Former President Donald Trump is countering a lawsuit brought by the New York attorney general accusing him of fraud, defending both his real estate business and his tenure as president. His recently revealed testimony during a private questioning in April offers insights into his perspective on the legal action and his own achievements. The lawsuit, led by Attorney General Letitia James, revolves around allegations of false financial declarations and property valuations made by Trump.
During his testimony, Trump asserted that his company possesses ample funds and emphasized that he prevented a nuclear war during his presidency, thereby saving countless lives. He expressed dissatisfaction with the legal action and urged for its dismissal. Trump’s testimony reflects his view that he should not have to justify himself in this context, given his contributions to the city’s skyline.
The attorney general’s office has released a 479-page transcript of Trump’s deposition, along with legal submissions, ahead of a scheduled September 22nd hearing presided over by Judge Arthur Engoron. These filings could potentially lead to a resolution of the case before its October trial. The lawsuit alleges that Trump overstated his net worth by as much as 39% in certain years, equivalent to over $2 billion, according to evidence presented by James.
Trump’s assertion during the deposition reflects his belief that he played a pivotal role in global matters during his presidency, including his hard line on China, averting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and preventing North Korea’s nuclear attack. He contends that he considered being president “the most important job in the world.”
Attorney General Letitia James is seeking summary judgment and immediate verdict endorsement from Judge Engoron, asserting that Trump and his company defrauded lenders, insurers, and others through false financial statements. The case’s outcome hinges on whether Trump’s financial statements contained falsehoods and whether these statements were used in business dealings.
Trump’s lawyers are requesting the dismissal of the case, arguing that certain allegations are barred by the statute of limitations and that James lacks standing to sue. Despite potential rulings on the fraud claim, other claims in the lawsuit may proceed to a non-jury trial if the case is not settled.
The lawsuit is one of several legal challenges that Trump faces as he seeks a return to the White House. While he labels the lawsuit as politically motivated, its allegations about his pre-presidential financial declarations and valuations have placed him in legal scrutiny.