Politics Trump’s post-presidency will be cluttered with potentially serious legal battles

20:25  22 november  2020
20:25  22 november  2020 Source:   washingtonpost.com

How Trump’s erratic behavior and failure on coronavirus doomed his reelection

  How Trump’s erratic behavior and failure on coronavirus doomed his reelection The same impulses that helped lift the president to victory in 2016 contributed to his undoing just four years later, and the exhausted voters who once gave Trump a shot turned on him.[This story has been optimized for offline reading on our apps. For a richer experience, you can find the full version of this story here. An Internet connection is required.

President Trump ' s team say voters in Democrat-leaning areas were given more of an opportunity to correct any mistakes on their postal ballots. Mr Biden is the projected winner here - the results will be certified by state election officials on 24 November.

Trump refuses to formally concede. Biden wins election and Georgia recount. Trump refuses to formally concede. The race for the presidency is usually decided in a small number of key battleground states that switch party allegiance between elections.

NEW YORK —President Trump's ongoing court battles are unlikely to pose significant legal jeopardy for him before he leaves office, but the swirl of criminal investigations and civil complaints stemming from his business activities and personal conduct could prove potentially more serious once he departs, experts say.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie standing next to a tree: (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post) © Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Among Democrats, there is a palpable desire to pursue the harsh accountability for Trump that many feel he has avoided by virtue of his office. But his successor, President-elect Joe Biden, reportedly has little appetite for doing so, having signaled to advisers that unleashing the federal government to settle scores would undermine his goal of unifying the country.

Trump lost at the ballot box. His legal challenges aren’t going any better.

  Trump lost at the ballot box. His legal challenges aren’t going any better. Despite a flurry of lawsuits, Trump and his team have notched only minor victories. In five key states, Trump and his allies filed lawsuits that — according to Trump — would reveal widespread electoral fraud, undo President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, and give Trump another four years. “Biden did not win, he lost by a lot!” Trump tweeted.

Trump has packed court with conservatives and lawyers are ready to challenge election process, but proof will be crucial.

While mainstream US media has projected Democrat Joe Biden to win the US presidency , sitting President Donald Trump has refused to concede, claiming massive election fraud due to an unprecedented amount of mail-in ballots.

A spokesman for Biden's transition team declined to comment but pointed to statements Biden made previously affirming that he would not interfere with a Justice Department investigation into Trump nor pardon his predecessor. "It is not something the president is entitled to do, to direct a prosecution or decide to drop a case," Biden told MSNBC in an interview in May. "It's a dereliction of duty."

Lawyers for Trump did not respond to requests for comment. Across the breadth of cases in which he's been forced to defend himself or protect his interests, though, they have vigorously disputed allegations of wrongdoing while upending the proceedings by seeking delays and making other time-consuming requests.

As it stands, Trump faces several lawsuits and at least two active investigations by state or local authorities in New York alone. The city was the president's longtime home before he redesignated Florida as his permanent residence, and it remains the Trump Organization's base of operations.

Why Obama Fears for Our Democracy

  Why Obama Fears for Our Democracy In an exclusive interview, the former president identifies the greatest threats to the American experiment, explains why he’s still hopeful, and opens up about his new book.This was not meant to be commentary on the Trump presidency—not directly, at least. In any case, Obama has more respect for Genghis Khan than he has for Donald Trump. He raised the subject of Genghis Khan in order to make a specific, extremely Obama-like point: If you think today’s world is grim, simply cast your mind back 800 years to the steppes of Central Asia. “Compare the degree of brutality and venality and corruption and just sheer folly that you see across human history with how things are now,” he said.

Trump won the election last night, taking Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and North Carolina, among anchor states like Florida and Texas. Frankly, we won this election. This is a major fraud on the election. So we will be going to the US Supreme Court. We want all of the voting to stop.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump reportedly said that he is ready to accept the election victory of Democratic candidate Joe Biden - a prognosis given by US media on Saturday - when all legal challenges to his campaign are exhausted, Fox News reported on Saturday, citing

[Court temporarily blocks enforcement of subpoena for Trump’s tax records]

Trump's lawyers are likely to be most focused on minimizing the risk of criminal prosecution, which he could attempt to achieve on his own at the federal level by preemptively pardoning himself, as he has mused in the past, and members of his inner circle. There is no consensus among constitutional law experts on whether a president can pardon himself — and importantly, any pardons would not be binding on state and local authorities, whom experts view as his biggest threat.

