Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his supporters have frequently condemned Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for deleting more than 30,000 emails from the private server she used while serving as secretary of state, but the GOP nominee's companies have reportedly deleted thousands of emails and other documents in defiance of numerous court orders during pending cases over the years.
"Hillary is the one who broke the law over and over and over again," Trump told a crowd of supporters at a Las Vegas rally on Oct. 30, after news broke several days previous that the FBI had uncovered a trove of emails that Clinton had destroyed, according to CNN. "We can be sure that what is in those emails is absolutely devastating. I think we hit the mother lode, as they say."
But a Newsweek report, published on Oct. 31, said that since 1973, Trump and his companies have delayed lawsuits for years, forcing plaintiffs to spend huge sums of money on court proceedings, and have knowingly filed misleading affidavits. In some cases, the Trump team has not only refused to hand over evidence but also destroyed months worth of corporate records.
In one 2001 case, in which Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts sued Power Plant Entertainment LLC for reportedly unlawfully conspiring with a competitor to cheat Trump out of a deal, the real estate mogul offered his word, backed by no evidence, to prove when he had been made aware of that business deal. When the opposing lawyers filed discovery demands for records that included emails and other files to determine the timeline of Trump's knowledge, his company produced only a small box of documents that lawyers said were not relevant to the case.
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Trump's information technology manager then filed an affidavit stating that the company did not have email servers prior to 2001, though the court later learned that the company had been using servers as early as 1997. But it didn't matter -- all relevant emails had been destroyed, as had a key witness' computer.
Trump Hotels later dropped the case after the government sought sanctions against the real estate company.