Trump disregards Hurricane Ian risks and refuses to reschedule a video-phone fraud deposition in Florida
Donald Trump refused to postpone a deposition in a class-action fraud lawsuit involving video phones, despite opposition lawyers’ requests for a delay due to a category 4 hurricane that hit Florida’s west coast on Wednesday.
While Trump’s lawyers opposed postponing the deposition, the investors’ lawyers said questioning the former president under oath was risky given the hurricane, according to Bloomberg.
The two parties reportedly shot letters to the court on Wednesday, with the judge eventually ordering both to agree on a new date for the deposition, which must take place before Oct. 31.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Cave wrote that Hurricane Ian was “battering the Florida peninsula with catastrophic storm surge, winds, and flooding.”
“Under these conditions, whether the deposition could occur on Friday, even remotely, is uncertain,” she said.
According to the report, the investors’ lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, told the judge that she offered to reschedule or relocate the deposition from Mar-a-Lago to Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, but was turned down by the former president’s lawyers.
Trump’s lawyers proposed videoconferencing for the deposition, but Kaplan refused due to the volume of documents and videos she planned to use.
According to Bloomberg, Trump and three of his oldest children were sued in 2018 by four investors who claimed they were duped into paying thousands of dollars to become independent sellers with ACN Opportunity LLC, which sold a videophone promoted by Trump but rendered obsolete by smartphones.
Trump reportedly avoided deposing for years but agreed this year to do so after he attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed failed.
The lawsuit alleges that Trump promoted the video phone company on “Celebrity Apprentice,” starred in promotions, and appeared in-person at events for ACN, according to Bloomberg.
Trump is engaged in many legal battles, one of which involves classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago. According to a previous report, these legal wranglings could cause him to delay announcing his presidential bid in 2024.
Trump recently stated on Truth Social that a poll showed him ahead of President Joe Biden in three states. The platform is a part of Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), which is preparing to go public through a merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp.