Former president Donald Trump was not 10 minutes into his remarks at a rally meant to boost Republican candidates in North Carolina when he turned his attention to a candidate who will appear on a ballot 437 miles away in the state he once called home.
Instead of extolling the virtues of the GOP ticket in this year’s midterm elections, the twice-impeached ex-president launched into an extended tirade about the New York state attorney general who on Wednesday filed a $250m lawsuit against him, his three eldest children and a host of companies, organisations and persons associated with his eponymous real estate and licensing business, following a three-year civil investigation into allegations of fraud.
“There's no better example of the left's chilling obsession with targeting political opponents than the baseless, abusive and depraved lawsuit against me, my family, my company, by the racist Attorney General of New York State. Leticia ‘Peekaboo’ James,” said Mr Trump, who employed a bizarre and heretofore unexplained nickname for the Empire State’s chief law enforcement officer.
Continuing, Mr Trump called the veteran attorney a “raging maniac” who had no other goal than to “get” him and said she “knows nothing” about him despite having overseen a three-year investigation which has uncovered evidence that his companies systematically overstated the value of his properties to obtain loans and tax benefits.
Two days after Ms James said the ex-president “engaged in years of illegal conduct to inflate his net worth ... to deceive banks and the people of the great state of New York,” Mr Trump derided her efforts as “gross prosecutorial misconduct” that is part of an ongoing Democratic-led campaign to destroy him and his extremist political movement.
“It's coming in so many different forms, whether it's in Atlanta, whether it's from Washington DC, whether it's January 6, coming from many different forms,” he continued, rattling off a list of the myriad criminal investigations that have placed him in significant legal peril as a result of his attempts to overturn the 2020 election and his hoarding of classified documents at his Palm Beach, Florida home.
The former president said that in a “fair country,” the Department of Justice would be investigating Ms James for what he described as “her appalling and malicious abuse of power” instead of looking into whether he broke any US laws when he fomented a riotous mob and sent it to attack the Capitol in hopes of preventing Congress from certifying his 2020 election loss or whether he endangered US national security by hoarding highly classified documents in a basement storage room at his Florida beach club.
“There’s never been a president that’s gone through the crap I’ve gone through,” he said, offering an accurate assessment of his situation without including the fact that each investigation into his conduct is predicated upon multiple violations of US and state laws.
Referring to the Department of Justice investigation into the improper storage of classified documents at Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, the former president called the whole situation a “hoax”.