NEW YORK (AP) — Months earlier than Donald Trump’s defiant turn as a witness at his New York civil fraud trial, the previous president got here face-to-face with the state lawyer normal who’s suing him when he sat for a deposition final yr at her Manhattan workplace.

Video made public Friday of the seven-hour, closed-door session last April reveals the Republican presidential frontrunner’s demeanor going from calm and funky to indignant — at one level ripping Lawyer Common Letitia James lawsuit towards him as a “shame” and “a horrible factor.”

Sitting with arms folded, an incredulous Trump complained to the state lawyer questioning him that he was being pressured to “justify myself to you” after many years of success constructing an actual property empire that’s now threatened by the courtroom case.

Trump, who contends James’ lawsuit is a part of a politically motivated “witch hunt” was demonstrative from the outset. The video reveals him smirking and pouting his lips because the lawyer normal, a Democrat, launched herself and instructed him that she was “dedicated to a good and neutral authorized course of.”

James’ workplace launched the video Friday in response to requests from media retailers below New York’s Freedom of Info Regulation. Trump’s attorneys beforehand posted a transcript of his remarks to the trial docket in August.

James’ lawsuit accuses Trump, his firm and high executives of defrauding banks, insurers and others by inflating his wealth and exaggerating the worth of property on annual monetary statements used to safe loans and make offers.

Decide Arthur Engoron, who will resolve the case as a result of a jury is just not allowed in such a lawsuit, has stated he hopes to have a ruling by the top of January.

Friday’s video is a uncommon probability for the general public at giant to see Trump as a witness.

Cameras weren’t permitted within the courtroom when Trump testified on Nov. 6, nor had been they allowed for closing arguments within the case on Jan. 11, the place Trump defied the decide and gave a six-minute diatribe after his attorneys spoke.

Listed here are the highlights from Trump’s videotaped deposition:


Telling James and her workers, “you don’t have a case,” Trump insisted the banks she alleges had been snookered with lofty valuations suffered no hurt, acquired paid in his offers, and “to today haven’t any complaints.”

“Have you learnt the banks made some huge cash?” Trump requested, previewing his later trial testimony. “Have you learnt I don’t imagine I ever acquired even a default discover and, even throughout COVID, the banks had been all paid. And but you’re suing on behalf of banks, I suppose. It’s loopy. The entire case is loopy.”

Banks “wish to do enterprise with me as a result of I’m wealthy,” Trump instructed James. “However, you understand what, they’re petrified to do enterprise due to you.”

Trump complained New York authorities “spend all their time investigating me, as a substitute of stopping violent crime within the streets.”

He stated they’d put his lately jailed ex-finance chief Allen Weisselberg “by way of hell and again” for dodging taxes on company-paid perks.

At a earlier deposition within the case, in August 2022, Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege towards self-incrimination and refused to reply questions greater than 400 occasions. He stated he did so as a result of he was sure his solutions can be used as a foundation for legal costs.


Trump stated he by no means felt his monetary statements “can be taken very critically,” and that individuals who did enterprise with him got ample warning to not belief them.

Trump described the statements as “a reasonably good compilation of properties” slightly than a real illustration of their worth. Some numbers, he famous, had been “guesstimates.”

Trump claimed the statements had been primarily for his use, although he conceded monetary establishments typically requested for them. Even then, he insisted it didn’t matter legally in the event that they had been correct or not, as a result of they got here with a disclaimer.

“I’ve a clause in there that claims, ’Don’t imagine the assertion. Exit and do your personal work,” Trump testified. “You’re presupposed to pay no credence to what we are saying in anyway.”


Trump estimated that his “model” alone is price “perhaps $10 billion.”

He referred to as it “probably the most precious asset I’ve” and attributed his political success to the ubiquity of his identify and persona.

“I grew to become president due to the model, OK,” Trump stated. “I grew to become president. I believe it’s the most well liked model on the planet.”


After Trump was elected, he put the Trump Group right into a belief overseen by his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and longtime finance chief, Weisselberg.

Trump claimed he did so not as a result of it was required however as a result of he needed to be a “reputable president” and keep away from the looks of a battle of curiosity.

Plus, Trump stated, he was busy fixing the world’s issues — like stopping North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un from launching a nuclear attack.

“I thought-about this a very powerful job on the planet, saving thousands and thousands of lives,” Trump testified. “I believe you’ll have nuclear holocaust if I didn’t cope with North Korea. I believe you’ll have a nuclear conflict, if I weren’t elected. And I believe you may need a nuclear conflict now, if you wish to know the reality.”


In one in all his extra animated moments, Trump urged his inquisitors to look proper out the window for a view of his 40 Wall Avenue workplace tower — simply throughout the road from James’ workplace the place he testified.

Requested how the constructing was doing, financially, Trump gestured towards the constructing together with his thumb and answered: “Good. It’s proper right here. Would you wish to see it?”

“I don’t assume we’re allowed to open the home windows,” state lawyer Kevin Wallace stated.

“Open the curtain,” Trump instructed, bobbing his head round ready for somebody to oblige.

“No,” Wallace stated.

“Open the curtain, go forward,” Trump stated. “It’s proper right here. I simply seemed out the window.”

“Can’t open it?” protection lawyer Clifford Robert requested, after a beat.

“I wouldn’t,” Wallace stated.


Trump confirmed off his knack for superlatives, uttering the phrases “stunning” and “unbelievable” 15 occasions every and “phenomenal” six occasions as he described his properties.

Trump referred to as his Turnberry, Scotland, golf course “some of the iconic locations on the planet,” and the renovated villas at his Doral golf resort close to Miami “probably the most stunning rooms you’ve ever seen.”

Trump described his 213-acre Seven Springs estate north of New York Metropolis as “the best home in New York State.”

His golf programs in Aberdeen, Scotland? “Actually unbelievable.” Jupiter, Florida? “An unbelievable facility.” Simply exterior Los Angeles? “An unbelievable property … an unbelievable property … an exceptional property that fronts on the ocean.”

“I don’t wish to promote any of them,” Trump testified. “But when I ever offered them — if I ever put a few of these issues up on the market — I’d get numbers that had been staggering.”

He stated he might get $1.5 billion for his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida and perhaps $2.5 billion for Doral.

Trump instructed he might get “a fortune” from the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV golf league for the Turnberry course, a former British Open web site.

“There can be folks that may do something to personal Doral. There are folks that may do something to personal Turnberry or Mar-a-Lago or … Trump Tower or 40 Wall Avenue.”


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