Trump testifies in lawsuit over protest crackdown
Ex-president Donald Trump testified Monday in a lawsuit brought by activists who say they were attacked by his security guards six years ago, a lawyer for the plaintiffs said.
"We can report at this time that Donald John Trump sat for approximately four and half hours under oath and answered questions concerning the events that occurred outside of Trump Tower on September 3, 2015," attorney Benjamin Dictor told AFP.
Several activists of Mexican descent brought the lawsuit alleging that Trump's bodyguards violently broke up a protest they were holding outside Trump Tower in New York.
The protesters were demonstrating against derogatory comments Trump had made about Mexico and Mexicans at the start of his ultimately successful run for president.
"They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists," Trump had said.
The plaintiffs allege that the guards ripped away their signs and punched and choked one of the demonstrators.
Trump gave the videotaped deposition inside Trump Tower after a New York judge rejected an attempt to quash a subpoena ordering him to testify.
"While we will not comment on the substance of Mr. Trump's testimony at this time, we hope today's events serve as an example that our institutions have prevailed and no one is above the law," Dictor said.
It's not clear if the deposition will ever be made public but lawyers for the activists hope the video recording will be aired in front of a jury if the case proceeds to trial.
Trump said in a statement that "after years of litigation, I was pleased to have had the opportunity to tell my side of this ridiculous story."
"When security tried to deescalate the situation, they were unfortunately met with taunts and violence from the plaintiffs themselves," Trump said of his bodyguards.
"Seeing this for what it is, prior to my deposition today, the Court dismissed almost all of the plaintiffs' claims, except for a baseless claim for injuries they never suffered, and the temporary loss of a worthless cardboard sign which was soon thereafter returned to them," he added.
The case is one of several civil lawsuits that Trump is facing.
Journalist E. Jean Carroll and Summer Zervos, a former contestant on "The Apprentice," have both sued him for defamation over his response to their allegations of sexual assault against him, which he denies.