The way Donald Trump ran his business he became a lawsuit magnet. Since being sued by the Justice Department in 1973 for racial discrimination because he refused to rent to black tenants (he settled out of court) Trump has been involved well over 4,000 lawsuits. 75 remain open even as he is picking his cabinet. He just settled the Trump University suit which he claimed he could easily have won for $25 Million; obviously he didn’t want it want that case to go to trial. Of course those suits don’t include all of the women he has sexually assaulted who could file suits in the future. While it appears that a few of the 75 suits are frivolous cases with no merit, the other open suits include accusations of fraud, unpaid bills and sexual discrimination.
The Supreme Court has ruled (9-0) that a sitting President cannot avoid being subpoenaed to testify in a court case so the new President can be deposed and/or called as a witness in cases filled against him. Even more a danger is the threat of discovery which could lead to Trump having to reveal his business dealings around the world and/or he could deposed under oath with respect to the many sexual assaults of which he has been accused. Witness to those assaults might also testify in open court against him. The results of such law suits could range from embarrassment to impeachment.
Famed attorney Gloria Allred and her daughter Lisa Bloom who represent many of the women who have accused Trump of sexual assault have threatened Trump with these kinds of legal actions if he follows through with his campaign promise to sue their clients. According to the Daily Beast, Allred issued the following statement: “In that lawsuit I would take the deposition of Trump and all of his enablers, and subpoena his business and personal records as well as any recordings that may exist in which he brags about sexual assault, such as the Access Hollywood recording and potentially, the Apprentice raw footage.”
A woman filed suit in which she alleged Trump and his billionaire buddy, Jeffrey Epstein, raped her when she was 13 at a series of sex parties that Epstein threw in 1994. (Epstein is now a convicted pervert having served time for soliciting underage girls in 2008,) She had witnesses which included the person Epstein hired to recruit very young models for his parties. The plaintiff recently dropped the suit after receiving death threats, but it wouldn’t surprise me if similar charges are filled someday by other women after Trump takes office, if for no other reason then to get revenge for past sexual assaults by embarrassing him.
Some potential cases are yet to be filed. For instance the New York attorney general is investigating Trumps charitable foundation because Trump seemed to have used the organization as his personal piggy bank. Trump is said to have used money contributed to the foundation to pay his personal bills. The foundation is also said to have provided Trump with expensive gifts, again paid for with donated money, such as a portrait of himself. The investigation is also said be looking into whether the foundation solicited donations without permits to do so. These are all violations of New York law.
However, the law suits which will likely plague Trump throughout his Presidency may not all be centered on his behavior or that of his businesses and foundation. Trump has obviously chosen some of his cabinet member for the purpose of subverting the federal agencies they will head – Scott Pruitt, a climate change denier chosen to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Rep. Tom Price an enemy of Obamacare who is the choice to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Rick Perry, a former oil state governor who is to be Trump’s Energy Secretary.
If Trump and his administration try implement some of his more controversial campaign promises, they and the President are likely find themselves in court. The Democrats need only to follow the example of the Republican state attorney generals who sued President Obama dozens of times over his signature environmental, immigration and health care initiatives. Such suits could force the Trump administration to enforce existing laws and/or to tie Trump’s initiatives in legal knots for years.
Donald Trump has not only been sued many times over his long business career. He has also used the legal system as a club, suing or threatening to sue anyone who dared to oppose him and drain them financially as they tried to defend themselves against his high priced legal team. However, he is no longer the swashbuckling business man who used the courts has his private battlegrounds. As President of the United States, even the appearance of impropriety can be politically devastating and proven infractions of the law can lead to impeachment. Any legal proceeding Trump is engaged in while he occupies the White House will be far from pleasant.