Donald Trump arrived Wednesday morning for his long-awaited deposition in the NY attorney general's 3-year probe of his business
New York Attorney General Letitia James, left. Former President Donald Trump, right. Getty Images
Trump is the key witness in the New York Attorney General's three-year investigation into the Trump Organization.
He arrived at the AG's Manhattan offices Wednesday morning for questioning behind closed doors.
AG Letitia James has signaled she will sue Trump over allegedly ill-gotten loans and tax breaks worth millions.
Donald Trump arrived in New York on Wednesday morning for his long-delayed court-ordered testimony in Attorney General Letitia James' three-year investigation into the Trump Organization.
Trump arrived at the Attorney General's New York headquarters in a skyscraper on Liberty Street in lower Manhattan just before 9 a.m.
He entered the building's underground parking lot in one of three black SUVs in a small motorcade of Secret Service and NYPD vehicles.
James has insisted that Trump be removed personally and that he show up at their offices like any other target in any of their investigations, a source involved in the matter told Insider.
According to one of the few other lawyers to have deposed the former president in recent years, deposing Trump personally is a smart move.
"Body language, eye contact, facial expressions are lost when you do it from afar," said attorney Benjamin Dictor, who dropped Trump off at Trump Tower in October as counsel for four Mexicans who had sued Trump for allegedly killing security on them while of a 2015 protest in front of Trump Tower.
"I would say that is particularly the case with Mr. Trump," added Dictor.
"In my experience of investigating, it was important to be able to spot small clues -- small tells -- in the investigation that I felt would have been difficult if we were conducting the investigation remotely."
A personal deposit also allows a lawyer to ensure that the bereaved is not somehow fed answers, Ditor pointed out.
"And if you need to show them a document, it can just be physically passed across the conference table," he said.
Investigators at James' office have been waiting all year to question the former president under oath over alleged financial wrongdoing at his Manhattan-based real estate and golf resort empire.
Her office had issued its original subpoena in December, setting a date for Jan. 7 to question the former president about an alleged decades-old pattern of misrepresenting the value of Trump Organization assets in financial documents. James claims these inflated or deflated valuations were used by Trump to win hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks and bank loans.
Trump's attorneys fought December's subpoena for more than six months, losing in both the Supreme Court and the First Department's Appellate Division, both in Manhattan.
As a result of those court losses, the former president and his eldest son and daughter — Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump — agreed to take affidavits on July 20, 21, and 22.
However, these dates have been postponed with AG approval due to the July 14 death of Ivana Trump.
Donald Trump, Jr. and Ivanka Trump — who have both served as executive vice presidents of the Trump Organization — sat down to testify last week.
Her brother Eric Trump, also a vice president of the company, invoked his 5th Amendment right more than 500 times while sitting for testimony from James in October 2020.
Testimony is taking place a dozen blocks south of Manhattan's main criminal court.
A week from this Friday, attorneys for the Trump Organization and former Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg are scheduled to appear at the courthouse for a pretrial hearing. A judge has promised to set a hearing date for the Trump Organization and Weisselberg to stand trial in what is said to be a decades-long payroll tax system.
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45th President of the United States
American businessman and philanthropist
American lawyer and politician
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