Trump accused of another quid pro quo, this time with New York

Source: Politico | February 13, 2020 | Kyle Cheney

“He’s holding New York state hostage to try to stop investigations into his prior tax fraud,” tweeted Rep. Val Demings.

President Donald Trump appeared Thursday to link his administration’s policies toward New York to a demand that the state drop investigations and lawsuits related to his administration as well as his personal business and finances.

Hours before New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was set to meet the president at the White House, Trump tweeted that Cuomo “must understand” that National Security far exceeds politics,” a reference to his administration’s recent decision to halt New York’s access to the Global Entry and other “trusted traveler” programs that allow New Yorkers faster border crossings and shorter airport lines.

Trump continued, “New York must stop all of its unnecessary lawsuits & harrassment, start cleaning itself up, and lowering taxes.”

Trump’s invocation of “lawsuits & harrassment” was a reference to the state’s numerous lawsuits against his administration and also against Trump’s business, which is based in New York.

That prompted Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), one of the House managers who prosecuted Trump’s impeachment in the Senate, to accuse the president of “expanding his abuse of power to blackmailing U.S. states (threatening millions of people he supposedly works for). In this case, he’s holding New York state hostage to try to stop investigations into his prior tax fraud.”

State attorney general Letitia James has subpoenaed for Trump’s financial records, and the state is pursuing multiple inquiries about the Trump Organization’s business practices. James also just secured a $2 million settlement from Trump’s now-defunct charitable foundation, which was accused of numerous violations of misuse of funds.

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Trump’s linkage of the investigations and lawsuits to his national security-related decisions involving New York immediately called back to House Democrats’ warning that Trump — if acquitted in last week’s impeachment trial — could leverage federal resources to coerce states to take actions that benefit him personally or politically.

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House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler drew a link between Trump’s tweet about New York and the “quid pro quo” that got him impeached: withholding millions of dollars in military aid from Ukraine while demanding that the country investigate his Democratic rivals.

“Dear @SenateGOP, This is what another quid pro quo by the President of the United States looks like,” Nadler tweeted, pointing to Trump’s comment.

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