CBS News obtained and published footage Tuesday of a portion of Former President Donald Trump’s deposition in the New York attorney general’s civil fraud investigation from last summer, in which he notoriously pleaded the fifth repeatedly.
It’s a rare scene to witness and a seminal moment to watch. The one-time leader of the free world pleaded the fifth nearly 450 times throughout the hours-long deposition that day. Watch the first below:
The deposition was a part of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil investigation into the Trump organization’s business practices, which culminated in the $250 million lawsuit James filed against Trump, three of his children and his company alleging they were involved in an expansive, decades-long asset inflation fraud that the former President used to enrich himself.
Portions of transcripts from the former president’s deposition were included as an exhibit in the lawsuit filed in October by the New York AG’s office. Once the exhibit was filed, those portions of Trump’s deposition were no longer classified as confidential, making the videos that corresponded to the transcripts accessible to the public under New York’s Freedom of Information Law, according to CBS News.
In the video released on Tuesday, Trump — who recently announced his bid for the 2024 presidential election — is seen facing questions under oath about his finances on Aug. 10.
After an opening statement full of his usual rants about “witch hunts,” the former president began responding to questions by invoking the Fifth Amendment, saying, “For all of the reasons provided in my answer, which is incorporated herein in its entirety, I decline to answer the question.”
Senior enforcement counsel Kevin Wallace of the attorney general’s office then told Trump he could say, “same answer” to “speed things up,” instead of repeating the formal response.
Trump did just that, repeating “same answer” over 400 times during the course of the nearly four hours of questioning, according to CBS News.
The New York attorney general’s civil case trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 2. The judge on the case has rejected multiple attempts by Trump attorneys to push the trial date back.