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Thu Sep 22, 2022, 10:02 PM

Politico: Trump Made N.Y. Attorney General's Fraud Case Virtually Unbeatable [View all]

The attorney generalís lawsuit doesnít contain damning emails or text messages, the kind that prosecutors typically rely on to prove a defendantís intent. But that might not be necessary under the New York law that James cited which focuses on repeated acts of deception. (And given that his own accounting firm Mazars USA has said it wonít stand by the statements it prepared for a decade, itís going to be hard for Trump to argue the valuations were proper.)

But perhaps the biggest reason James has such a winning hand is this: Trump dealt her the cards.

In early August he invoked the Fifth Amendment some 440 times during his deposition in this case. It was undoubtedly the right move for him to make because he faces criminal investigations in multiple jurisdictions, and his words, even though they are ostensibly about matters unrelated to election interference could nevertheless be useful to prosecutors seeking to demonstrate his capacity for deception. Prosecutors could also use his words to bring criminal charges based on the alleged scheme that James uncovered.

But taking the Fifth has severe consequences in this case. Unlike in a criminal case, in a civil proceeding like the suit brought by James, the jury will likely be instructed they can infer that when Trump took the Fifth, his answer would have been adverse to him. Trumpís repeated insistence that Jamesí politically motivated suit left him no choice will not withstand the effect of the jury inferring that Trump broke the law and has no good answer to the questions he was asked.

That essentially screws Trump and his family in this case. It is no coincidence that James put in her lawsuit that when Trump was asked whether he ďhad an ongoing agreement from at least 2005 to the present with Mr. Weisselberg, Mr. McConney and others to prepare the Statement of Financial Condition in a manner that included false and misleading valuation statements, Mr. Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and refused to answer.Ē

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/09/22/trump-attorney-general-fraud-case-00058377

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Reply Politico: Trump Made N.Y. Attorney General's Fraud Case Virtually Unbeatable [View all]
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