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In civil suit, Trump testifies under oath for more than four hours

Trump participated in his first deposition in several years, and he "conducted himself in a manner that you would expect Mr. Trump to conduct himself."


As NBC News noted yesterday, there are at least 10 civil cases pending against Donald Trump — and now that he's out of office, it's far more difficult for him to avoid them.

As The Associated Press reported, one of them led to the Republican's first deposition in quite a while.

Former President Donald Trump was questioned Monday in a deposition for a lawsuit brought by protesters who say his security team roughed them up in the early days of his presidential campaign in 2015. Trump testified under oath behind closed doors at Trump Tower in New York City for several hours, a lawyer for the plaintiffs said.

Circling back to our coverage from last week, 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 directed Trump to give a deposition at Trump Tower. It was 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."

Benjamin Dictor, the attorney representing the men who filed the lawsuit, would not go into any details about what the former president said, but Dictor did tell CNN, "The president was exactly how you would expect him to be, he answered questions the way you would expect Mr. Trump to answer questions and conducted himself in a manner that you would expect Mr. Trump to conduct himself."

Trump's lawyers no doubt begged him to keep his answers brief and on topic. That description of his deposition suggests the former president chose a more predictable course.

The CNN report also said the Q&A, which was under oath, lasted more than four hours.

As for the Republican's reaction to yesterday's developments, Trump issued a written statement that read, "After years of litigation, I was pleased to have had the opportunity to tell my side of this ridiculous story — Just one more example of baseless harassment of your favorite President."

He was, evidently, referring to himself.