Former President Trump invoked his right against self-incrimination Wednesday during a deposition in New York attorney general Letitia James’ long-running probe of his business.
The former president, whose Florida home was the target of an unprecedented FBI raid on Monday, blasted James’ investigation as part of a ruthless effort by a “banana republic” to destroy him, the Independent reported.
Trump pleads the Fifth in New York probe
The 45th president was seen raising his fist in defiance outside Trump Tower in Manhattan as he left for the deposition.
He shared a lengthy statement on James’ “vindictive and self-serving fishing expedition” and addressed past comments he made about people who plead the Fifth.
“I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?'” Trump said. “Now I know the answer to that question. When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded, politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and the Fake News Media, you have no choice.”
In a flurry of messages on his Truth Social account, Trump shared clips of James promising to investigate him during her campaign for attorney general and called James a “racist” who is more concerned with pursuing an anti-Trump vendetta than keeping New Yorkers safe.
“At the very plush, beautiful, and expensive A.G.’s office. Nice working conditions, as people are being murdered all over New York – and she spends her time and effort on trying to ‘get Trump,'” he posted.
Trump blasts ‘banana republic’ probes
Trump has long dismissed James’ probe as part of a partisan “witch hunt” that has followed him since he entered politics. His children Ivanka and Donald Jr. have also testified in James’ probe.
James has worked closely with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, which like James has spent years investigating Trump’s allegedly deceitful business practices. Earlier this year, district attorney Alvin Bragg allowed the grand jury to expire after concluding he didn’t have a case.
Trump’s lawyers have said that James unfairly pressured Trump to give testimony that could be used against him in the criminal probe — or else stay silent and allow a jury to draw an “adverse inference.”
Former New York governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who was forced out under pressure from James, was among those who raised questions about the propriety of the unprecedented FBI raid of Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate Monday, which prompted cries of political persecution from the right.
Trump ties James’ probe to the raid, writing, “My great company, and myself, are being attacked from all sides. Banana Republic!”‘