In short, our courts must force Trump & Co. to abide by court rules instead of bowing to Trumpian tactics. Otherwise it would be an obvious miscarriage of justice.
Donald Trump is known for his pout and litigation. He has been involved in over 3,500 lawsuits. He is or was a plaintiff in 1,900 lawsuits and a defendant in 1,450. With a litany of civil and criminal cases now pending against the former president, he must defend himself without the protection of the executive that the seated president normally affords. So far, Trump has been thoroughly convicted in court, and his failed efforts to reverse election results in state and federal venues could be a forerunner of life after the White House.
Clarifying his claims in court is a quintessentially American pastime. It is a right that should not be lightly denied. However, courts will not tolerate tactics designed solely to delay or obscure legal proceedings or to punish business competitors or individuals. Indeed, courts can discipline parties and their attorneys for using the courtroom as a brickbat. You can also punish the parties for misconduct if the circumstances justify it.
Trump learned litigation from disgraced and disfellowshipped attorney Roy Cohn. Best known as Senator Joseph McCarthy’s chief attorney, Cohn helped McCarthy pursue his anti-communist witch hunts from the floor of the US Senate in the 1950s.
McCarthy’s Red Baiting Rants are costing countless American citizens their jobs and reputations.
Later in life, Cohn passed his dirty trickery on to young businessman Trump, who never looked back. Since then, Trump has made nearly two thousand claims and has been held accountable in many more cases. Today, a litany of lawsuits awaits Trump as he re-enters private life. Below is a summary of a few.
The Manhattan Criminal Case
The Manhattan District Attorney has conducted a criminal investigation into Trump and his business. One investigation specifically concerns the “hush money” allegedly paid to two women during the 2016 campaign who claimed to have had extramarital relations with Trump before he became president.
Prosecutors are investigating possible criminal activity within the Trump organization and have asked that Trump’s financial records be reviewed for eight years as part of the grand jury’s investigation. Trump took the case to the United States Supreme Court, which ruled in a 7-2 decision that the president was not immune from criminal investigation during his tenure. Trump is no longer protected from possible criminal charges.
The New York Attorney General’s fraud investigation
New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office is investigating whether the Trump Organization improperly increased the value of its assets in financial statements to secure loans and obtain tax benefits. Last fall, a New York State judge ordered the Trump Organization to forward the case to the New York Attorney General.
Trump’s non-profit association and hotels
Trump Tower in Chicago, IL. Image by Ryan J. Farrick.
A lawsuit from DC Attorney General Karl Racine accuses Trump’s inaugural committee and two other companies Trump owns of misusing the committee’s money to send money to the president’s personal coffers. The complaint alleges that the opening committee, a nonprofit organization, has entered into a contract with the Trump family to grossly overpay the event space at the Trump International Hotel Washington, DC for the 2016 Trump presidential victory celebrations.
Michael Cohen’s Bills
Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney, said Trump and the Trump Organization agreed to pay his legal bills soon after he was the focus of investigations by New York prosecutors and special adviser Robert Mueller at the start of Trump’s presidency was. Cohen claims that the Trump organization abruptly stopped paying his dues in June 2018, shortly after Cohen agreed to work with prosecutors. Cohen has amassed $ 2 million in legal bills and sued the president in New York State Court.
Multi-tier marketing suit
Trump and his adult children were also named as defendants in a class action lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that Trump and his adult children tricked plaintiffs into becoming sellers for the American Communications Network (ACN). The Trumps are said to have led them to believe Donald Trump thought their investments would pay off.
Hold Trump accountable
If Trump returns to the private sector, he should be treated like any private sector citizen. So he should be held accountable for how he behaves and his claims in court. The courts overseeing the various claims have the right to sanction Trump and his attorneys if his claims and defenses are unfounded, constitute an abuse of process, or are simply interpolated to obscure and delay an immediate resolution of the claims.
Today’s courthouses are far too full of meritorious claims to handle such tactics. And today’s court records are too crowded to endure deliberate delays. In short, our courts must force Trump & Co. to abide by court rules instead of bowing to Trumpian tactics. Otherwise it would be an obvious miscarriage of justice.