Trump back in New York for questioning in state civil fraud case

Ex-president to be asked about business practices in state lawsuit over alleged manipulation to gain financial benefits

Trump returns to New York amid further legal problems

Trump returns to New York amid further legal problems
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Former US president Donald Trump was back in New York on Thursday for questioning in a $250 million civil fraud lawsuit against him by the state's attorney general.

The questioning will take place behind closed doors and has not generated the kind of attention that his historic surrender in New York City on separate criminal charges did last week.

There was a handful of protesters outside New York Attorney General Letitia James' offices in Lower Manhattan when Mr Trump arrived for the deposition, with one group carrying a banner reading "No One Is Above the Law".

Mr Trump, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election, will be asked about his business practices. The lawsuit accuses him and others of a decade-long scheme to manipulate property values and his net worth to obtain favourable loans and tax benefits.

The trial in the case is scheduled to begin on October 2. Thursday's deposition could be used to try to discredit any testimony Mr Trump may give at trial, or be offered as testimony if he is unavailable to appear.

"I will finally be able to show what a great, profitable and valuable company I built," Mr Trump said in one of a series of posts on the Truth Social platform on Thursday, after attacking the attorney general and what he called her "persecution," as well as the judge in the case and the district attorney who brought the separate criminal charges.

Alina Habba, one of his attorneys, said in a statement that Mr Trump was "eager to testify" and remained "resolute in his stance that he has nothing to conceal".

Mr Trump, whose surrender on April 4 drew worldwide media attention and a huge police presence, returned to his home in Florida the same day after pleading not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in a hush-money payment scheme during his 2016 presidential campaign.

It marked the first time a US president has been criminally charged while in office or after.

Mr Trump also faces federal investigations stemming from his handling of government documents after leaving the White House and alleged attempts to overturn his 2020 election defeat, as well as a state-level probe in Georgia into whether he sought to reverse the 2020 election results there unlawfully.

In addition, a trial is set for April 25 in federal court in New York over whether Mr Trump defamed former Elle magazine columnist E Jean Carroll by denying he raped her. Mr Trump is seeking to delay that trial.

Reuters contributed to this report

Updated: April 13, 2023, 4:36 PM