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Donald Trump takes Fifth Amendment, refuses to answer questions in N.Y. AG probe

Click to play video: 'Trump invokes Fifth Amendment, doesn’t answer questions in N.Y. AG probe' Trump invokes Fifth Amendment, doesn’t answer questions in N.Y. AG probe
WATCH: Trump invokes Fifth Amendment, doesn't answer questions in N.Y. AG probe – Aug 10, 2022

Former U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he declined to answer questions during an appearance before the New York state attorney general in a civil investigation into his family’s business practices.

“I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution,” Trump said in a statement.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James is looking into whether the Trump Organization inflated real estate values. Trump and two of his adult children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, fought to avoid testifying but lost.

Read more: Republicans rally around Donald Trump after FBI search of his estate

Trump raised his fist as he left Trump Tower on Wednesday morning, wearing a blue suit with a flag pin on his lapel.

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Late on Tuesday, Trump said in a posting on his app Truth Social that he would see the New York attorney general on Wednesday. A source also told Reuters that Trump is scheduled to testify in the probe on Wednesday. Trump’s children already have been questioned, the source said.

The deposition will not be public.

Click to play video: 'Trump supporters protest FBI raid of former president’s Mar-a-lago residence' Trump supporters protest FBI raid of former president’s Mar-a-lago residence
Trump supporters protest FBI raid of former president’s Mar-a-lago residence – Aug 9, 2022

A spokeswoman for James has declined to comment. A lawyer for Trump did not respond to requests for comment.

James has said her investigation uncovered significant evidence that the Trump Organization, which manages hotels, golf courses and other real estate, overstated asset values to obtain favorable loans and understated the values to get tax breaks.

Click to play video: 'FBI’s unprecedented search of Trump’s home stirs Republican outrage' FBI’s unprecedented search of Trump’s home stirs Republican outrage
FBI’s unprecedented search of Trump’s home stirs Republican outrage – Aug 9, 2022

Trump has denied wrongdoing and called the New York investigation politically motivated. James is a Democrat.

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Separately, the FBI searched Trump’s Florida estate on Monday, an escalation of the federal investigation into whether he illegally removed records from the White House as he was leaving office in January 2021.

Read more: FBI followed this checklist to obtain search warrant for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

Trump has been flirting publicly with the question of running again for president in 2024 but has not said clearly whether he will do so.

The warrant to search Trump’s Florida estate relates to the National Archives and Records Administration, which is charged with safeguarding presidential records that belong to the public, and whether there were classified documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Trump has had to deal with a slew of legal troubles since he left office, after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in an unsuccessful bid to overturn his election loss. Trump continues to claim falsely that the election was stolen through widespread voting fraud.

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