New York: Donald Trump defended his real estate empire and his presidency in a face-to-face clash with the New York attorney general suing him for fraud, testifying at a closed-door grilling in April that his company is flush with cash — and claiming he saved “millions of lives” by deterring nuclear war when he was president.
Trump, in testimony made public Wednesday, said it was a “terrible thing” that Attorney General Letitia James was suing him over claims he made on annual financial statements about his net worth and the value of his skyscrapers, golf courses and other assets.
Trump’s lawyers released Trump’s 479-page deposition transcript in a flurry of court filings ahead of a Sept. 22 hearing where a judge could resolve part or all of the lawsuit before it goes to trial in October. James said evidence shows Trump fraudulently inflated his net worth by up to 39%, or more than $2 billion, in some years.
Sitting across from James at her Manhattan office on April 13, Trump said, “you don’t have a case and you should drop this case.” Noting his contributions to the city’s skyline, Trump said “it’s a shame” that “now I have to come and justify myself to you.”
Questioned about the truthfulness of financial statements he gave to banks, Trump repeatedly insisted that, legally speaking, it didn’t matter whether they were accurate or not.
In a legal filing Wednesday, James urged Judge Arthur Engoron to grant summary judgment on one of seven claims in her lawsuit — that Trump and his company defrauded lenders, insurers and others by lying about his wealth and the value of his assets.