New court filings show that former President Donald Trump contradicting his own sworn affidavit from 2017.
On Tuesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office wrote a letter to a federal judge attacking a deposition transcript involving Trump from 2021. The filing shows that Trump testified that he remained the “inactive” president of the Trump Organization while he was in the White House, despite an earlier sworn statement that he would relinquish all of his positions at the company.
As part of the since-settled lawsuit from 2021, Trump was questioned about whether there was a period of time when he did not serve as the president of the Trump Organization. In response, Trump said, “Well, I wasn’t active during the time I was at 1600. I would say that I was an inactive president and now I’m active again.”
When asked to clarify if there was ever a period of time where he ceased to hold that title at the company, the former president said, “Not to my knowledge, no.”
However, a sworn statement dated January 19, 2017—the day before his inauguration—Trump signed a statement declaring that he would “hereby resign from each and every office and position,” including Trump Organization LLC, among his other business ventures. The resignation was effective immediately.
On Tuesday, James accused Trump and his three eldest children of lying in answers submitted to New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron as part of their response to the attorney general’s $250 million lawsuit against them. Her office has accused the Trump family and their company of large-scale financial fraud.
In a letter to Engoron, Kevin Wallace, a senior enforcement counsel with James’ office, asked for sanction against the Trump family and their counsels for “demonstrably false denials.”
“Defendants falsely deny facts they have admitted in other proceedings, they deny knowledge sufficient to respond to factual allegations that are plainly within their knowledge, and they propound affirmative defenses that have been repeatedly rejected by this Court as frivolous and without merit,” Wallace wrote.
He specifically pointed to Trump’s denial of serving as an “inactive president” by using the 2021 deposition transcript, which he noted was taken “directly from his own sworn testimony in Galicia v. Trump on October 18, 2021.”
On Tuesday, a video of Trump’s August deposition with the New York Attorney General’s office shows the former president invoking the Fifth Amendment more than once, saying: “Anyone in my position not taking the Fifth Amendment would be a fool—an absolute fool.”
He declined to answer most questions, calling the state investigation “the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country” and accusing James of making “a career out of maliciously attacking me and my business even before she understood or was elected.”
Newsweek reached out to Trump for comment.