Donald Trump will be fallen Thursday in a high-stakes civil case brought by New York State against the former president, some of his children and his sprawling business empire.
The trial, brought last september by New York Attorney General Letitia James alleges that Trump, his children Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump, and the Trump Organization were involved in an expansive scheme lasting more than a decade by providing false financial statements to lenders and others that the former president was getting rich.
The lawsuit against James, a Democrat, seeks $250 million and prohibits the Trumps’ ability to operate a business in the state. The case is due to go to trial in October. The Trumps have denied wrongdoing.
The elder Trump’s deposition is part of the discovery process of the case. While he’s likely to be peppered with hundreds of questions on Thursday, it’s unclear whether he’ll provide answers or cite his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, as he did last August when he s sat for a deposition outside James’ office for a month. before filing the complaint.
In a civil case, if a defendant asserts the Fifth Amendment, the jury can make what’s called an “adverse inference” and give weight to Trump for refusing to answer questions.
Thursday’s appearance will also mark the first time Trump has returned to New York since he pleaded not guilty last week in Manhattan Criminal Court on 34 charges of falsifying business records following an investigation into silent money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
After Trump’s first meeting in August, the former president and his legal team were able to glean more information about the allegations against him as documents and other material were turned over to them.
The three Trump children named in the case were also filed by the Attorney General’s office last year, with Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. both providing answers to prosecutors, while Eric Trump invoked his right to the Fifth Amendment in 2020 in response to more than 500 questions.