Former Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman said former President Trump is “toast” in his New York civil fraud case.
New York Attorney General Letitia James’ case accuses Trump, his two adult sons, the Trump Organization, and top executives of falsely inflating the values of Trump’s real estate properties and other assets in order to get tax benefits and better loan terms.
James seeks around $250 million in damages, and she wants to bar Trump and his co-defendants from running another business in New York.
According to The Hill, Ackerman argued people are not only focused on the former president’s testimony but also his deposition with James’s lawyers last summer, where he invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 400 times.
“Now what does it mean to take the Fifth Amendment? It means that you are refusing to answer a question, because a truthful answer would tend to be incriminating,” Ackerman said. “Then what did Donald Trump do last week? He went into court and said, ‘Oh, I didn’t do anything fraudulent, I wasn’t involved in a fraud.’ Which is just the opposite what in effect he was saying when he took the Fifth Amendment in his deposition.”
“So you’ve got contradictory testimony,” Ackerman continued. “You can use his assertion of the Fifth Amendment against him to basically find that he’s lying, that he’s manipulating the system when he goes in, refuses to answer questions, answers the questions in a half-baked manner.”
Earlier this week when Trump took the stand he fiercely defended his business practices and condemned those involved in the case as politically motivated “Trump haters.”
“I just don’t see how this judge at the end of the day is not going to find that, with respect to Donald Trump … ‘Liar, liar, pants on fire,’” Ackerman said.
Ackerman said that in his more than 40 years of civil law experience, he has never seen anyone “do such a stupid move as to suddenly start testifying” after they’ve taken the Fifth Amendment.