Trump questioned in lawsuit over reported assault at Trump Tower

Protesters say they were assaulted by former president's security guards in 2015

Protesters say they were assaulted while demonstrating outside Trump Tower following Mr Trump's negative comments about Mexico and Mexican immigrants. AFP
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Former US president Donald Trump gave evidence under oath on Monday as part of a civil lawsuit brought by a group of protesters who say they were assaulted by his security guards, a lawyer for the demonstrators told a news conference.

Mr Trump sat for a videotaped deposition on Monday morning at Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, said Benjamin Dictor, a lawyer who had sought Mr Trump's evidence in the long-running dispute.

“The president was exactly how you would expect him to be. He answered questions the way you would expect Mr Trump to answer questions and conducted himself in a manner that you would expect Mr Trump to conduct himself,” CNN reported Mr Dictor as saying.

The former president was questioned for more than four hours, CNN said.

New York Supreme Court Justice Doris Gonzalez last week ordered Mr Trump to sit for the videotaped deposition.

A group of protesters brought the lawsuit in 2015, saying that Mr Trump's security guards attacked them while they were demonstrating outside Trump Tower over the then-presidential candidate's negative comments about Mexico and Mexican immigrants.

“They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists,” he said during the June 16 speech announcing his candidacy.

The construction of a border wall separating the US from Mexico was one of Mr Trump's signature campaign promises.

Taylor Budowich, Mr Trump's spokesman, did not immediately respond to a request for comment, Reuters said.

The videotaped deposition will be played before a jury if the case proceeds to trial.

The former president is currently facing at least 10 civil suits over reported fraud, defamation and more. He could also be questioned about claims he sexually assaulted former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos.

Ms Zervos, who says Mr Trump assaulted her in a Beverly Hills hotel room more than a decade ago, sued him for defamation after he called her a liar before the 2016 election.

Mr Trump managed to stall the case for much of his presidency, but New York’s highest court said in March that the case should continue now that he is out of office.

Updated: October 18, 2021, 8:40 PM