President Donald Trump on Monday accused New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of deploying Attorney General Letitia James as a “bludgeoning tool” in a politically motivated legal campaign against Trump-branded businesses in the state.
“It is very hard and expensive to live in New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo uses his Attorney General as a bludgeoning tool for his own purposes. They sue on everything, always in search of a crime,” the president wrote on Twitter.
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“I even got sued on a Foundation which took Zero rent & expenses & gave away more money than it had,” Trump continued. “Going on for years, originally brought by Crooked Hillary’s Campaign Chair, A.G. Eric Schneiderman, until forced to resign for abuse against women. They never even looked at the disgusting Clinton Foundation.”
James was elected New York’s top law enforcement official in November 2018 after former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a frequent antagonist of the Trump administration, resigned in May 2018 amid allegations of physical abuse by several women.
The Trump Foundation was forced to shut down in December 2018 and divvy up its remaining funds to various non-profit groups under an agreement with acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood, who was appointed to carry out the remainder of Schneiderman’s term.
The dissolution of the president’s personal charity followed an investigation Schneiderman first launched in September 2016 and a subsequent lawsuit brought by the attorney general’s office in June 2018, alleging that Trump and his children improperly benefited personally and politically from the organization.
James in a March court filing accused Trump of illegally entangling his foundation with his 2016 presidential campaign, according to the Associated Press, and is seeking $2.8 million in restitution — as well as a decade-long ban prohibiting the president, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump from operating any New York charities.
“Now Cuomo’s A.G. is harassing all of my New York businesses in search of anything at all they can find to make me look as bad as possible,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “So, on top of ridiculously high taxes, my children and companies are spending a fortune on lawyers. No wonder people and businesses are fleeing New York in record numbers!”
Roughly a half-hour later, the president tweeted again about the legal battle consuming his foundation and criticized what he claimed was a failure by New York prosecutors to properly scrutinize the foundation belonging to former President Bill Clinton and former Democratic presidential nominee Hilary Clinton, which became a partisan punching bag for Republicans during the 2016 election.
“That’s right, The Trump Foundation gave away 100% plus, with Zero rent or expenses charged, and has been being sued by Cuomo and New York State for years – another part of the political Witch Hunt,” Trump wrote online. “Just in case anyone is interested – Clinton Foundation never even looked at!”