Donald Trump being sued – latest: Trump blames banks for tax scandal and says he can declassify papers by thinking about it

Trump claims he can declassify top secret documents just ‘by thinking about it’

Donald Trump has claimed that as president he had the authority to declassify top secret documents just “by thinking about it”, as he blamed banks themselves for failing to check his company’s valuations.

He was speaking on Fox News after New York’s attorney general accused the Trump Organisation of inflating his net worth by billions of dollars and habitually misleading banks.

Dubbing it “the art of the steal”, Letitia James in her suit has also named his children Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump as defendants.

The 222-page suit detailed instances of alleged fraud, many involving claims made on annual financial statements that Mr Trump would give to banks, business associates and financial magazines as proof of his riches as he sought loans and deals.

Also under probe for removing government-owned documents from the White House and taking them to his Florida estate, Mr Trump told Sean Hannity that “there doesn’t have to be a process” for declassifying documents “if you’re the president of the United States”.

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‘The things we do for the Orange Jesus’

Representative Liz Cheney said that one House Republican who objected to the 2020 presidential election results before the January 6 riot reportedly called former president Donald Trump “orange Jesus”.

Ms Cheney made the remarks at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington DC, for its Constitution Day event.

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Trump blames banks over tax valuations saying they shouldn’t have relied on his numbers

Former president Donald Trump on Wednesday blamed banks for lending money based on bogus valuations after he was sued for “numerous acts of fraud”.

New York attorney general Letitia James sued the 45th president, his three adult 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.

In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, the former president called the lawsuit a “witch hunt” and argued that banks failed to conduct their own valuations.

“We have a disclaimer,” said Mr Trump. “It basically says, you know, get your own people, you’re at your own risk, this was done by management, it wasn’t done by us. So, don’t rely on the statement that you’re getting.”

My colleague Alisha Rahaman Sarkar reports:

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Trump could be barred from doing business in New York for five years under attorney general fraud lawsuit

Donald Trump could be barred from doing business in the city and state of New York under a new lawsuit filed by top prosecutors, accusing him and his adult children of fraud.

In what would be one of the most devastating blows incurred yet to the former president and his businesses empire during its long and twisting history, New York attorney general Letitia James said it was clear Mr Trump and his children had knowingly engaged in fraudulent activity to mislead people about the value of his business holdings over many years.

It would also represent a personal blow to the man born in Jamaica Estates, Queens, and who has always considered himself a proud New Yorker.

Read the details in this report by our chief US correspondent Andrew Buncombe:

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How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez inadvertently sparked New York attorney general’s Trump lawsuit?

On Wednesday, when New York Attorney General Letitia James announced her $250m civil lawsuit against former president Donald Trump, she specifically cited former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s testimony in 2019 where he revealed that the former president fraudulently inflated the value of his assets.

“I will remind everyone that this investigation only started after Michael Cohen, the former lawyer, his former lawyer testified before Congress [and] shed light on this misconduct,” she said.

The question that triggered Mr Cohen’s response came in 2019 from Ms James’s fellow New Yorker, Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, reports Eric Garcia.

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Watch: Bill Barr says AG James ‘grossly overreaches’ by involving Trump’s adult children

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The walls are closing in on Donald Trump – is his time finally up?

With New York’s attorney general suing Donald Trump and his company, alleging business fraud involving some of their most prized assets, including properties in Manhattan, Chicago and Washington, are the walls finally closing in on the former president?

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Iranian president calls for Trump to face ‘fair tribunal’ for Soleimani killing

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Wednesday slammed former president Donald Trump’s authorisation of the January 2020 drone strike which killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Guard Corps General Qasem Soleimani as a crime for which the ex-president must face justice.

Speaking at the 2022 United Nations General Assembly in New York, Mr Raisi described the late military leader as a “freedom seeking man who became a martyr” at Mr Trump’s hands.

Andrew Feinberg listened to the remarks.

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Watch: ‘Reckoning has begun’ for Trump

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Five key takeaways from New York’s $250m lawsuit against Trump

The lawsuit details how the Trump Organization falsified financial statements and the value of his property, the role of his children in all of this, and his bizarre attempt to buy the Buffalo Bills. Eric Garcia takes a look at the suit.

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Trump claims FBI took his last will and testament in Mar-a-Lago search

Former president Donald Trump claimed the FBI agents who executed a court-authorised search of his Palm Beach, Florida home took his last will and testament in addition to the 100 classified documents found in his office and a nearby storage room.

“They took a lot. I think they took my will. I found out yesterday,” said the twice-impeached ex-president during an appearance on Fox News’ host Sean Hannity’s eponymous nightly programme.

Mr Trump told Hannity his attorneys and the National Archives and Records Administration were “having very nice discussions, no problems,” when “all of a sudden we got hit very hard by the FBI” on 8 August.

When the twice-impeached ex-president suggested that FBI agents had taken his will, Hannity responded: “Am I in it?”

Andrew Feinberg is following the news from Washington.

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