• Fri. Sep 17th, 2021

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Trump calls New York criminal investigation ‘corrupt’ and ‘in desperate search of a crime’

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday tore into New York prosecutors, including New York Attorney General Letitia James, after her office said that it is pursuing a criminal investigation into the Trump Organization.

Trump attacked James, who announced the criminal probe Tuesday, and other officials in a lengthy statement that said, “There is nothing more corrupt than an investigation that is in desperate search of a crime.”

“But, make no mistake, that is exactly what is happening here,” he said. “The Attorney General of New York literally campaigned on prosecuting Donald Trump even before she knew anything about me.”

Trump said the prosecutors’ investigations are simply “a continuation of the greatest political Witch Hunt in the history of the United States. Working in conjunction with Washington, these Democrats want to silence and cancel millions of voters because they don’t want ‘Trump’ to run again.”

The former president said the probes are the result of lawmakers failing to stop him in Washington, so he said they turned the issues over to New York “to do their dirty work.”

Trump’s statement, however, did not address the subject of the investigation which stems from allegations made by his former attorney, Michael Cohen, who claimed when he testified to Congress in 2019 that Trump had deliberately inflated the worth of his assets in official documents.

The former president only referenced Cohen in his statement, though not by name, calling him “a lying, discredited low life” who was sentenced to three years in prison, though was released last July to home confinement.

James’ spokesperson, Fabien Levy, said Tuesday that her office’s investigation is “no longer purely civil in nature. We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA.”

An official familiar with the attorney general’s investigation said it developed some evidence suggesting a possible crime, so two lawyers from the office will work on that matter with the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

James has been at the forefront of legal action against former President Donald Trump’s family business.

Her yearslong probe into Trump’s charitable foundation led to its dissolution in 2018. More recently, her investigation into whether Trump’s business had inflated the value of its assets for the purposes of tax breaks and loans came to a head in October when Eric Trump, the president’s son and an executive at his business, sat for a pre-election deposition.

Jonathan Dienst contributed.