Donald Trump this week accused President Obama of bribing New York state's attorney general to launch a lawsuit against the GOP nominee's controversial and now defunct university. It was a shocking, albeit unsubstantiated, allegation.
If a traditional candidate in any other election year made the allegation, it would create political shockwaves. But it's just one example in a pattern of accusations and insinuations coming out of the Trump campaign.
When the dust settles on this heated general election race -- no matter who wins -- the crimes that Trump has laid at the feet of President Obama, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and, occasionally, his GOP opponents, will be substantial.
Here are some of the nefarious deeds Trump has alleged of his opponents:
Whether or not Trump was being "sarcastic" when he said that Obama and Clinton are the "founders" of ISIS, it was a serious charge. If they were to have any involvement in the creation of a global terrorist organization plotting America's destruction, that could be construed as a treasonous offense. Even if you take Trump at his word on that statement, he has also implied several times that "something is going on" with the president and terrorist groups. Trump has also accused the president of illegally arming ISIS terrorists and Clinton of "running guns" from Libya to Turkey without authorization while she was serving as secretary of state, both of which would be impeachable offenses if they had any factual backing.
The real estate mogul repeatedly seized on the concept of political bribery by Democrats prior to his allegations of a deal between Obama and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. It perhaps makes sense that Trump would allude to "pay for play" deals involving the Clintons, since it buttresses his rhetoric about a "rigged" system. Trump has -- in just this last month -- suggested that the Democratic nominee bribed Attorney General Loretta Lynch to not pursue charges against her for using a private email server during her time in the State Department. Trump may not want to toss around the claim so cavalierly, however, because Trump himself has some bribery scandals of his own.
Misappropriation of funds
The GOP nominee has frequently accused the Obama administration of fudging statistics on everything from unemployment (which is at an eight-year low) to the number of deportations (which have reached record heights under this president). Trump went further, though, when he alleged in March that the U.S. government deliberately “funds illegal immigrants coming in and through your border, right through Phoenix.” He even claimed to know where the money for this alleged unlawful act comes from -- the 2015 federal omnibus spending bill. However, Politifact reported that no funding in that legislation was earmarked for undocumented immigration, only border security.
Trump has often stated that Clinton's controversial private email server was "criminal." It's unclear whether the server itself was, but some conservatives have argued that Clinton could have been prosecuted for perjury were it determined that she misled Congress on that matter or her handling of the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya. The FBI and the Justice Department did not pursue charges against Clinton in July after an exhaustive months-long investigation into her use of the email server. "She committed a crime," Trump insisted this month. "[But] Democrats are all the prosecutors."
Trump's political career ostensibly began in earnest when he began routinely questioning whether Obama had been lying to the American people about his place of birth. Trump went on to cast aspersions on everything from Obama's birth name to his academic credentials, but if indeed Trump's allegations were true (which the evidence suggests they are not) the president would be guilty of violating Article II of the Constitution and it could potentially plunge the country into a crisis. The Supreme Court has repeatedly rejected entreaties from "birthers" to take up their cause, and Trump himself has said he doesn't talk about the theory anymore, although he would "love to."
Accomplice to sexual assault
Even before Clinton became Trump's general election opponent, the real estate mogul began pointing the finger at her for her husband, former President Bill Clinton's widely publicized marital infidelities. Trump upped the ante in May, directly accusing the former president of rape, abuse and sexual assault. Trump implied that the former first lady was an accomplice either before or after the fact, helping to cover up Bill Clinton's alleged crimes while intimidating his accusers. This line of attack was puzzling to some who recalled that Trump had dismissed past reports of inappropriate behavior by Bill Clinton, who never been charged with a crime of a sexual nature.
In recent weeks, as his poll numbers have suffered, Trump has started openly floating the idea that the general election in November could be "stolen" through "cheating," presumably by his Democratic opponents. But this again is not a new line of attack from the GOP nominee. On election night in 2012, even, Trump started tweeting about impropriety in the final result. The following year, Trump insisted that "dead people" had made the difference in Obama's nearly 5 million-vote advantage over Mitt Romney. Other than insisting that there are people "voting many, many times" in this country, Trump has yet to produce any sound proof of a systematic plan to steal elections perpetrated by Obama and the Democrats.
Although Trump himself has stopped short of directly accusing his Democratic opponents of murder, that hasn't prevented him from raising others' allegations that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama may be directly responsible for taking someone's life illegally. Early in the 2016 race, Trump raised the specter of former White House counsel Vince Foster, whose apparent suicide in 1993 (which the Republican called "very fishy") has long been linked to the Clintons by right wing conspiracy theorists, despite multiple investigations which cleared their name. Just last month, his attorney accused Clinton of having a Russian diplomat murdered.
Meanwhile, Trump himself has suggested that foul play was involved in the 2014 plane crash death of the Hawaii state official who verified Obama's birth certificate and hasn't rejected the idea that the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia also may have been killed by shadowy figures with connections to the White House. And there's the deadly, apparently ISIS-inspired shooting massacre in Orlando this June, which Trump has suggested the president also had a connection to.