The Manhattan district attorney's ongoing investigation into Trump and his family-run business appears to be the most significant problem he faces; were Trump to be charged and convicted, he could face the prospect of incarceration.

That case is examining whether fraud was committed when alleged hush-money payments were made ahead of the 2016 election to two women who said they had affairs with Trump years before he became president — claims he denies. ­Prosecutors also are said to be looking at the possibility that false information was submitted on loan applications to obtain favorable rates and whether any information was manipulated in the pursuit of tax benefits.

President Trump stays mostly out of view after election but is working, taking steps to, in part, poke Biden

  President Trump stays mostly out of view after election but is working, taking steps to, in part, poke Biden Trump has been mostly out of view since Election Day but is working: He is purging staff and pursuing actions designed in part to irk Joe Biden.President Donald Trump has stayed mostly out of public view in the two weeks since his election loss to Democrat Joe Biden. On nine of the 14 days since the Nov. 3 election, his daily schedule has been summed up in a single sentence: “The president has no public events scheduled" – the longest he has been out of public view since taking office in January 2017.

Biden wins election, while Georgia recounts, and Trump refuses to formally concede. Florida has voted with the eventual winner in all but one presidential election since 1964. It is also the swing state with the largest population and the most electoral college votes.

Biden wins election, while Georgia recounts, and Trump refuses to formally concede. Florida has voted with the eventual winner in all but one presidential election since 1964. It is also the swing state with the largest population and the most electoral college votes.

The president's lawyers have dismissed the district attorney's effort as a politically driven fishing expedition.

To be sure, it remains to be seen whether this investigation will result in any charges, as prosecutors have yet to obtain Trump's tax records and related documents deemed crucial to their case. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., a Democrat, is in litigation to obtain that material, having won a series of victories in lower courts but now awaiting a final say from the U.S. Supreme Court — which has been silent on the matter for several weeks after Trump asked that it get involved.

A spokesman for Vance declined to comment on the status of the case.

[Supreme Court goes idle on Trump-related disputes and time is running out]

Andrew Weissmann, a prosecutor involved in Robert S. Mueller III's special counsel investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, said Vance's team appears to be doing a "classic following-the-money case." He likened it to the bank-fraud case Mueller's team brought against Trump's former 2016 campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

President Trump's defeat may give Supreme Court a rest from personal, policy lawsuits

  President Trump's defeat may give Supreme Court a rest from personal, policy lawsuits Many cases tied to Trump's policies or personal entanglements are likely to become moot or, at least, undeserving of the Supreme Court's attention.Even in the autumn of his presidency, little has changed. The administration came before the justices the week after Election Day in hopes of dismantling the Affordable Care Act, perhaps the most celebrated achievement of his predecessor. Later this month, it will defend its plan to exclude noncitizens from the census count used to apportion seats in the House of Representatives.

"Accounting records are critical to that," Weissmann said.

Separately, the New York State Attorney General's Office is conducting a wide-reaching civil fraud investigation, including into whether Trump and the Trump Organization sought to minimize tax liability by misrepresenting to lenders the value of certain assets.

The New York Times, which ahead of this month's election published an expansive investigative series based on several years of Trump's tax records that the newspaper obtained, reported Thursday that Vance and New York Attorney General Letitia James also are looking at Trump's use of consulting fees, some of which may have been directed to his daughter Ivanka, as a means to lower his taxable income between 2010 and 2018.

An attorney for the Trump Organization has said that the company followed the law and guidance of tax experts and that all applicable taxes were paid. Ivanka Trump has called the inquiries "harassment pure and simple" and "part of a continued political vendetta."

The state attorney general's probe amounts to a thorough auditing of the president and the Trump Organization, including whether either "improperly inflated the value of Mr. Trump's assets on annual financial statements in order to secure loans and obtain economic and tax benefits," according to a recent court filing. If substantiated, such charges could result in financial penalties or potential restrictions on Trump's business operations.

How to fix the presidency after Trump

  How to fix the presidency after Trump A plan for reforming the nation’s highest office beyond 2020.But for all their concerns, most of them assumed that, in the words of Alexander Hamilton, future presidents would be constrained by a “sense of responsibility” and would exercise such awesome power with “scrupulousness and caution.” The “dread of being accused of weakness or connivance,” Hamilton wrote, would “beget equal circumspection.

