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Trump due back in NY for questioning in AG’s fraud lawsuit

April 11, 2023 Michael R. Sisak, Associated Press
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Donald Trump is scheduled to return to New York for a deposition Thursday in a business fraud lawsuit filed against him and his company by the state’s attorney general, according to a person familiar with the matter.

It will be the former president’s first trip to New York City since his arraignment last week on felony charges in a separate criminal case involving hush-money payments made during the 2016 campaign to bury claims of extramarital sexual encounters that Trump says never happened.

Trump is expected to face questioning at New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office in lower Manhattan, according to the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter and did so on condition of anonymity.

Trump previously sat for a deposition at James’ office last August, just weeks before she filed the lawsuit. That time, Trump declined to answer questions, invoking his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination more than 400 times.

Trump said he did so because he believed the investigation was part of a “politically motivated Witch Hunt.”

Messages seeking comment were left with Trump’s lawyers and the state attorney general’s office. A Trump spokesperson did not immediately respond to questions Monday evening about his plans.

James’ lawsuit alleges Trump and his company, the Trump Organization, misled banks and others, in part by providing them with annual financial statements that misstated the value of prized assets, including golf courses and hotels bearing his name.

James, a Democrat, is seeking $250 million and a ban on Trump, a Republican, doing business in the state.

The judge in the case, Arthur Engoron, remains committed to a Oct. 2 trial date, but agreed recently to move some pretrial deadlines to allow lawyers more time to review evidence, interview witnesses and file motions. Trump’s deposition is part of that process.

Engoron has scheduled a hearing for April 21 to resolve a dispute over the scheduling of a deposition for Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen.

“This case is complex, but it is not complicated. Essentially, it all boils down to whether (Trump’s) statements of financial interest are true or false,” Engoron said at a March 21 hearing.

This week’s deposition and the ongoing civil and criminal cases aren’t the only legal troubles Trump is facing in New York.

A federal judge on Monday issued an order asking if Trump plans to attend a trial this month in a civil lawsuit resulting from columnist E. Jean Carroll’s claims that he raped her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s. The trial is scheduled to start April 25 in Manhattan federal court.

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