Trump deposition delayed as Hurricane Ian batters Florida

Lawyers say former president has refused to move interview from Mar-a-Lago despite storm

Lawyers representing the plaintiffs in the case said they would not be able to travel to interview Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate. AFP
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Former president Donald Trump's deposition in a fraud case scheduled for Friday was postponed after Hurricane Ian swept through the US state of Florida, a court document shows.

Mr Trump has been named in a lawsuit in which he, three of his adult children and the Trump Organisation are accused of fraud.

Lawyers representing the plaintiffs in the case said they would not be able to travel to interview Mr Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate due to Hurricane Ian. The former president has refused to relocate the deposition despite the storm.

“We do not believe that it is prudent or safe, and we have been unable to obtain defendants' agreement to reschedule (or relocate) the deposition,” the lawyers wrote in a court filing.

Magistrate Judge Sarah Cave has extended Mr Trump's deposition deadline to October 31, CNN reported.

John Quinn, who represents the plaintiffs in the case, said Mr Trump's team did not respond to requests to move the deposition to Bedminster, New Jersey, where the former president owns a golf resort.

Lawyers noted that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency and that a tornado watch has been issued in Palm Beach, Florida. The court filing said Mr Trump had insisted the deposition proceed as scheduled at Mar-a-Lago.

“With all respect, we do not believe that is prudent or safe,” the lawyers wrote.

Mr Trump's lawyers criticised the “hasty” request to cancel the deposition.

Ian was downgraded to a tropical storm on Thursday morning after making landfall in Florida as a Category 4 hurricane on Wednesday afternoon, wiping out power to millions of people and causing destructive flooding.

The former president, his children Ivanka, Donald Jr and Eric Trump, and the Trump Organisation were sued in 2018 by four investors who claimed they were ripped off after paying thousands of dollars to become sellers of a videophone device.

Mr Trump promoted the company on his Celebrity Apprentice television show, but the investors claim that he and his children failed to disclose they were being paid to promote the company and lied about their faith in its products.

Updated: September 30, 2022, 7:07 AM