Citizen Donald Trump faces a mountain of legal problems without the...

Citizen Donald Trump faces a mountain of legal problems without the...
Citizen Donald Trump faces a mountain of legal problems without the...
Since taking office in January 2017, President Donald has been besieged by civil lawsuits and investigations targeting his inner circle.

With the conquest of the presidency by Democrat Joe Biden on Saturday, Mr Trump’s legal problems are likely to worsen.

In January, he will lose the protection that the US legal system affords a sitting president, former prosecutors said.

Here are some of the lawsuits and criminal investigations Trump can follow if he leaves office.

A New York attorney

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who enforces New York State law, has been conducting criminal investigations against Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization for more than two years.

The investigation originally focused on hush money payments made by Trump’s former attorney and self-described fixer Michael Cohen to two women who claimed to have had sexual encounters with Mr Trump prior to the 2016 election, which the president has denied.

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Mr Vance, a Democrat, has suggested in recent court records that his investigation is now broader and could focus on banking, tax, and insurance fraud and business falsification.

Mr Trump has described Mr Vance’s case as politically motivated harassment.

The case has attracted attention due to Mr. Vance’s efforts to get eight years of Mr. Trump’s tax return.

In July, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Mr. Trump’s offer to keep the return secret, saying the president was not immune to state criminal investigation in office but could make other allegations against Mr. Vance’s subpoena.

Mr Vance is likely to ultimately prevail when it comes to getting Mr Trump’s financial records, legal experts said.

The US Department of Justice has said a sitting president cannot be charged. Mr Vance is not bound by these policies because he is not a federal attorney, but he may still have hesitated to prosecute Mr Trump because he isn’t sure the case is constitutional, said Harry Sandick, a former New York prosecutor .

“Those concerns will go away when Trump leaves office,” said Sandick.

The investigation poses a threat to Mr Trump, said Corey Brettschneider, a professor of political science at Brown University.

“The fact that they issued the subpoenas and tried them up to the Supreme Court suggests that this is a very serious criminal investigation by the president,” said Brettschneider.

Justice Department probe?

Mr Trump could potentially face criminal prosecution by the US Department of Justice under the direction of a new US attorney general.

Some legal experts said Mr Trump could face federal tax evasion charges, citing a New York Times report that Mr Trump paid $ 750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017.

“You’ve got the stuff from the New York Times that has all sorts of signs of tax fraud,” said Nick Akerman, attorney at Dorsey & Whitney and a former federal attorney.

Mr. Akerman warned that it is not possible to know for sure until all evidence is in.

Mr Trump has rejected the Times report’s findings, tweeting that he has paid millions of dollars in taxes but is eligible for depreciation and tax credits.

Such a prosecution would be deeply controversial, and the Justice Department could decide that the indictment against Mr Trump is not in the public interest, even if there is evidence of criminal misconduct.

Mr Biden has approached this issue very carefully and has stated that he will not prejudice the judgment of his Justice Department.

He told National Public Radio in August that the prosecution of criminal charges against his predecessor was “a very, very unusual thing, and probably not very – how should I put it? – good for democracy ”.

One of Mr Trump’s attorneys did not return a request for comment.

Investigation of civil fraud in New York

New York attorney general Letitia James has conducted an active tax fraud investigation against Mr Trump and his family business, the Trump Organization.

The investigation into James, a Democrat, began after Trump’s former attorney, Mr. Cohen, told Congress that the president inflated assets to save money on loans and insurance and dumped them to lower property taxes.

The Trump organization has argued that the case was politically motivated.

The investigation is a civil investigation and may result in fines but not imprisonment.

Mr Trump’s son, Eric Trump, an executive vice president of the firm, was deposed in October for the attorney general’s close involvement in one or more audited transactions.

E. Jean Carroll

E. Jean Carroll, a former Elle Magazine writer, sued Mr. Trump for defamation in 2019 after the President dismissed Ms. Carroll’s allegation that he raped her in a New York department store in the 1990s and accused her of lying have to make sales for a book.

In August, a state judge allowed the case to continue, which meant Ms. Carroll’s attorneys could request a DNA sample from Mr Trump to compare it to a dress she allegedly wore in the store.

A federal judge in Manhattan turned down an offer from the US Department of Justice to replace Mr. Trump with the federal government as a defendant in this case.

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan said Mr. Trump failed to make statements about Ms. Carroll as part of his presidential tenure.

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Barbara McQuade, a law professor at the University of Michigan, said she expected Mr Biden’s Department of Justice to abandon efforts to protect Mr Trump from the case.

“It seems unlikely that the DOJ will pursue what I consider a frivolous argument in a new administration,” said Ms. McQuade, a former federal prosecutor.

Sommer Zervos

Mr. Trump is also facing a lawsuit from Summer Zervos, a 2005 candidate on Mr. Trump’s reality TV show “The Apprentice,” who says Mr. Trump kissed her against her will at a 2007 meeting and later in groped a hotel.

After Mr. Trump called Ms. Zervos a liar, she sued him for defamation.

Mr Trump said he was immune to the lawsuit because he was president.

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