The New York Independent

Trump, Cronies Face Slew of Lawsuits, Criminal Probes Arising Out of Presidency

Donald Trump's one-term presidency has left a trail of litigation in its wake. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)
Donald Trump’s one-term presidency has left a trail of litigation in its wake. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Donald Trump’s presidency effectively ended with the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, the biggest assault on the nation’s democracy since the Civil War.

But the depth of the criminality of his presidency is just beginning to surface in courts and goes beyond his incitement of the riot.

In the most recent development, Facebook’s Oversight Board ruled today (May 5) to extend Trump’s ban from the social media site. The panel said the risk of Trump inciting further violence “justified” the suspension.

In another damning revelation, Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson, sitting in Washington, said in a blistering ruling Monday (May 3) that Attorney General William Barr engaged in a pattern of deceit before Congress and the public about the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Barr misled her and Congress about advice he had received from top department officials on whether Trump should have been charged with obstructing the Russia investigation. She ordered the release of a key memo detailing those discussion.

“The fact that he would not be prosecuted was a given,” Judge Jackson wrote.

Trump and his cronies have been beset by legal woes stemming from his one-term in office. Chief among them is the so-called “Big Lie,” his claim that the election was rigged.

Voting machine companies Dominion and Smartmatic are leading the charge in a series of defamation lawsuits, targeting such defendants as My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell and Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell.

In addition, Fox News and talking heads Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo and Lou Dobbs are also named as defendants.

The companies are seeking billions of dollars in damages against the defendants for spreading 2020 election fraud conspiracy theories related to their voting machines.

Trump’s former personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, figures in a number of lawsuits and criminal probes stemming from his presidency, the Dominion and Smartmatic suits among them.

The FBI just raided the former New York mayor’s home and seized phones and computer equipment, reportedly as part of an investigation into the ouster of Ukrainian Ambassador Marie L. Yovanovitch.

The probe reportedly was paused by Trump Attorney General William Barr who never followed through on a request for a search warrant to obtain the attorney’s electronic records.

Giuliani was a key player in Trump’s first impeachment trial. Now, the federal criminal investigation is trying to determine whether he broke lobbying laws, according to The New York Times.

An offshoot of that investigation may also be probing Giuliani’s effort to seek damaging information from Ukrainian officials about President Biden and son Hunter Biden.

Hunter served for a time on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company.

In unproven allegations, Giuliani asserted that then Vice President Biden intervened to stop a Ukrainian corruption investigation into Burisma on behalf of his son.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) filed a lawsuit against Giuliani, Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) alleging they incited the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and the NAACP separately sued Trump, Giuliani and the far-right groups Proud Boys and Oath Keepers over their role in the Jan. 6 attack.

The New York State Bar is considering whether to disbar Giuliani, and the New York City Bar recently asked the state Attorney Grievance Committee to conduct a “serious investigation” into the former New York City Mayor, CNN reported.

Giuliani led Trump’s post-election legal challenge to reverse Biden’s victories in six battleground states, which led to more than 60 failed court cases at the state and federal level and before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Dominion has sent cease-and-desist notices and warnings to preserve documents to more than 150 people, The Washington Post reported. Right wing media outlets Newsmax and One America News are on the list.

Dominion’s CEO told CNBC the company is examining filing additional lawsuits and is “not ruling anyone out,” which suggests that Trump could be added to the list of defendants.

If Trump were to be sued, the case would be added to a mountain of litigation against the former one-term president.

Some are civil suits stemming from his pre-presidential business dealings. Others are defamation claims from women he allegedly assaulted.

More still are criminal probes and civil actions that scrutinize his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, according to JustSecurity.org which tracks cases.

Trump lost immunity from indictment during the time he served as president. He’s vulnerable now, but no former president has ever been indicted, or convicted.

In all, Trump faces more than 60 legal actions. Here are some of the most significant as complied by JustSecurity.

E. Jean Carroll Defamation and Federal Tort Claims Act Litigation Carroll is suing Trump for defamation after he publicly accused her of fabricating a rape allegation against him.

Summer Zervos Defamation Suit Summer Zervos, a former contestant on the Apprentice, has filed a civil suit against former President Trump for defamation after he claimed her allegations of his inappropriate sexual conduct were lies.

Mary Trump Fraud Litigation Niece Mary Trump is suing Donald Trump for defrauding her out of millions of dollars in an inheritance dispute. The suit is pending in New York state court.

Panama Hotel Fraud and Tax Litigation Ithaca Capital is suing Trump’s hotel management company for fraud in federal court, over allegations Trump exaggerated the value of a Panama hotel during Ithaca’s negotiations to purchase it. 

Doe v. The Trump Corporation Class Action A group of anonymous plaintiffs have filed a class action against the Trump family and their business, alleging that the Trumps used their brand to scam investors into paying for worthless business opportunities.

DC Civil Suit over Misuse of 2017 Inauguration Funds In a non-criminal suit, the DC Attorney General is suing several Trump-affiliated entities for misusing inauguration funds to enrich Trump’s family business.

Capitol Police Suit for Jan. 6 Riots Two Capitol Police officers–both on duty during the Jan. 6 insurrection–sued Donald Trump for injuries they sustained while protecting the Capitol.

New York Attorney General’s Civil Investigations New York Attorney General Letitia James is investigating allegations that the Trump Organization altered property values to avoid tax liabilities.

Criminal Investigations into Trump’s Finances Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance recently gained access to Trump’s tax records as part of a criminal investigation. Vance’s probe has since expanded to include an investigation of a loan the Trump Organization received to build its Chicago tower, according to CNN.

DC AG Incitement Criminal Investigation District of Columbia Attorney General, Karl Racine, is investigating Trump’s alleged role in provoking the Jan. 6th riots.

Fulton County, Georgia Criminal Election Influence Investigation  The Fulton County DA’s Office has opened a criminal investigation into attempted election interference by Trump.

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