What to Know
- New York State Attorney General Letitia James has asked to take the deposition of former President Donald Trump on Jan. 7, 2022 in New York, a source said.
- This deposition would be part of the civil investigation into whether the Trump organization committed fraud in reporting the value of certain properties to banks and tax authorities.
- James is looking into whether to file a civil suit.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James has asked to take the deposition of former President Donald Trump on Jan. 7, 2022 in New York as part of a civil probe into possible fraud by the Trump Organization, a source told NBC 4 New York on Thursday.
This deposition would be part of the civil investigation into whether the Trump Organization committed fraud in reporting the value of certain properties to banks and tax authorities. James is looking into whether to file a civil suit.
This matter is separate from the ongoing criminal investigation headed by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance into the Trump Organization and whether officials there engaged in any tax fraud schemes. The organization's chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, has been charged, along with two Trump related-businesses.
Weisselberg has pleaded not guilty to charges he collected more than $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation, including apartment rent, car payments and school tuition.
Trump’s company is also charged in the case, which prosecutors have described as a “sweeping and audacious” tax fraud scheme.
To date, Trump himself has not been charged with any wrongdoing -- although the investigation is ongoing. He has condemned the case, the first to arise from New York authorities’ two-year investigation into the former president’s business dealings, as a “political Witch Hunt.”
In a statement Thursday, Ronald Fischetti, Trump's attorney, said the move wsa "purely political."
“I’m not surprised this is absolutely political….purely political what Tish James has been doing all along working hand in hand with the District Attorney and doing things the DA can’t do," he said. "This has politicized the whole investigation and Mr. Trump is right when he says this is a witch hunt. They have been investigating this for three years. We are not concerned about it because he has done nothing wrong. We will wait until we see what they show us in their subpoena and we will respond with our motions. This is purely political and he has done nothing wrong and we are not surprised at all.”
Subsequently, Fischetti said he received a subpoena for Trump to testify Jan. 7 under oath as part of a civil probe into property valuations. He said he will be moving to squash the subpoena under the notion that the attorney general can’t wear two hats at same time: in this case run a civil investigation and help in a criminal one. According to Fischetti, he will go to court and is confident they will win to stay the civil deposition after the criminal investigation.