently valued multiple assets and misrepresented those values to financial institutions for economic benefit."
\u201cN.Y. Attorney General @NewYorkStateAG lays out pattern of illegality and fraud at the corporation at the beating heart of Trump's power, the Trump Organization. \n\nhttps://t.co/8267RTbEcp\u201d— Zephyr Teachout (@Zephyr Teachout) 1642595991
The former president, who is widely expected to run for the White House again in 2024, has refused to cooperate with--and attempted to quash--a subpoena from James seeking his sworn testimony.
"For more than two years, the Trump Organization has used delay tactics and litigation in an attempt to thwart a legitimate investigation into its financial dealings," James said in a statement Tuesday. "The Trumps must comply with our lawful subpoenas for documents and testimony because no one in this country can pick and choose if and how the law applies to them."
"We will not be deterred in our efforts to continue this investigation and ensure that no one is above the law," she added.
Eric Trump, who has served as an officer at the Trump Organization, was deposed by the New York attorney general's office in October 2020.
A month earlier, longtime Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg sat for his sworn testimony to James' office. During the five-and-a-half-hour deposition, Weisselberg "invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to more than 500 questions," the new filing states.
On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump infamously suggested that only guilty people invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid answering questions.
"The mob takes the Fifth," Trump declared.
As the New York Timesobserved Tuesday, the latest development in the James investigation came as the Trump Organization "is already under indictment in Manhattan."
"In July, the former Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., charged the company and Mr. Weisselberg with carrying out a 15-year scheme to dole out off-the-books luxury perks to certain executives," the Times noted. "That case is scheduled to head to trial later this year."
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