A criminal investigation in the state of Georgia. The expansion of a New York-based investigation into Donald Trump’s business empire. Lawsuits filed by women alleging that Trump assaulted them. Billions of dollars worth of defamation lawsuits have been filed against individuals acting on Trump’s lawsuits. Angry enemies and old friends who see a new legal vulnerability. And the ongoing litigation and possible charges stemming from the deadly MAGA mutiny in the United States Capitol.
Following last week’s swift acquittal in the second impeachment trial of former President Trump in the Senate, Trump, his advisers and his lawyers spent part of the long weekend celebrating their isolation from another legal problem.
But with the Senate trial in the rearview, Trump now faces a wide range of other legal dramas during his immediate post-presidency. No longer protected by the considerable legal protection of the Oval Office, Trump has privately lamented that his enemies are going to investigate or “sue me for the rest of my life,” according to a person who discussed the matter with him in the past. . few weeks.
The new lawsuits mainly dealing with his attempts to overturn the election results seem to be growing weekly.
On Tuesday, the NAACP filed a new federal lawsuit on behalf of Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi. The lawsuit, which was also filed against Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, the Oath Keepers, and the Proud Boys, alleges that both the men and the two groups violated the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 when they tried to stop the certification of victory. by Joe Biden in 2020.
“The lawsuit alleges that Trump and Giuliani violated … the Ku Klux Klan Act, which was passed in 1871 in response to KKK violence and intimidation that prevented members of Congress in the South during Reconstruction from fulfilling their duties constitutional laws, “a press release announcing the lawsuit, said. “The statute was specifically intended to protect against conspiracies.”
Several advisers to Trump and Giuliani did not respond to questions about which attorneys would handle this federal lawsuit for their respective clients, although Michael van der Veen, one of Trump’s attorneys in this month’s Senate trial, and Alan Dershowitz, the attorney famously joined by Trump’s legal defense for the first impeachment trial, both told The Daily Beast that they had not been contacted by Trump’s orbit about these matters as of Tuesday.
The federal lawsuit comes just as attorneys working in the DC attorney general’s office were still debating whether to charge the former president for violating local law when he allegedly incited the unrest, according to CNN.
Although the riot was the culmination of months of Trump’s clumsy attempts to overturn the 2020 election, it is not the only chapter in the efforts of Trump and his allies that has potentially left the former president legally exposed.
On February 10, Georgia prosecutors embarked on a criminal investigation into Trump’s conference call in early January (before the riot), during which the then-president pressured state officials to “find” the necessary votes. to undo Joe Biden’s victory in 2020 in that state. The phone call was just one facet, surreptitiously recorded, of the messaging and legal crusade by Trump and prominent Republicans for months to rule out Biden’s clear and legitimate victories in several crucial states. Trump’s failed mission became increasingly authoritarian as the presidential transition progressed, but virtually all legal challenges were dismissed or laughed at by the courts, including Trump-appointed judges. The Georgia secretary of state’s office has also opened its own separate investigation into the now-infamous so-called, characterizing the investigation as “investigative and administrative.”
“The moment here is not accidental given [the] impeachment, ”Jason Miller, Trump’s senior adviser, said in a brief statement to The Daily Beast, referring to the Georgia criminal investigation. “This is simply the latest attempt by the Democrats to score political points by continuing their witch hunt against President Trump, and everyone sees it.”
But the legal exposure could extend beyond political affiliations, as voting technology companies that Trump and top allies had baselessly maligned as part of a fictitious conspiracy to rig or hack the election and lead Biden on already they have sent numerous legal threats to people close to the previous president.
Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems have already filed gargantuan lawsuits against Giuliani, former Trump attorney Sidney Powell, and others. Giuliani, who has served as Trump’s personal attorney, and Powell were pushing these fictitious conspiracy allegations at the behest of Trump, who himself promoted those bogus allegations on Twitter and elsewhere. Those who work at Team Dominion, for example, have said they are still scrutinizing others involved in the company’s unsubstantiated delay, and that group of people included, perhaps first and foremost, the 45th President of the United States. “Our legal team is looking, frankly, at everyone, and we are not ruling anyone out,” Dominion CEO John Poulos said in an interview with CNN in late January.
