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WATCH: CNN’s Toobin Explains Why it Would be Problematic For Trump to Plead 5th in Civil Case

WATCH: CNN’s Toobin Explains Why it Would be Problematic For Trump to Plead 5th in Civil Case

Once he left the White House in January of 2021, Donald Trump was no longer shielded from court cases. And he’s spent the last year doing everything he can to avoid courtrooms.

Photo by DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images

This week, Trump and his adult children received terrible news when a judge decided that they must testify in the New York Attorney General’s civil case. And while the former President might want to plead the 5th Amendment, CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin recently explained why that was a bad idea.

Host Wolf Blitzer asked the legal expert, “Former President Trump and his kids argued that sitting for a deposition would violate, they say, their constitutional rights; this judge certainly disagreed. What do you make of this ruling?”

“Well, it was very straightforward,” Toobin responded. “This is a legitimate investigation, and the attorney general of New York has subpoena power, she subpoenaed the former president and his two children and they have a choice. They could testify, or they could take the Fifth. The problem with taking the Fifth is, first of all, it is embarrassing, but that is no bar to doing it, but in a civil case, as opposed to a criminal case, a jury could draw what is called an ‘adverse inference.’ The jury could assume, if it comes to that, that you did something wrong, that there is an incriminating answer there.”

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The legal analyst continued, “So that is why the Trump family wants to avoid having to take the Fifth. But the answer to that is too bad. That is what the law is, and so it is not a surprise that the judge ruled this way.”

 

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