Trump Takes the Fifth

Source: Power Line

New York Attorney General Letitia James is purporting to investigate Donald Trump’s businesses. James is obsessed with Trump, and her supposed investigation is an obvious piece of political grandstanding. She scheduled Trump for a deposition today. In Trump’s eyes, the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid was the last straw, and he announced today that he is invoking the Fifth Amendment and has declined to submit to a deposition.

Trump released a statement that is lengthy, but worth reading in its entirety:

Attorney General Letitia James openly campaigned on the policy of “Get and Destroy Trump.” This political attack on me, my family, and my great company is her despicable attempt to fulfill that cynical, and very corrupt promise. James developed a political platform and made a career out of maliciously attacking me and my business before she was even elected, or reviewed one of the millions of pages of documents we willingly produced. She proclaimed, “I look forward to going into the Office of Attorney General every day, suing him. . . and then going home!” She announced, “what is fueling my soul right now is Trump”, and that she had her “eyes on Trump Tower.” She even assured her supporters in an Election promise that, “we’re going to definitely sue him. We’re going to be a real pain in the ass. He’s going to know my name personally”, and she claimed I was an “illegitimate President”. In her AG victory speech, she promised to “shine a bright light into every dark corner of Trump’s real estate holdings.” Shortly thereafter, she vowed to “use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions, and that of his family as well.”

Letitia James is a failed politician who has intentionally colluded with others to carry out this phony years-long crusade that has wasted countless taxpayer dollars, all in an effort to prop up her political career. During her heated “Trump” rhetoric, she ran for Governor of New York State, using “Getting Trump” as her primary credential. It didn’t work, she got very low poll numbers, and ran back into the Office of Attorney General to continue the persecution of “President Donald J. Trump”, despite the fact that New York is suffering its worst murder, drug, and overall crime rate in many decades. Criminals are running rampant, shooting, slashing, and hurting people on the sidewalks of New York, while she and her Office spend a big percentage of their time and money on their “Trump” vendetta.

Letitia James openly stated her hostilities toward me, and a kind of retribution that is unthinkable. Years of work and tens of millions of dollars have been spent on this long simmering saga, and to no avail. James now realizes I built a great company with tremendous value, and her case is a “Scam”, which is why for years, they haven’t been able to file a single charge.

What Letitia James has tried to do the last three years is a disgrace to the legal system, an affront to New York State taxpayers, and a violation of the solemn rights and protections afforded by the United States Constitution.

I did nothing wrong, which is why, after five years of looking, the Federal, State and local governments, together with the Fake News Media, have found nothing.

We cannot permit a renegade and out-of-control prosecutor to use this investigation as a means of advancing her political career. New York deserves better, and this Country deserves better. This is a vindictive and self-serving fishing expedition, the likes of which our Country has never seen before. The United States Constitution exists for this very purpose, and I will utilize it to the fullest extent to defend myself against this malicious attack by this administration, this Attorney General’s Office, and all other attacks on my family, my business, and our Country.

I once asked, “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?” Now I know the answer to that question. When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded, politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and the Fake News Media, you have no choice. If there was any question in my mind, the raid of my home, Mar-a-Lago, on Monday by the FBI, just two days prior to this deposition, wiped out any uncertainty. I have absolutely no choice because the current Administration and many prosecutors in this Country have lost all moral and ethical bounds of decency.

Accordingly, under the advice of my counsel and for all of the above reasons, I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution.

Trump also released several videos of Letitia James. This is one of them:

How important is this development? Trump acknowledged the reality in his statement:

I once asked, “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?” Now I know the answer to that question.

Trump makes a good case as to why he should not cooperate with James’s witch hunt. Nevertheless, the question–why would you plead the Fifth if you are innocent?–is an obvious one to which, in many minds, there is no good answer. No doubt this will be added to the Left’s litany of Trump’s many real and imagined transgressions.

At this point, opinions on Trump are so ingrained that there isn’t much room for perceptions to shift. But perhaps Trump’s invocation of his right not to incriminate himself will contribute to the heavy weight of baggage that will cause many to think that he is not the GOP’s best candidate for 2024.

But I always try to be even-handed in talking about Trump. This, if you haven’t already seen it, is what amounts to a campaign ad that has obviously been ready to go for a while, but was released in the wake of the Mar-a-Lago raid. I think it is a beautiful piece of work, and one can fairly ask whether anyone other than Trump could have done it. It is worth viewing full-screen:

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