Heard in New York for alleged tax evasion, Trump has remained silent
Donald Trump remained silent on Wednesday during a six-hour sworn hearing with the New York Attorney General who suspects him of financial fraud within his Trump Organization group, in the midst of a political storm after a spectacular FBI search at his Florida home. .
The former president of the United States has been targeted since 2019 with two of his children – Ivanka and Donald Jr – by a civil investigation by the highest magistrate of New York State, Letitia James.
He was heard by Ms. James and her team in Manhattan from 1:00 p.m. GMT to 7:00 p.m. GMT, but he announced in a press release at the start of the hearing that he had invoked the famous 5th amendment to the American Constitution, which allows any litigant to do not testify against yourself.
The magistrate, an elected Democrat, confirmed this in a brief statement after her face-to-face meeting with the Republican billionaire and assured that she “will pursue the facts (and the application) of the law, wherever that leads. “.
– “Our investigations continue” –
“Our investigations are continuing,” promised Ms. James, who has been insisting for three years that “no one is above the law” in the United States.
On the contrary, in his press release, the 45th American president once again presented himself as the victim of a “witch hunt” and claimed to have “refused to answer questions” under the Constitution.
At the end of the hearing, the businessman spoke on his social network Truth Social of a “very professional meeting”. “I have a fantastic business with great assets, very little debt and lots of CASH. It only happens in America!” he added.
As soon as he entered Mrs James’s, he had made fun of her “lavish, magnificent and expensive office (…), beautiful working conditions while people are being killed in New York and she devotes her time and his efforts to try +to catch Trump+”.
And when he arrived in New York on Tuesday evening, he even accused the African-American prosecutor of being “racist”, claiming to be, with his family and the Trump Organization, the target of “attacks from all sides” in a “Republic banana” governed by Democrat Joe Biden.
This hearing of Donald Trump — who left office on January 20, 2021 without acknowledging Joe Biden’s victory and who openly flirts with the idea of running again in 2024 — had been requested by Ms. James for months and had been fixed. to July 15. But the death of Donald Trump’s first wife, Ivana, had further postponed the event.
According to CNN, Ivanka and Donald Jr had discreetly been heard by the services of the Attorney General at the end of July and the beginning of August.
– Frauds –
The civil investigation against the family group Trump Organization had been opened after the explosive testimony in Congress in Washington by one of Donald Trump’s former personal lawyers, Michael Cohen, alleging fraudulent evaluations, either up or down. , assets within the Trump Organization, to obtain loans, obtain tax reductions or better insurance compensation.
Letitia James had assured in January that she had “uncovered significant evidence which suggests that Donald Trump and the Trump Organization had falsely and fraudulently valued a number of assets”, in particular golf courses or the personal triplex of the American billionaire, located in the Trump Tower in New York.
Allegations brushed aside by Donald Trump’s lawyers.
The Attorney General does not have the power to indict Donald Trump but she can initiate civil proceedings and in particular claim financial damages.
The alleged facts are also the subject of an investigation, criminal this time, led by the Manhattan prosecutor.
– FBI search –
The hearing comes two days after an unprecedented search of Donald Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, sparked outrage among Republicans.
He even suggested on Truth Social that the FBI may have “placed” evidence against him during the operation.
Never had a former tenant of the White House been worried by justice in this way.
Does the federal police search have to do with the many boxes that Donald Trump took with him when he left the White House in January 2021? Is it related to the investigation into his responsibility in the assault on the Capitol? Does it rather relate to the suspicions of financial fraud of which the Trump Organization is the subject in New York?
Neither the Department of Justice nor the FBI nor the New York City Department commented this week.
Donald Trump claims his innocence in all these cases.
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