(The Hill) — Former President Donald Trump on Thursday was back in a New York City courtroom, facing questions under oath for “nearly seven hours” in a business fraud case brought by the state of New York, according to his lawyer.
Trump was arrested and charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records earlier this month in New York on an unrelated investigation, one of the multiple legal entanglements the former president faces.
This civil case, brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, alleges that Trump and his children systematically committed fraud by overvaluing Trump’s assets by billions of dollars.
The case seeks a $250 million penalty, the amount James believes Trump profited off the alleged fraud, and to effectively prevent the Trump family from continuing to do business in the state.
The Trump Organization is also a defendant in the suit, alongside Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump.
The lengthy deposition is part of the discovery phase of the case before trial. The contents of the deposition are private, but Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba said that the former president did not refuse to answer any questions.
During his first deposition in this case last year, Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination hundreds of times to avoid questions.
“President Trump is not only willing but also eager to testify before the Attorney General today,” Habba said in a statement before questioning began Thursday. “He remains resolute in his stance that he has nothing to conceal, and he looks forward to educating the Attorney General about the immense success of his multibillion-dollar company.”
Trump and his legal team have repeatedly claimed no wrongdoing in the case and that James is politically motivated, calling the case “another witch hunt.” However, two judges have denied attempts to halt the investigation on those grounds.
“When the facts of this success, and not politically engineered sound bites, are out in the open, everyone will scoff at the notion any fraud took place,” Trump lawyer Christopher Kise said in a statement.
“This civil case is ridiculous, just like all of the other Election Interference cases being brought against me,” Trump said in a Truth Social post. “If I had a fair judge, this case would have never happened. MAGA!”
Elsewhere, Trump faces a number of other criminal investigations, including one in New York, two in Washington, D.C., looking into Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 insurrection and his handling of classified documents, and one in Georgia investigating his alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election in the state.