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Trump deposed for second time in New York attorney general's fraud lawsuit

Trump deposed again in New York fraud lawsuit
Trump deposed for second time in New York fraud lawsuit 01:55

Former President Donald Trump appeared Thursday for his second deposition at the Manhattan offices of New York Attorney General Letitia James. 

A source familiar with his legal team's planning told CBS News early Thursday that Trump was expected to answer questions in this deposition, unlike a previous deposition in August 2022 in which he invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 400 times. James' office sued Trump, three of his children, and their company in September 2022, alleging years of fraud

This deposition is part of the civil pretrial discovery process.  

Trump and his legal team arrived at the attorney general's offices shortly before 10 a.m. ET, and remained in the building for about eight hours, not departing until just after 6 p.m.

It was unclear exactly how long Trump sat for questioning, but under New York state law, depositions can run a maximum length of seven hours. They typically include several breaks, including for lunch.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump departs Trump tower on April 13, 2023, in New York City.  Gotham/GC Images

Alina Habba, an attorney for Trump, said in a Thursday morning statement to CBS News prior to the deposition that "President Trump is not only willing but also eager to testify before the Attorney General today."

"He remains resolute in his stance that he has nothing to conceal, and he looks forward to educating the Attorney General about the immense success of his multi-billion dollar company," Habba said.

The deposition marked Trump's first return to New York since April 4, when he was arraigned on 34 felony counts of falsification of business records in a Manhattan criminal case related to hush money payments made before the 2016 election.

In the New York Attorney General's civil case, Trump, three of his children, and the Trump Organization are accused of orchestrating an extensive fraudulent scheme. James' suit is seeking $250 million and a raft of sanctions that would effectively cease the company's operations in New York. The Trumps and the company have vehemently denied wrongdoing.

Portions of that previous videotaped deposition were obtained by CBS News via a freedom of information request in January, showing him repeatedly responding "same answer" to every question after he first invoked the Fifth.

A spokesperson for James' office did not respond to a request for comment.

The civil case is scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 2. The state court judge in that case, Arthur Engoron, has rejected repeated attempts by Trump attorneys to push that date back.

The lawsuit is proceeding as Trump is facing mounting legal issues on different fronts.

Trump entered a not guilty plea in his Manhattan criminal case, which revolves around alleged attempts to hide reimbursements to his former lawyer and "fixer" Michael Cohen, who paid adult film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 before the 2016 election in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair with Trump years earlier. Trump denied having a sexual relationship with Daniels and has repeatedly said he did nothing wrong.

In Fulton County, Georgia, the district attorney is considering charges in connection with an investigation into efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the election results in the state after his defeat in 2020.

Trump is also under scrutiny in Washington, D.C., where a special counsel is reviewing his handling of sensitive government documents found at his Mar-a-Lago home, and possible obstruction of government efforts to retrieve them, and, separately, efforts to interfere with the lawful transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election.

Trump has denied wrongdoing in connection with all of the investigations.

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