New York, NY – Months before his civil fraud trial, former President Donald Trump sat for a deposition with the state attorney general who is suing him at her Manhattan office. Video footage of the seven-hour session, which took place last April, was made public on Friday. The footage revealed Trump’s demeanor going from calm to indignant, with him ripping into the lawsuit against him as a “disgrace” and “a terrible thing.”
During the deposition, Trump claimed that he was being forced to justify himself after decades of building a successful real estate empire threatened by the court case. He contended that the lawsuit was part of a politically motivated “witch-hunt,” showing a defiant and demonstrative attitude from the outset. The lawsuit, filed by Attorney General Letitia James, accuses Trump and his company of defrauding banks, insurers, and others by inflating his wealth and exaggerating the value of assets on financial statements.
The rare public video release is significant, considering that cameras were not allowed in the courtroom during Trump’s testimony in November and the closing arguments in January. The deposition video provides a unique opportunity for the public to observe Trump as a witness and gain insight into his demeanor and arguments.
In the deposition, Trump insisted that the banks allegedly snookered with lofty valuations suffered no harm and were paid in his deals. He also claimed that his financial statements were not meant to be taken seriously, as he provided ample warning to those who did business with him not to trust them. Furthermore, Trump asserted that preventing a nuclear war with North Korea was the most important job in the world, emphasizing the significance of his role in global affairs.
The video footage also captured a more animated moment, with Trump urging his inquisitors to look out the window at his office tower across the street, highlighting his financial success. This public revelation of Trump’s testimony provides a deeper insight into his defense and demeanor during the civil fraud trial.
The judge presiding over the case hopes to have a ruling by the end of January, which would determine the outcome of the lawsuit. The release of the video and its contents could potentially impact public perception and understanding of the ongoing legal battle between Trump and the state attorney general.