Trump Denounces New York Fraud Lawsuit, Asserts His Role in Averting Nuclear Conflict in April Deposition Transcript

by Madison Thomas
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Legal Battle

In a private testimony in April, Donald Trump vehemently defended both his real estate ventures and his presidential tenure against fraud accusations from New York Attorney General Letitia James. Trump contended that his organization is financially robust and argued that his actions during his presidency helped to avert a nuclear catastrophe.

The deposition, which was disclosed on Wednesday, reveals Trump’s criticisms of Attorney General James for bringing forth a lawsuit against him. The lawsuit challenges the veracity of his annual financial disclosures, particularly his net worth and the valuation of his various assets including skyscrapers and golf courses.

James unveiled the voluminous 479-page deposition transcript through a series of court documents, in anticipation of a hearing on September 22. The presiding Judge Arthur Engoron could potentially settle the lawsuit, or parts of it, ahead of its scheduled October trial. The Attorney General highlighted evidence indicating that Trump inflated his net worth by up to 39% or more than $2 billion in certain years.

While confronting James in her Manhattan office on April 13, Trump asserted that the case against him was baseless and should be dismissed. He lamented that despite contributing to New York City’s skyline, he had to defend his reputation and actions to the Attorney General.

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During the testimony, Trump maintained that his presidency was of paramount importance. He cited his confrontational approach towards China, preventing Russia from invading Ukraine during his term, and averting a potential nuclear strike by North Korea’s Kim Jong Un as his significant achievements.

James’ legal team is pushing for a summary judgment, urging Judge Engoron to promptly endorse their claim that Trump and his organization deceived financial institutions, insurers, and other parties by falsely inflating his assets. James’ counsel, Andrew Amer, outlined these arguments in a 100-page summary judgment motion, emphasizing that the evidence against Trump is overwhelming.

In contrast, Trump’s legal representatives are urging a full dismissal of the case, arguing that the statute of limitations invalidates many of the lawsuit’s claims and that the entities purportedly defrauded have neither complained nor suffered losses, but have in fact profited from their associations with Trump.

Even if Judge Engoron delivers a judgment on the fraud allegations, he will still oversee a bench trial for six other remaining charges in the lawsuit unless a settlement is reached.

Trump, who remains a leading candidate for the Republican nomination for the upcoming presidential election, has described the lawsuit as a politically-driven campaign orchestrated by James and other Democratic figures.

This lawsuit is merely one of the numerous legal challenges that Trump is confronting as he considers another run for the presidency. Over the past five months, he has been indicted four times on various charges ranging from scheming to overturn his 2020 election defeat, to withholding classified documents, to fabricating business records related to hush money transactions.

Initially filed in September 2022, James’ lawsuit seeks $250 million in penalties and aims to prohibit Trump from conducting business in New York State. Trump argued that he never intended for these financial statements to be scrutinized so closely, admitting that some valuations were mere “guesstimates.”

During the deposition, Trump’s lengthy responses ranged from being elusive to assertive, prompting concerns from one attorney that his seven hours of sworn testimony could extend into late hours. This marked a stark departure from his prior deposition, where he invoked the Fifth Amendment over 400 times to avoid self-incrimination.

In his April deposition, Trump insisted that the Trump Organization holds more than $400 million in liquid assets and valued his Mar-a-Lago property at $1.5 billion. He also claimed that he could sell one of his golf courses in Scotland to the Saudi-backed LIV golf league for a significant sum.

While the likelihood of Trump testifying in court remains low, video recordings of his depositions may be admitted as evidence.


Contributions to this report were made by Big Big News reporters Jennifer Peltz and David B. Caruso.

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More about Trump New York Fraud Lawsuit Deposition

  • Trump’s Previous Legal Battles
  • Overview of Letitia James’ Career
  • Summary of Trump’s Real Estate Ventures
  • Key Moments in Trump’s Presidency
  • Overview of the 2024 Presidential Election
  • The Role of Summary Judgments in Legal Cases
  • Financial Disclosure Requirements for Public Figures
  • Legal Procedures for Fraud Lawsuits
  • Timeline of Trump’s Indictments
  • Trump Organization’s Business Ventures

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