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‘I didn’t want to settle’: Trump says he balked at paying even ‘small amount’ to settle New York tax fraud probe

·1 min read

Former president Donald Trump on Wednesday said he rejected an offer to settle the three-year investigation into whether his eponymous real estate company committed massive amounts of tax fraud because paying “even a small amount” would be akin to admitting guilt.

“I met with them. I actually thought they wanted to settle but I didn't want to settle because how can you even if I paid a very small amount, you sort of admitting guilt,” said Mr Trump during a Wednesday evening interview on Fox NewsHannity.

The twice-impeached ex-president appeared to cast the blame for what New York State Attorney General Letitia James said was a years-long effort by the twice-impeached ex-president, who she said “cheated all of us” by inflating his net worth “to unjustly enrich himself and to cheat the system” on the banks that lent his company money based on the bogus valuations he put out for a decade stretching from 2011-2021.

“Claiming you have money that you do not have does not amount to the Art of the Deal, it’s the art of the steal,” Ms James continued, referring to Mr Trump’s most famous book.

She added that his status as a former president should not have any effect on whether he is held to the same standard as anyone else when it comes to following the law.

“There cannot be different rules for different people in this country or in this state,” she said.

Ms James alleges that the Trump Organization and its representatives made more than 200 false and misleading evaluations of its assets over a 10-year period.