The next lawsuits against Trump in his post-presidency could also be personal. Two days before Trump left office last month, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough publicly stated that he was still weighing a possible lawsuit against Trump, who during his time in the White House had promoted, several times, defamation without evidence of that Scarborough is a murderer.
According to a person with knowledge of the matter, Scarborough has recently told people that it is still considering filing a lawsuit against the former president, but that it has not made a final decision yet and probably will not do so for months. However, the MSNBC host has also said that if a bunch of civil lawsuits end up surfacing against Trump in the coming months, particularly for his role in starting the January 6 riots, that would likely influence his calculation so as not to bother. . filing your own lawsuit.
In recent months, this informed source added, Scarborough has discussed a potential lawsuit against Trump with Washington DC-area attorney Elizabeth “Libby” Locke of the prominent law firm Clare Locke.
In the weeks after Biden’s inauguration, Trump had been remarkably low on public appearances and in the media. Many of the former president’s longtime allies believed it was for the best and had advised Trump to continue to do so for now, especially if there is a flood of lawsuits filed. A source close to the former president said they were “happy [Trump’s] not on Twitter anymore, ”because if he were, his post-presidential angry tweets could“ inevitably ”make potential court cases, particularly libel, against him stronger.
But after the death of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday, Trump couldn’t help himself. He called Fox News to talk about Limbaugh’s life and friendship, and ended up trying to talk about himself and the lie that he had won the 2020 election. Soon after, it was announced that Trump would appear on Hannity, Newsmax TV and OAN, all also on Wednesday.
A person familiar with the matter said that Trump had recently been reminded not to mention Dominion or Smartmatic during new interviews, due to fear that that could be used against him if either company decides to go after him, too. in defamation suits.
However, not all of the former president’s litigation challenges are new. Others have fallen asleep, waiting for him to return to civilian life.
His new status has also reawakened prosecutors in New York who, according to The Wall Street Journal, are now looking at loans Trump got on various buildings, including the staple of his sprawling family business: Trump Tower in Manhattan. The Trump Organization and the former president are still grappling with how to address the hundreds of millions of dollars in estimated debt it has taken on, with due dates for those loans to arrive within a few years.
In New York, both the Manhattan district attorney’s office and state attorney general Letitia James are investigating whether the Trump Organization committed tax and insurance fraud by lying about the value of assets. The investigations sparked a separate court battle over attempts by District Attorney Cyrus Vance to subpoena Trump’s tax returns. The case is still pending before the Supreme Court, but Vance has reportedly already obtained many of the statements through other outlets, according to Bloomberg.
The power of ownership also gave former President Trump the ability to dodge the negative consequences of his alleged history of violence and sexual harassment. Another source close to Trump says the former president continues to occasionally complain about the Me Too movement, denouncing it as one of the most destructive movements to gain national traction during his one term in the White House.
A lawsuit filed by former journalist E. Jean Carroll alleging that Trump defamed her by calling her a liar, after she accused Trump of raping her at a New York department store in the 1990s, is still pending. Under Attorney General Bill Barr, the Justice Department tried to take the case out of state court and place it in federal court where the department’s attorneys would handle the case on Trump’s behalf.
Also, for the entirety of the Trump administration, Summer Zervos was once a contestant on Trump’s now-defunct NBC television show. The newbie, had been trying to depose Trump in a defamation lawsuit. Towards the end of the 2016 presidential election, Zervos publicly accused the then Republican candidate of sexually assaulting her, grabbing her breasts, and “shoving[ing]”His” genitalia “on her. While in office, the official White House position was that the many women who had appeared to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct or assault were simply lying.
Early last year, a New York court halted the lawsuit, thus postponing any possible deposition of the then president of the United States. But last week, Zervos and his lawyer formally asked a judge to allow him to continue his lawsuit, given that he can no longer claim the protection of the highest office in the country that his lawyers had long said protected him from This statement.
“[The] The accused is no longer president. As a result, the defendant’s appeal is moot, ”argued Zervos’s attorney in the new filing.