WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The start of a New York investigation into Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s charitable foundation is an attempt by Democrats to distract attention from their nominee, Hillary Clinton, and attack her rival, executive director of the Council for the National Interest and former CIA intelligence officer Philip Giraldi told Sputnik.
"The timing is very suspicious. It is clearly intended to change the narrative and shift it back onto Trump," Giraldi, who also worked as a US Army intelligence officer, said Wednesday.
On Tuesday, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said his office is looking into activities of the Donald J. Trump Foundation to ensure it is complying with the state laws governing charities.
Earlier on Tuesday, Democratic members of the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee sent a letter asking US Attorney General Loretta Lynch to probe Trump’s foundation.
According to Giraldi, political foes of Trump have been preparing for some time to launch an investigation into the real estate mogul’s charitable activities in a renewed bid to discredit him.
"There has been considerable chatter for several weeks about irregularities at the Trump Foundation," he noted.
However, word of Schneiderman’s move came just as Clinton’s campaign was floundering, with opinion polls showing Trump gaining on Clinton in polls, Giraldi added.
He said the timing of the New York probe "has to be considered as suspicious as it comes on top of possibly the worst week that Hillary Clinton has had as a presidential candidate due to her health issues and her denigration of Trump supporters," he said.
Clinton and her campaign aides have tried to portray Trump as so undignified and unlikable that he couldn’t be a credible president, but those efforts failed, prompting a revived attack, Giraldi asserted.
"Diverting the media narrative so that it is again focused negatively on Donald Trump is likely intended to mitigate the damage being done to the Hillary campaign," he said.
Giraldi, however, doubts Clinton’s latest criticism will be effective.
"I suspect it will not succeed, as the issues of credibility and honesty in the candidate [Clinton] were most affected — a vulnerability that cannot at this point be repaired by shifting the story," he concluded.
Giraldi currently is executive director of the Council for the National Interest, a group that seeks to influence US government policies in the Middle East.