Introduction: In recently revealed testimony, former President Donald Trump passionately discussed his achievements, legal battles, and the “crazy” lawsuit against him. Trump’s seven-hour deposition, part of a lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, addresses allegations of fraud concerning his company’s financial statements. Trump’s testimony, now public, reflects his confrontational approach and unyielding demeanor.
Trump’s Legal Battle: Letitia James’ lawsuit accuses Trump and his company of inflating asset values in annual financial statements, artificially boosting his net worth by over $2 billion in certain years. Trump’s lawyers released a transcript of his deposition, as a potential October trial looms.
Denouncing the Lawsuit: Trump vehemently criticized James’ lawsuit as a “terrible thing” and asserted that she lacked a legitimate case. He argued that the banks allegedly involved had not suffered any harm, as they were paid as part of his deals and had no complaints to date. Trump even questioned the premise of suing on behalf of the banks, labeling the entire case as “crazy.”
Political Diversion: Trump accused New York authorities of focusing their efforts on investigating him rather than addressing violent crime in the streets. He expressed frustration at the treatment of his ex-finance chief, Allen Weisselberg, who faced legal trouble for alleged tax evasion on company-paid benefits.
Financial Statements and Disclaimers: Trump clarified that he never intended for his financial statements to be taken seriously, emphasizing that he frequently warned business partners not to rely on them. He described these statements as a “fairly good compilation of properties” rather than an accurate representation of their value. Trump defended the presence of disclaimers within the statements, emphasizing that people should not give any credence to their contents.
The Value of His Brand: Trump estimated the worth of his brand alone at “maybe $10 billion.” He attributed his political success to the widespread recognition and appeal of his name and persona, declaring it “the most valuable asset” he possessed.
The Importance of Being President: Upon being elected president, Trump placed the Trump Organization into a trust, overseen by his son Donald Trump Jr. and CFO Allen Weisselberg, not out of legal necessity but to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Trump claimed he prioritized solving global issues, including deterring a potential nuclear attack by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, considering it the “most important job in the world.”
Trump’s Testimony Evolution: Trump’s lengthy deposition represented a significant shift from his initial deposition in August 2022, where he frequently invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination. By April, he had chosen to respond to questions, albeit often at great length, prompting accusations of running down the clock.
A Noteworthy Setting: Trump testified at the Attorney General’s office in Manhattan, directly across from the Trump Building at 40 Wall Street. Despite Trump’s suggestion to open the windows for a view, they remained closed during the deposition.
Trump’s Superlative Language: Throughout his testimony, Trump consistently used superlatives such as “beautiful,” “incredible,” and “phenomenal” to describe his properties and assets. He expressed admiration for various properties, emphasizing their uniqueness and value.
Conclusion: Donald Trump’s lengthy, impassioned deposition in response to the fraud lawsuit showcases his unyielding stance, confrontational approach, and emphasis on his achievements. As the lawsuit progresses towards a potential trial, Trump’s testimony provides insight into his perspective on the legal battle and his considerable financial interests.