05:20 GMT20 June 2021
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    Earlier, the New York attorney general’s office announced that it would be pursuing a criminal investigation into the Trump Organization in conjunction with the Manhattan district attorney’s office. The attorney general’s office had already launched a civil inquiry into the organization.

    Former US President Donald Trump lashed out at both state and local prosecutors in New York on Wednesday over the newly-announced joint criminal investigation into the Trump Organization.

    Trump blasted both New York Attorney General Letitia James and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., noting that the pair are giving life to a political “witch hunt” against the former commander-in-chief that first began in the nation’s capital during his time in the White House.

    “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,” Trump wrote in a 900-word statement that called for officials to redirect their attention in order to better curb murder and drug cases in New York City. 

    “But the district attorney and attorney general are possessed, at an unprecedented level, with destroying the political fortunes of [former] President Donald J. Trump and the almost 75 million people who voted for him.”

    The former president reiterated that the probe is simply a “continuation of the greatest political witch hunt in the history of the United States,” and that James and Vance are “working in conjunction with Washington [officials]” in order to “silence and cancel millions of voters because they don’t want ‘Trump’ to run again.”

    “After prosecutorial efforts the likes of which nobody has ever seen before, they failed to stop me in Washington, so they turned it over to New York to do their dirty work. This is what I have been going through for years. It’s a very sad and dangerous tale for our country, but it is what it is, and we will overcome [it] together,” Trump continued.

    He closed the lengthy statement by underscoring that “New York would be great and free again” only once prosecutors turn their attention to the “real issues.”

    Although Trump mentioned James was out to get him before she took on the attorney general role, her office has only been officially investigating the Trump Organization after Michael Cohen, who previously served as Trump’s personal lawyer, testified in 2018 that Trump had previously inflated his financial assets in order to obtain favorable loans.

    In this Dec. 12, 2018, file photo, Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, leaves federal court after his sentencing in New York
    © AP Photo / Craig Ruttle
    In this Dec. 12, 2018, file photo, Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, leaves federal court after his sentencing in New York
    While Trump did not namecheck Cohen, he did refer to his former attorney as 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.”

    Cohen previously pleaded guilty to tax evasion and campaign finance violations, and is currently under house arrest as he wraps up on his 3-year sentence. 

    Incidentally, after the joint criminal investigation was announced, Cohen took the opportunity to share a photoshopped image of Trump in jail, writing in a tweet that Trump and company would soon be “held responsible for their actions.” Cohen was once a fervent defender of Trump, even after he claimed the US presidency.

    The New York attorney general’s office informed the Trump Organization of its new criminal probe on Tuesday, later revealing to the public that the joint effort would be examining “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct” that encompasses tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsified business records. 

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    Tags:
    Letitia James, Criminal Investigations Command, New York, Trump Organization, Donald Trump
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