New York, Apr 13 (EFE).- Former President Donald Trump on Thursday returned to New York City to give a deposition before state Attorney General Letitia James, who has charged Trump, his company and three of his children with fraudulently manipulating the value of the family real estate firm’s assets for years to get advantageous loans and receive tax exemptions.
The former president’s appearance in court on Thursday comes less than 10 days after he pleaded “not guilty” in another criminal case being pursued against him by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which indicted him on 34 charges of falsifying business records with the aim of hiding payments to three people so that they would not publicly reveal information potentially damaging to his 2016 presidential campaign, which he later won.
James, who is heading the investigation into the civil fraud case, is demanding that Trump’s firm – the Trump Organization – pay $250 million in damages and other sanctions and that Trump, who is currently a candidate for the Republican primaries leading to the GOP presidential nomination, and his children not be able to do business any longer in New York.
The Democratic state attorney general, who is in the preparatory phase of the case before bringing it to trial, already interviewed Trump in the matter last summer.
On his social network, Truth Social, Trump has accused James, who is black, of being racist and of having leaked to the press the time that he will have to appear in court.
“This civil case is ridiculous, just like all of the other Election Interference cases being brought against me,” wrote the former president on Truth Social.
In addition, he released through his presidential campaign a lengthy statement loaded with accusations against James in which he calls her a “radical” and says she is pursuing him for political reasons, among many other things.
Last December, two companies linked to the Trump Organization were found guilty in a New York court on several counts of tax evasion and for paying executives “under the table,” thus giving them a significant portion of their compensation in a way that could have lowered their own personal tax obligations.
The two companies found guilty by a jury in the Manhattan Supreme Court were the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation, although neither the ex-president nor his relatives were indicted.
The Manhattan D.A. had accused the firm of operating, for more than 15 years, a tax evasion scheme, claiming that the plot reached up into, and was sanctioned by, the highest levels of responsibility within the firm, while the defense argued that those involved in the plot acted for their own exclusive benefit and not in the name of the company.