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New York attorney general seeks to depose Donald Trump next month in civil fraud probe

Letitia James wants to question the former president, who has blasted her over her tax fraud probe into the Trump Organization.
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New York Attorney General Letitia James is seeking to depose former President Donald Trump as part of her civil tax fraud investigation into the Trump Organization, a source familiar with the matter told NBC News.

James has requested Trump answer questions under oath on Jan. 7 in her New York office about his company's business practices, the source said. The request was first reported by The Washington Post.

The deposition would be part of the civil investigation into whether the Trump Organization committed fraud in reporting the value of certain properties to banks and tax authorities.

James' office is looking into whether to file a civil suit against the company.

A spokesman for James, Fabien Levy, declined to comment.

A lawyer for Trump, Ronald Fischetti, said he was "not surprised" by the move, which he called "purely political."

"We will wait until we see what they show us in their subpoena and we will respond with our motions," Fischetti said. "They have been investigating this for three years. We are not concerned about it because he has done nothing wrong," he added, referring to Trump.

The attorney general's office is also assisting a criminal investigation headed by the Manhattan district attorney into alleged tax fraud schemes at Trump's company. The D.A.'s office charged the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, with tax fraud earlier this year. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Trump has not been accused of any wrongdoing in the probes. The former president has been highly critical of James and her investigation, calling it "corrupt" and accusing her of engaging in a politically motived "witch hunt." Lawyers for her office deposed Trump's son Eric in the probe late last year.

James, a Democrat who vowed to go after Trump if she was elected attorney general, announced a campaign for governor in October. But she dropped out of that race Thursday to campaign for re-election as attorney general, citing "a number of important investigations and cases that are underway."

Trump is facing at least 10 civil lawsuits and sat for a court-ordered deposition in one of them this fall.