Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has repeatedly accused Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton of committing crimes regarding her private email server, but a new report says Trump's companies have destroyed emails, sometimes in defiance of court orders.
Trump said during a rally in Ocala, Florida, on Oct. 13 that Clinton "has to go to jail," and added, "We have a person that has committed crimes that is now running for the presidency," noted CNN.
Newsweek reports that Trump's own companies have "destroyed or hidden thousands of emails, digital records and paper documents demanded in official proceedings, often in defiance of court orders."
The news outlet analyzed thousands of court filings, orders from judges and sworn affidavits from numerous civil lawsuits involving Trump's companies. Many of those suing Trump had to spend large amounts of money to get copies of electronic and paper records, often failing in that effort.
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Newsweek notes: "The Trump strategy was simple: deny, impede and delay, while destroying documents the court had ordered them to hand over."
On Oct. 28, FBI Director James Comey announced his agency was looking into some emails that might be pertinent to the FBI's previous probe of Clinton's emails.
Law enforcement officials have repeatedly told journalists that the emails in question belong to Huma Abedin, Clinton's former aide at State Department, and are related to an investigation of her estranged husband, Anthony Weiner, who was allegedly sending explicit texts to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina.
"This is bigger than Watergate," Trump told a rally on Oct. 28, notes The Washington Post. "This is bigger than Watergate. In my opinion. This is bigger than Watergate."
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The FBI has never charged Clinton with any crimes, and there is no way to know if the FBI's Oct. 28 announcement will change that fact.
The Washington Post reports that 69 people were criminally charged in Watergate, and 48 people pleaded guilty, including top staff members in President Richard Nixon's White House.
Nick Akerman, a Watergate case prosecutor, told Mic.com:
Donald Trump’s statement that this is bigger than Watergate is totally absurd. There is no evidence of any violation of law. For Trump to reach that conclusion based on a total lack of evidence is reminiscent of the innuendo spread by [Wisconsin Sen.] Joseph McCarthy in the early 1950s.
John Dean, who was Nixon's White House lawyer and spilled the beans to Congress, wrote in an opinion piece on Oct. 31 in The New York Times: "Whatever mistakes Mrs. Clinton made, her actions bear no similarities whatsoever to Nixon’s criminalization of his presidency, and his efforts to corrupt much of the executive branch."
The Washington Post adds that the Trump campaign has not produced evidence the announcement by the FBI or Clinton's emails are "bigger than Watergate."