Donald Trump has appeared via video link for his $250 million business fraud lawsuit over his company's business practices in New York.
The latest hearing lasted around 15 minutes. In addition to Trump's appearance, a tentative trial date was set for March 2024.
The former president last met with lawyers on Thursday 13 April. Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against the presidential hopeful, claiming that he and his family misled business associates over his net worth and the value of assets such as his hotels and golf courses.
It's the latest in a long line of legal woes for Trump, who was recently criminally charged with falsifying business records in New York. He made a high-profile arraignment appearance in a Lower Manhattan courtroom where the extent of his indictment charges were unsealed.
However, the legal challenge filed by Ms James is unrelated to the criminal case. Trump has called the civil business lawsuit "ridiculous".
In a post to his social media site Truth Social, he said that he would "show what a great, profitable, and valuable company I built”.
He previously met with Ms James' lawyers in August last year, but invoked his Fifth Amendment right more than 400 times while answering questions. This protects individuals from giving information which incriminates themselves.
Trump defended his use of the amendment, stating that a "renegade" prosecutor would attempt to bring a criminal case against him with full answers. He said: “Anyone in my position not taking the Fifth Amendment would be a fool, an absolute fool."
It is unknown whether the former president will continue to use the amendment to field questions from Ms James' lawyers during his second deposition. A trial date for the lawsuit has been set for October 2023.
What is the lawsuit about?
The 220-page long complaint against Trump and his family alleges that the Trump Organisation created false business and financial statements in order to procure loans and keep existing loans on favourable terms. This includes inflating the personal net worth of Trump himself and the value of assets owned by the company.
The civil lawsuit alleges that there was a systemic pattern of fraud over years. Ms James told reporters: “The pattern of fraud that was used by Mr. Trump and the Trump organisation was astounding."
In an example given within the lawsuit, Trump is said to have lied about the size of his triplex residence in Trump Tower, claiming it to be around three times bigger than its 10,996 square feet. Additionally, Ms James claims that his home and club in Florida, Mar-a-Lago, was over-valued, as well as his Westchester golf club being valued including fees which had not yet been collected.
The Attorney General added that the alleged fraud is similar to that of someone lying in order to get a bank loan. She added: “There cannot be different rules for different people in this country or in this state."
Ms James is seeking $250 million in damages. If the lawsuit is successful, it would also bar Trump and his children Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump from running businesses in New York.