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Trump accuses Hillary Clinton of ‘breaking into the White House’ in furious reaction to court defeat

Judge says former president and two eldest children must testify in civil probe into business organisation

Andrew Buncombe
Friday 18 February 2022 12:50 GMT
Trump makes election promise to pardon January 6 rioters
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Donald Trump has released a seemingly furious statement in reaction to a significant court defeat in which a judge ruled that he, his son Donald Jr and daughter Ivanka would have to testify in an investigation into his business practices.

In comments that were notable for their singularity even by the standards of the former president, Mr Trump accused Hillary Clinton of breaking “into the White House, my apartment, buildings I own, and my campaign”.

“In other words, she can spy on a Presidential candidate and ultimately, the President of the United States—and the now totally discredited Fake News Media does everything they can not to talk about it,” he said.

Then, in a reference to a ruling earlier in the day by a judge in New York that he and his two oldest children must answer questions under oath in the state’s civil investigation into his business practices, he denounced top prosecutor Letitia James, as a “failed gubernatorial candidate”.

“[She] can run for the office of AG on saying absolutely horrendous and false things about Donald Trump, a man she doesn’t know and has never met, go on to get elected, and then selectively prosecute him and his family,” Mr Trump said, referring to himself, not for the first time, in the third person.

“After viewing millions of pages of documents over many years, they come up with a “Fringe Benefits” case on a car, an apartment, and on grandchildren’s education.”

Hilary Clinton knocks Donald Trump being in 'trouble'

He added: “She is doing everything within their corrupt discretion to interfere with my business relationships, and with the political process. With the rest of the case, even Cy Vance, who just left the DA’s office without prosecuting anything additional, because there isn’t anything additional to prosecute—THERE IS NO CASE!”

The investigation by New York State is an attempt to get to the bottom of claims that the Trump Organisation misstated the value of certain assets on financial statements, loan applications and tax submissions. Mr Trump and his children’s lawyers had hoped to quash the subpoenas and to stay any civil investigations until any criminal probes concluded.

But on Thursday, Judge Arthur Engoron said Mr Trump, along with Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr, must comply with subpoenas issued in December by Ms James, New York’s Attorney General, who for two months late last year campaigned to be governor. In December 2021, she ended the campaign and decided instead to run for reelection as Attorney General.

“In the final analysis, a State Attorney General commences investigating a business entity, uncovers copious evidence of possible financial fraud, and wants to question, under oath, several of the entities’ principals, including its namesake,” Mr Engoron wrote in his decision. “She has the clear right to do so.”

The eight-page ruling is almost certain to be appealed. If it is upheld it could force Mr Trump to decide whether to answer questions, or stay silent, citing his Fifth Amendment right to avoid.

In a statement, Ms James said: “No one will be permitted to stand in the way of the pursuit of justice, no matter how powerful they are. No one is above the law.”

Mr Trump’s comments ran to a little under 300 words, just 4 of which were in his trademark CAPPED UP style.

“The targeting of a President of the United States, who got more votes while in office than any President in History, by far, and is a person that the Radical Left Democrats don’t want to run again, represents an unconstitutional attack on our Country—and the people will not allow this travesty of justice to happen,” he concluded.

“It is a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in history—and remember, I can’t get a fair hearing in New York because of the hatred of me by Judges and the judiciary. It is not possible!”

Additional reporting by Associated Press

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