When a flurry of headlines emerged saying that Donald Trump would be forced to deliver sworn testimony, an obvious question came to the fore: In which case?
After all, there’s no shortage of legal controversies surrounding the former president, and a long line of attorneys would love nothing more than to depose the Republican on matters large and small.
So what’s the case that will force Trump to participate in his first deposition since before his White House tenure? NBC News reported yesterday:
Former President Donald Trump has been ordered to give testimony under oath Monday in a lawsuit brought by a group of demonstrators who say his security guards roughed them up outside Trump Tower in New York.
It wasn’t the highest-profile controversy of Trump’s 2016 candidacy, but a few months after the Republican launched his national campaign, a small group of activists held a protest outside Trump’s New York office. Those same activists have alleged that they were violently assaulted by the candidate’s security guards, including Trump’s longtime bodyguard, Keith Schiller, who allegedly punched a protester in the head while trying to wrest away his “Make America racist again” sign.
According to the plaintiffs, while the former president did not directly participate in the altercation, he bears legal responsibility for the actions of his employees.
During his time in office, Trump’s lawyers said he was too busy to answer questions about the case, and made multiple attempts at having the case dismissed. Those efforts failed.
And now that he’s a private citizen, a New York judge has directed Trump to give a deposition at Trump Tower on Monday. It will be videotaped and could be played during the upcoming trial, though as The New York Times noted, “It is not yet clear whether Mr. Trump’s testimony will be made public; Mr. Trump’s lawyers could ask that it be sealed. But it may touch on several topics of interest, including Mr. Trump’s personal wealth and his relationship with at least one employee who has been scrutinized by prosecutors conducting an investigation into the former president and his business.”
Plus, once the former president knows he’s on camera and starts talking, it’s impossible to guess what he might say — or confess to.
I don’t doubt that Trump’s lawyers will beg him to keep his answers brief and on topic. But I also don’t doubt that Trump’s propensity for weird rants and tirades cannot be restrained, which means Monday’s deposition is bound to be interesting.