Former President Donald Trump asserted his Fifth Amendment constitutional right against self-incrimination during a deposition with New York Attorney General Letitia James, according to a video of the testimony obtained on Tuesday exclusively by CBS News reporter Graham Kates.
Trump spoke to James' team last August amid the ongoing fraud investigation into the Trump Organization and members of the Trump family that run the business, all of whom James is suing for $250 million in civil damages. A trial is expected to commence in October.
"It began with some back-and-forth, but once the questions turned to Mr. Trump's finances, the former president invoked the Fifth Amendment which he continues to do for nearly four hours" and around four hundred times, CBS News reported.
In the first chunk of footage, Trump complains that James "knows nothing about us. She knows absolutely nothing about us. It was very unfair. This whole thing is very unfair."
In the second clip, Trump recalls asking, "if you're innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment? I was asking that question. 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 even the fake news media – you really have no choice. Anyone in my position not taking the Fifth Amendment would be a fool, an absolute fool."