Cyrus Vance, Jr. wearing glasses and a suit and tie © Provided by The Washington Post a person holding a microphone © Provided by The Washington Post

Then there's the Internal Revenue Service. As the Times also has reported, Trump could owe the government as much as $100 million.

"His dispute with the IRS, if it's not resolved before he leaves office, is the same kind of huge potential exposure anyone would have in that kind of dispute with the IRS," said Stephen A. Saltzburg, a former Justice Department official and director of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution program at George Washington University Law School.

[Judge rejects Justice Dept. bid to short-circuit Trump defamation case]

Trump also will have to face a pair of high-profile defamation lawsuits in New York, stemming from accusations of personal misconduct. In federal court in Manhattan, advice columnist and author E. Jean Carroll awaits the advancement of her case after a judge ruled that the Justice Department could not intervene on Trump's behalf, as it had attempted to do.

In her memoir, Carroll accused Trump of raping her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s — which Trump has adamantly denied, calling her a liar and suggesting he was not attracted to her. Carroll's lawyers have proposed that Trump be deposed and provide a DNA sample in the coming months. His DNA is required for comparison to a stain that was on the dress Carroll said she wore the day of the encounter.

Roberta Kaplan, who represents Carroll, said she has sent Trump's legal team a proposed schedule to proceed. His attorney in the case, Marc Kasowitz, had not responded as of Friday, Kaplan said. If a schedule isn't agreed upon by the parties, they are set to meet in court Dec. 11. Kaplan said she anticipates that Trump will try to delay further.

For Trump, defections and gaffes hamper 2020 election court challenges

  For Trump, defections and gaffes hamper 2020 election court challenges Over the three weeks since the election, President Trump's legal bid to challenge the results has unfolded in unpredictable ways with a revolving cast of characters. To date, the Trump campaign and its allies have lost a succession of legal challenges totaling at least 30 adverse rulings. Of the 19 lawsuits the Trump legal team has brought across five states, 17 of the cases have been denied, dismissed or withdrawn, leaving both his supporters and critics to question whether the post-election legal effort has been worthwhile.

"We haven't heard back, but we assume Trump will take the position there should be no discovery pending appeal," Kaplan said.

A similar lawsuit brought by former "Apprentice" contestant Summer Zervos is pending in front of New York state's highest court. A date for a hearing has not yet been scheduled.

More recently, the president's niece, Mary L. Trump, has sued him, his sister Maryanne Trump Barry and the estate of his late brother Robert Trump, claiming they defrauded her of tens of millions of dollars when family patriarch Fred Trump's estate was settled after his death in 1999.

Mary Trump recently published an explosive book about the Trump family and her uncle's rise to the presidency, and she was a vocal critic of him ahead of the election. Lawyers for the president have not formally responded to the lawsuit. When it was filed, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that it was Mary Trump who committed fraud by surreptitiously recording her aunt disparaging the president. McEnany said that Mary Trump had "really discredited herself." Mary Trump recorded the conversations in New York, where, under state law, only one party's consent is needed.

Former federal prosecutor Jessica Roth, who teaches at Cardozo School of Law in Manhattan, said this jumble of personal and business-related cases may amount to years-long legal dramas for Trump. "The sheer number of them makes the task of dealing with them really daunting," Roth said. "And none of those actors are bound by the decisions made by the other one."

a person wearing a costume: E. Jean Carroll talks to reporters outside a courthouse in New York on Wednesday. © Seth Wenig/AP E. Jean Carroll talks to reporters outside a courthouse in New York on Wednesday. a man and a woman looking at the camera © Provided by The Washington Post

20 days of fantasy and failure: Inside Trump’s quest to overturn the election .
With his denial of the outcome, Trump endangered America’s democracy, threatened to undermine national security and public health, and duped supporters into believing, perhaps permanently, that Biden was elected illegitimately.  Trump’s allegations and the hostility of his rhetoric — and his singular power to persuade and galvanize his followers — generated extraordinary pressure on state and local election officials to embrace his fraud allegations and take steps to block certification of the results. When some of them refused, they accepted security details for protection from the threats they were receiving.

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