Former President Donald Trump released a fiery statement on his website Wednesday following reports that the probe into the Trump Organization is now a “criminal” investigation.
“I have just learned, through leaks in the mainstream media, that after being under investigation from the time I came down the escalator 5 ½ years ago, including the fake Russia Russia Russia Hoax, the 2 year, $48M, No Collusion Mueller Witch Hunt, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, and others, that the Democrat New York Attorney General has ‘informed’ my organization that their ‘investigation’ is no longer just a civil matter but also potentially a ‘criminal’ investigation working with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office,” Trump wrote.
“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,” the former president added in the statement.
The statement came in response to a Tuesday night statement released by New York state Attorney General Letitia James’ office.
“We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organization is no longer purely civil in nature,” James spokesman Fabien Levy wrote in the statement, according to Fox News.
“We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA. We have no additional comment at this time,” Levy added.
Trump claimed, “The Attorney General of New York literally campaigned on prosecuting Donald Trump even before she knew anything about me. She said that if elected, she would use her office to look into ‘every aspect’ of my real estate dealings. She swore that she would ‘definitely sue’ me.
“She boasted on video that she would be, and I quote, ‘a real pain in the a–.’ She declared, ‘just wait until I’m in the Attorney General’s office,’ and, ‘I’ve got my eyes on Trump Tower.’”
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has already been conducting a criminal investigation into the Trump Organization, according to The New York Times.
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“The long-running criminal investigation by the Manhattan district attorney has focused on an array of potential financial crimes at the Trump Organization, including tax and bank-related fraud. In particular, the prosecutors are examining whether Mr. Trump’s company inflated the value of his properties to obtain favorable loans and lowered the values to reduce taxes,” according to the outlet.
“For months, the district attorney’s office has focused on Mr. Trump’s long-serving chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, mounting an aggressive effort to gain his cooperation against Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization, according to people with knowledge of the matter. As part of that effort, the district attorney has subpoenaed records from Mr. Weisselberg’s bank and the private school in Manhattan that his grandchildren have attended.
“It is unclear what role Ms. James’s office will play in that aspect of the investigation. In the collaboration, two assistant attorneys general from Ms. James’s office are joining the district attorney’s team, people with knowledge of the matter said,” the outlet added.
“But her office will not be conducting its own independent criminal investigation. She is continuing her civil inquiry, which focuses on some of the same strands as the district attorney’s sweeping criminal inquiry. Both offices have been investigating some of the same Trump properties, including his Seven Springs Estate in Westchester County.
“As part of its inquiry, Mr. Vance’s office obtained eight years’ worth of Mr. Trump’s tax returns, among other financial records, but only after Mr. Trump aggressively fought the effort, resulting in a long-running legal battle that twice reached the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Trump, for his part, was resolute, arguing in his statement, “The Attorney General made each of these statements, not after having had an opportunity to actually look at the facts, but BEFORE she was even elected, BEFORE she had seen even a shred of evidence.”
He added, “This is something that happens in failed third world countries, not the United States. If you can run for a prosecutor’s office pledging to take out your enemies, and be elected to that job by partisan voters who wish to enact political retribution, then we are no longer a free constitutional democracy.
“Likewise, the District Attorney’s office has been going after me for years based on a lying, discredited low life, who was not listened to or given credibility by other prosecutorial offices, and sentenced to 3 years in prison for lying and other events unrelated to me. These investigations have also been going on for years with members and associates of the Trump Organization being viciously attacked, harassed, and threatened, in order to say anything bad about the 45th President of the United States. This would include having to make up false stories.”
The investigation is not the only current case regarding Trump.
Florida is also preparing for “thorny extradition issues that could arise” from a state statute because of the Manhattan district attorney’s criminal investigation into former Trump, Politico reported last week.
Two county officials told Politico that Palm Beach County police were looking into possible responses in the case that Vance Jr.’s investigation will potentially order an indictment of Trump while he is residing at his Mar-a-Lago home.
Florida law permits Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to intervene and determine if Trump should surrender if he is indicted, according to Politico.
“The statute leaves room for interpretation that the governor has the power to order a review and potentially not comply with the extradition notice,” said Joe Abruzzo, clerk of the Circuit Court of Palm Beach County.
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