Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Trump Is Facing A Lot Of Civil And Criminal Legal Problems

Donald Trump's problems did not end with his escaping conviction in his impeachment trial -- not did it end when he left office after being defeated in the election.

In fact, his problems (at least the legal problems) have gotten worse since he can no longer claim immunity from any of them. And there are a lot of them -- both civil and criminal.

Here is a rundown of Trump continuing legal problems from justsecurity.org:

1. E. Jean Carroll Defamation and Federal Tort Claims Act Litigation

Carroll is suing Trump for defamation after he publicly accused her of fabricating a rape allegation against him. The parties are currently involved in an appeal before the Second Circuit, where Trump (and so far, the Justice Department as well) is arguing that he had official immunity from Carroll’s defamation claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).

2. Summer Zervos Defamation Suit

Summer Zervos, a former contestant on the Apprentice, has filed a civil suit against former President Trump for defamation after he claimed her allegations of his inappropriate sexual conduct were lies designed to help the Clinton campaign and improve her fame. The case is currently at the New York Court of Appeals, the highest New York state court.

3. Mary Trump Fraud Litigation

Mary Trump is suing Donald Trump for defrauding her out of millions of dollars in an inheritance dispute. The suit is pending in New York state court, where the parties are currently battling over former President Trump’s move to dismiss the case.

4. Panama Hotel Fraud and Tax Litigation

Ithaca Capital is suing Trump’s hotel management company for fraud in federal court. Primarily, Ithaca claims that Trump representatives exaggerated the value of a Panama hotel during Ithaca’s negotiations to purchase it. 

5. Doe v. The Trump Corporation Class Action

A group of anonymous plaintiffs have filed a class action against the Trump family and their business, alleging that the Trumps used their brand to scam investors into paying for worthless business opportunities. The district court denied the Trumps’ bid to force the case into arbitration, and the Trumps are now appealing.

6. DC Civil Suit over Misuse of 2017 Inauguration Funds

In a non-criminal suit, the DC Attorney General is suing several Trump-affiliated entities for misusing inauguration funds to enrich Trump’s family business. The suit is currently in discovery before DC’s local court, where the AG’s office is deposing key Trump executives, notably including his children.

7. Bennie Thompson Incitement Suit for Jan. 6 Capitol Attack

Congressman Bennie Thompson, represented by the NAACP, is suing Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and two right wing militia groups for conspiring to forcibly prevent Congress from counting the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6. The district court is currently waiting for Trump and his co-defendants to respond to Thompson’s complaint. 

8. NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund Voting Rights Case for Post-Election Actions

The LDF is suing Trump, the Trump Campaign, and the RNC for their efforts to overturn the 2020 election in violation of the Voting Rights Act and the Ku Klux Klan Act. While the litigation is still at its early stages, Trump faces damages and a declaratory judgment that he did indeed violate these provisions of the law.

9. New York Attorney General’s Civil Investigations

Since Mar. 2019, New York Attorney General Letitia James has been investigating allegations that the Trump Organization altered property values to avoid tax liabilities. The investigation began after Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen provided congressional testimony that Trump engaged in fraud. In Oct. 2020, James’s office deposed Eric Trump, and in Jan. 2021 a state court judge ruled that Trump’s tax attorneys must turn over thousands of documents. 

10. Criminal Investigations into Trump’s Finances

During his presidency, the Manhattan District Attorney investigated Trump’s finances. Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance recently gained access to Trump’s tax information in the course of a criminal investigation into potential tax crimes, insurance fraud, and other financial crimes under state law. Criminal charges have not been filed.

11. DC AG Incitement Criminal Investigation

The DC Attorney General, Karl Racine, has announced a criminal investigation into Trump’s alleged role in provoking the Jan. 6th riots. No charges have been filed, though Racine’s office is reportedly looking into a local DC code that makes it a misdemeanor to incite violence.

12. Fulton County, Georgia Criminal Election Influence Investigation 

The Fulton County DA’s Office has opened a criminal investigation into attempted election interference by Trump. The DA’s Office has requested that all official and unofficial emails concerning the election be preserved and has reportedly also planned to look into a call between Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger as part of the investigation as well as Rudy Giuliani’s potential false statements to Georgia officials.

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