The Donald Trump campaign is currently gloating after FBI director James Comey announced on Friday that it planned to re-look at emails associated with the Clinton campaign, namely those found on Clinton top aide Huma Abedin’s estranged husband Anthony Weiner’s email.
Yet, according to Newsweek, mishandling emails can hardly compare to Trump’s companies habits of destroying evidence and defying court orders to get their way.
Over the course of decades, Donald Trump’s companies have systematically destroyed or hidden thousands of emails, digital records and paper documents demanded in official proceedings, often in defiance of court orders. These tactics—exposed by a Newsweek review of thousands of pages of court filings, judicial orders and affidavits from an array of court cases—have enraged judges, prosecutors, opposing lawyers and the many ordinary citizens entangled in litigation with Trump. In each instance, Trump and entities he controlled also erected numerous hurdles that made lawsuits drag on for years, forcing courtroom opponents to spend huge sums of money in legal fees as they struggled—sometimes in vain—to obtain records.
The tactics also span back decades. In 1973, Trump and his father were embroiled in a lawsuit after they refused to rent to African-Americans. “The Trump strategy was simple: deny, impede and delay, while destroying documents the court had ordered them to hand over,” Newsweek reports.
More recently, the Trump team destroyed email evidence in a case involving two American Indian casinos.
In 2005, the Trump organization filed a lawsuit claiming that two American Indian casinos should be turned over to him.
The email evidence, however, could not be provided because the Trump organization had destroyed it.
“Despite knowing back in 2001 that Trump might want to file a lawsuit, his companies had deleted emails and other records without checking if they might be evidence in his case,” the report reads. “Beginning around 2003, the company wiped clear the data from everyone’s computers every year.”
The Trump camp then lied about it repeatedly, stalling the case and then finally dropped it when he feared sanctions, but not before wasting a considerable amount of time and court resources.
In all, Newsweek found a repeat pattern of Trump purposefully destroying evidence and trying to dupe and delay the courts, tactics that have a strong parallel to those used in his own campaign.
“Donald Trump has a long, troubling history of destroying and hiding important documents in lawsuits, but he thinks Hillary Clinton’s the one who should be going to jail,” Lucas Jackson of Reuters concluded about the uncovered evidence and what should be a damaging report.