Donald Trump said he was too busy doing “the most important job in the world” and “saving millions of lives” from “nuclear holocaust” to commit fraud, according to a newly released transcript from New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into the former president and his business.
“So you were too busy for the company?” Kevin Wallace, a lawyer for James’ office, asked Trump during the April 2023 deposition.
“In a way, yeah,” Trump responded. “Yeah, I think you can say it. It’s another way of saying it. I was very busy. I was — I considered this the most important job in the world, saving millions of lives.”
“I think you would have nuclear holocaust if I didn’t deal with North Korea,” he added. “I think you would have a nuclear war, if I weren’t elected. And I think you might have a nuclear war now if you want to know the truth.”
The remarks from the seven hour deposition was the former president’s effort to distance himself from his own company as he seeks to evade responsibility for James’ fraud allegations. The attorney general has claimed in her $250 million lawsuit against Trump, his children and the Trump Organization that the company routinely inflated the value of its assets to save money on bank loans, insurance, and taxes. She is seeking a $250 million penalty from Trump and wants to permanently ban him from doing business in New York state.
During his attempts to shield himself from the allegations Trump vowed that he was “virtually not involved at all” with his company once he kicked off his first bid for the White House.
“I’d rarely have anything to do with anything having to do with the company,” Trump said. “I wasn’t — I really wasn’t interested, believe it or not.”
“I was interested in solving the problem with North Korea, which was ready to blow up, and solving the problems we had with China, who was just ripping us off left and right, and making sure that Russia never went into Ukraine, which they didn’t, under our auspices and, you know, a lot of other things,” he added. “There were a lot of things that were happening in the world, as you probably know.”
The deposition transcript was released on Wednesday as a part of James’ ongoing civil fraud lawsuit against the former president, his company, his two eldest sons and two of his former top executives. The suit focuses on the Trump Organizations’ business dealings between the years 2011-2021, a chunk of which was during Trump’s pre-presidential life, when he wouldn’t have been focused on foreign policy or “saving millions of lives.”
James is asking the judge to issue a summary judgment ahead of the October 2 trial, arguing that a trial is not necessary to find Trump and the rest of the defendants inflated the value of their assets in annual financial statements to fraudulently obtain favorable loans and insurance arrangements.
In her recent court filing, James alleged that the fraud in question was so pervasive that the former president falsely boosted his net worth by between $812 million and $2.2 billion each year over the course of a decade.
“Based on the undisputed evidence, no trial is required for the court to determine that defendants presented grossly and materially inflated asset values,” the filing said.