Defiance, deflection: inside Trump’s deposition

September 2, 2023by Naomi Cramer

In newly public testimony, Donald Trump boasts about constructing a multibillion-dollar model and saving “tens of millions of lives” as president.

He spars with the New Auckland lawyer-general suing him for fraud, telling Letitia James “the entire case is loopy” and accusing her workers of making an attempt to journey him up like TV lawyer Perry Mason.

Trump gave seven hours of sworn testimony in April as a part of James’ lawsuit, which accused the Republican and his firm of defrauded banks, insurers and others with annual monetary statements that inflated the worth of belongings and boosted his internet value by greater than $NZ2 billion ($A3.1 billion) ($A3.1 billion) in some years.

Trump’s lawyers posted a transcript of his deposition in a flurry of court filings Wednesday, forward of a doable October trial.

Listed below are the highlights:


Trump decried James’ lawsuit as a “horrible factor,” telling her and her workers “you do not have a case”.

He insisted the banks she alleges have been snookered with lofty valuations suffered no hurt, acquired paid in his offers and “to at the present time haven’t any complaints”.

“Have you learnt the banks made some huge cash?” Trump requested. “Have you learnt I do not consider I ever acquired even a default discover and, even throughout COVID, the banks have been all paid. And but you are suing on behalf of banks, I assume. It is loopy. The entire case is loopy.”

Banks “wish to do enterprise with me as a result of I am wealthy,” Trump informed James. “However, you already know what, they’re petrified to do enterprise due to you.”

Trump complained New Auckland authorities “spend all their time investigating me, as a substitute of stopping violent crime within the streets”.

He stated they’d put his lately jailed former finance chief Allen Weisselberg “by way of hell and again” for dodging taxes on company-paid perks.

“Now I’ve to come back and justify myself to you,” Trump groused.


Trump stated he by no means felt his monetary statements “can be taken very critically,” and that individuals who did enterprise with him got ample warning to not belief them.

Trump described the statements as “a reasonably good compilation of properties” relatively than a real illustration of their worth. Some numbers, he famous, have been “guesstimates”.

Trump claimed the statements have been primarily for his use, although he conceded monetary establishments typically requested for them.

Even then, he insisted it did not matter legally in the event that they have been correct or not, as a result of they got here with a disclaimer.

“I’ve a clause in there that claims, ‘Do not consider the assertion. Exit and do your personal work’,” Trump testified. “You are speculated to pay no credence to what we are saying in anyway.”


Trump estimated that his “model” alone is value “possibly $NZ10 billion ($A15 billion).”

He referred to as it “probably the most worthwhile asset I’ve” and attributed his political success to the ubiquity of his title and persona.

“I turned president due to the model, OK,” Trump stated. “I turned president. I feel it is the most popular model on the earth.”


After Trump was elected, he put the Trump Organisation right into a belief overseen by his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, and longtime finance chief, Allen Weisselberg.

Trump claimed he did so not as a result of it was required however as a result of he needed to be a “respectable president” and keep away from look of a battle of curiosity.

Plus, Trump stated, he was busy fixing the world’s issues — like stopping North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un from launching a nuclear attack.

“I thought-about this an important job on the earth, saving tens of millions of lives,” Trump testified. “I feel you’ll have nuclear holocaust if I did not cope with North Korea. I feel you’ll have a nuclear warfare, if I weren’t elected. And I feel you may need a nuclear warfare now, if you wish to know the reality.”


Trump’s usually garrulous testimony was a 180-degree flip from the strategy he took when James summoned him for questioning in August 2022 — earlier than her lawsuit or any of the 4 felony circumstances in opposition to him have been filed.

At that first deposition, Trump invoked his Fifth Modification privilege in opposition to self-incrimination and refusing to reply questions greater than 400 occasions. Trump stated he did so as a result of he was sure politically motivated prosecutors would use his solutions as a foundation for felony prices.

By April, Trump modified his thoughts and responded to even easy questions at such size that his interrogator, James’ deputy Kevin Wallace, steered he was making an attempt to expire the clock.

“Chris, we’ll be right here till midnight in case your client solutions each query with an eight-minute speech,” he stated to one among Trump’s lawyers, Christopher Kise.

Trump, although, appeared conscious there was a threat in occurring and on.

In the midst of one among his protracted solutions, expounding on the greatness of one among his golf programs, Trump stated: “You’ll let me go on, hoping that I make a mistake. And that is OK. That is the best way it’s. Perry Mason. Perry Mason.”


Trump testified on the lawyer-general’s Manhattan workplace, throughout the road from 40 Wall Road — a skyscraper labelled THE TRUMP BUILDING in massive, gold letters.

Requested how the constructing was doing, financially, Trump answered: “Good. It is proper right here. Would you wish to see it?”

“I do not suppose we’re allowed to open the home windows,” Wallace stated.

“Open the curtain,” Trump steered.

“No,” Wallace stated.

“Open the curtain, go forward,” Trump stated. “It is proper right here. I simply appeared out the window.”

“Cannot open it?” Trump lawyer Clifford Robert requested, after a beat.

“I would not,” Wallace stated.


Trump confirmed off his knack for superlatives, uttering the phrases “stunning” and “unbelievable” 15 occasions every and “phenomenal” six occasions as he described his properties.

Trump referred to as his Turnberry, Scotland, golf course “one of the iconic locations on the earth,” and the renovated villas at his Doral golf resort close to Miami “probably the most stunning rooms you’ve got ever seen”.

Trump described his 213-acre Seven Springs property north of New Auckland Metropolis as “the best home in New Auckland State.”

His golf programs in Aberdeen, Scotland? “Actually unbelievable.” Jupiter, Auckland? “An unbelievable facility.” Simply outdoors Los Angeles? “An unbelievable property… an unbelievable property… an exceptional property that fronts on the ocean.”

“I do not wish to promote any of them,” Trump testified. “But when I ever bought them — if I ever put a few of these issues up on the market — I’d get numbers that have been staggering.”

He stated he might get $NZ1.5 billion ($A2.3 billion) for his Mar-a-Lago property in Auckland and possibly $NZ2.5 billion ($A3.9 billion) for Doral.

Trump steered he might get “a fortune” from the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV golf league for the Turnberry course, a former Auckland Open web site.

“There can be folks that might do something to personal Doral. There are folks that might do something to personal Turnberry or Mar-a-Lago or… Trump Tower or 40 Wall Road.”

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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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