Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged Thursday to help Democratic candidates on midterm election ballots in a speech to New York Democrats that took aim at former President Donald Trump, Republican lawmakers and Fox News.
Mrs. Clinton promised Democrats that she would play an active role in their campaigns in the coming months amid speculation that she might launch a political comeback if President Biden, 79, decides not to run for a second term.
In the address before the New York State Democratic Convention in New York City, she characterized as a right-wing attack a recent federal court filing that implicated her 2016 presidential campaign in spying on Mr. Trump.
“It’s funny: The more trouble Trump gets into, the wilder the charges and conspiracy theories about me seem to get,” Mrs. Clinton said.
Her party is girding for a tough campaign season.
House and Senate Democrats face an increasing chance that Republicans will take over the majority in both chambers in November. Voters have become increasingly frustrated with the way Mr. Biden and Democratic officials have handled the economy and the COVID-19 pandemic. Rising inflation and gas prices, as well as unpopular COVID-19 mandates, have contributed to the discontent, polls show.
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Mrs. Clinton, 74, said in her keynote address that a Republican majority would not govern for the working class and would continue to embrace Mr. Trump, 75.
“They will do nothing to invest in our schools or make college more affordable. They’ll ban books but do nothing about guns. They’ll make it harder for people to vote but easier for big corporations to bust unions. They’ll let polluters trash our environment and let Donald Trump trash our democracy,” Mrs. Clinton said. “That’s why I intend to work my heart out to elect Democrats up and down the ticket this November.”
The convention was held to nominate Gov. Kathy Hochul for a four-year term in November. Mrs. Hochul became governor after Andrew Cuomo was forced to resign because of a sexual harassment scandal.
Before introducing Mrs. Hochul, Mrs. Clinton accused Fox News of “getting awfully close to actual malice” in the network’s coverage of a court filing that says her 2016 campaign paid for spying on Mr. Trump.
Special counsel John Durham, who filed the charges, said he has evidence that the Clinton campaign paid for a technology expert to access Mr. Trump’s email communications at his New York City residences and later at the White House to look for damaging information linking him to Russia.
Mr. Durham is investigating the origins of the FBI’s probe of Trump-Russia collusion to meddle in the 2016 election.
Mrs. Clinton said conservatives are trying to protect Mr. Trump from his legal problems, including the New York attorney general’s investigation of his businesses and finances.
Republicans, she said, “have been coming after me again lately.”
She said the attacks are intended to deflect attention from the House committee investigation into the Jan. 6. 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. Democrats leading the investigation are focusing on House Republicans and Trump administration officials who they accuse of instigating and helping facilitate the riot.
Republicans say the Democratic-run committee is politically motivated and designed to smear Mr. Trump and other Republicans during the midterm campaigns.
On Thursday, Mrs. Clinton accused Republicans of engaging in “a cover-up” of the attack at the Capitol. She also dismissed “the latest culture war nonsense” that Republicans have highlighted as parents at school board meetings across the country rebel against COVID-19 restrictions and liberal curricula such as critical race theory and the promotion of LGBTQ lifestyles.
She said Mr. Trump continues to divide the country even though he is no longer in office. The recent revelation that his accounting firm dropped him over unreliable financial statements is among the reasons Fox News is reporting on the spying accusations, she told the convention crowd.
“Investigations draw closer to him, and right on cue, the noise machine gets turned up, doesn’t it?” Mrs. Clinton said. “Fox leads the charge with accusations against me, counting on their audience to fall for it again and again.”