Former president Donald Trump’s terrible week has gotten even worse. The former president suffered twin humiliations this week, with a third one looming darkly overhead, as Trump is slated to appear in a court-ordered deposition.
It marks a very bad week not only for Trump but also for the Republican party. On Monday, the FBI enforced a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, the center of the Trump-iverse. The following day, a federal appeals court upheld the right of a House committee to his tax returns.
And today, Trump is slated to appear at a court-ordered deposition conducted by New York’s attorney general.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James is looking into whether the Trump Organization inflated the real estate values of its web of properties. Trump and two of his adult children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, previously fought to avoid testifying but lost.
Trump today declined to answer questions during an appearance before the New York State attorney general in a civil investigation into his family’s business practices. He invoked his right against self-incrimination during the deposition.
“I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution,” Trump said in a statement released shortly after the questioning began.
For decades, Trump has boasted with impunity about his net worth, a subject tightly wrapped around his ego.
James has said her investigation uncovered significant evidence the Trump Organization overstated asset values in order to obtain favorable loans, and understated values to get massive tax breaks.
This is separate from the FBI’s search of his safe haven, Mar-A-Lago. This was part of an escalation of the federal investigation into whether he illegally removed records from the White House as he was leaving office in January 2021.
The warrant to search Trump’s Florida estate relates to the National Archives and Records Administration, which is charged with safeguarding presidential records that belong to the public, and whether there were classified documents at Trump’s Florida resort.
The legal troubles have piled up for Trump since he left office. Trump was absolutely fuming after the FBI stormed Mar-a-Lago, blasting out an angry statement.
“These are dark times for our nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” Trump said.
During his final days on the job, his White House purportedly shipped 15 boxes of records to Trump’s Florida home that should instead have been routed to the National Archives. The suspicion that Trump held onto key documents and returned others to the archives appears to be at the center of this storm.
“They even broke into my safe! What is the difference between this and Watergate, where operatives broke into the Democrat National Committee? Here, in reverse, Democrats broke into the home of the 45th President of the United States.”