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Former President Trump fires back after NY civil suit alleges "staggering" fraud

Former President Donald Trump fires back at NY State Attorney's civil suit alleging business fraud
Former President Donald Trump fires back at NY State Attorney's civil suit alleging business fraud 01:55

PALM BEACH - Former President Donald Trump is responding to his growing number of legal battles.

On Wednesday, the State of New York filed a civil suit against the Trump organization, accusing it of "staggering" fraud.

In a two hundred and twenty page civil lawsuit, New York State Attorney General Letitia James accused former President Donald Trump and his three eldest children of over 200 instances of fraud in order to evade taxes and secure favorable loans.

"The complaint demonstrates that Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and to cheat the system, thereby cheating all of us," James said when announcing the suit.

James said Trump, by inflating his value, defrauded insurers and lenders, and violated state law, and potentially federal laws, too. The state is seeking a quarter-of-a-billion dollars and looking to effectively put the Trumps out of business in New York.

Wednesday night on Fox News, Trump called the civil suit a politically motivated witch hunt by James, an elected Democrat.

"She campaigned on it. Four years ago was a vicious campaign and she just talked about Trump and we're going to indict him, we're going to get him. She knew nothing about me. I never heard of her," he said.

"This is just a continuation of a witch hunt that began when I came down the escalator at Trump Tower," he added.      

Later, Trump said his company's financial disclosures warned banks not to trust the information provided.

"We have a disclaimer right on the front," he said, that warned banks: "'You're at your own risk.' ... 'Be careful because it may not be accurate. It may be way off.' ... 'Get your own people. Use your own appraisers. Use your own lawyers. Don't rely on us'." 

Attorney General James said she's referred the case for possible criminal prosecution to the IRS and the Southern District of New York.

The former president also addressed his legal troubles with a federal appeals court, which on Wednesday ruled in favor of the Justice Department, allowing federal investigators to resume looking into documents seized during the Mar-a-Lago search. The three-judge panel stated in its opinion that there is no evidence that the documents were declassified.

"You're the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying 'it's declassifying' even by thinking about it," said Trump on Fox.

The former president also said he didn't personally pack any of the boxes in question when leaving the White House, insisting he left that up to the presidential transition team.

Trump's interview on Fox was taped before that federal appeals court ruling.

In regards to the New York civil suit, a Trump organization source told CBS News they will file a motion to dismiss.

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