President Trump attacked New York’s attorney general Monday for launching investigations into his companies and charitable foundation, which was forced to close last year.
In four successive tweets, Trump accused New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, of using the state’s attorney general to personally target him and his family. The president’s tweetstorm comes months after Attorney General Letitia James launched a probe into the Trump Organization’s business dealings.
“Governor Andrew Cuomo uses his Attorney General as a bludgeoning tool for his own purposes,” Trump tweeted. “They sue on everything, always in search of a crime. I even got sued on a Foundation which took Zero rent & expenses.”
James tweeted back at Trump on Monday, saying that no one, including the president, is above the law.
“As the elected AG of NY, I have a sworn duty to protect & uphold state law,” James tweeted. “My office will follow the facts of any case, wherever they lead.”
Trump has a bitter history with the attorney general’s office of his home state, dating back to his 2016 presidential campaign. The Trump Foundation was forced to dissolve in December 2018 and forgo its remaining assets under court supervision after a two-year investigation into the organization. Then-acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood accused the foundation of “functioning as little more than a checkbook” for Trump’s business and political interests.
James made Trump a major focus of her campaign for attorney general, repeatedly threatening to investigate his businesses. Trump tweeted about James in December, saying she had “campaigned on a GET Trump agenda.”
The president defended his shuttered charitable foundation Monday, suggesting that the investigation that led to its closure was a partisan attack. Trump also incorrectly referred to former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who resigned in 2018 after sexual assault allegations, as “Crooked Hillary’s Campaign Chair.”
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“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 tweeted. “Just in case anyone is interested - Clinton Foundation never even looked at!”
Schneiderman launched the investigation into the Trump Foundation in September 2016, months before the November election. While Schneiderman was a member of the Clinton campaign’s “leadership council” in New York, he was never her campaign chair. The attorney general’s office has rejected Trump’s calls for an investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
An investigation by The Washington Post found that Trump used the charity’s funds to pay legal settlements for private businesses, to make an illegal political donations and to buy two portraits of Trump himself for a combined $30,000. The foundation’s largest gift — $264,231 to the Central Park Conservancy in 1989 — involved the restoration of a fountain outside Trump’s Plaza Hotel.
James’s ongoing investigation into the Trump Organization focuses on four projects, including the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., and a failed attempt to buy the Buffalo Bills in 2014. The probe was prompted by testimony by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who said that Trump had inflated his assets while seeking loans, the New York Times reported.
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