Trump Faces Lawsuits and Charges After Leaving Office
Posted 02/26/2021 02:29PM

Donald Trump left the office on January 20 this year, but he has not left the news. Not only is he facing lawsuits, he is also in danger of criminal charges. Now able to be charged as a private citizen, Donald Trump's past is no longer staying hidden. Whether it is over tax returns, rape allegations, or the Capitol riot, there is definitely a lot he must answer for.

To begin, Trump might have to respond to his rape allegations under oath, specifically one from the journalist E. Jean Carroll. This allegation is from decades ago, which Trump refuted by saying she was not his type, and that it was a publicity stunt. Currently, she has filed a defamation lawsuit against him, and is hoping to receive a retraction of Trump's previous statements and unspecified damages. This is one of two defamation suits against Trump currently in relation to sexual misconduct. These cases were delayed when he was in office because civil lawsuits did not take precedent to his duties as president, according to his lawyers. Carroll is also requesting a DNA sample from Trump, since she kept the dress from the night of the alleged attack. This wouldn't necessarily prove the sexual assault, but it would prove they met, since Trump claims they never did. The other sexual misconduct defamation case is from Summer Zervos. Accusing Trump in 2016, Zervos said he touched and kissed her against her will in 2007. Trump denied these accusations and called her a liar, leading to her defamation suit, seeking retractions and damages in 2017. He tried to argue that he was immune to state court cases as President, but Zervos has now asked to resume proceedings. Carroll meets regularly with Trump's other accusers, and says that the case is not just for her, but all women who can't speak up.

Trump is also being sued by Democractic congressman, Bennie Thompson of Mississippi and the NAACP. This suit argues that Trump, his former lawyer Rudy Guiliani, and the alt-right extremist groups violated the Ku Klux Klan act, when inciting the Capitol attack, with the goal of preventing Joe Biden from becoming president. Thompson was among the members of Congress who had to be rushed to shelter on January 6th. In a statement, Thompson said that Trump's "gleeful support of violent white supremacists led to a breach of the Capitol that put my life, and that of my colleagues, in grave danger. It is by the slimmest of luck that the outcome was not deadlier. While the majority of Republicans in the Senate abdicated their responsibility to hold the President accountable, we must hold him accountable for the insurrection that he so blatantly planned. Failure to do so will only invite this type of authoritarianism for the anti-democratic forces on the far right that are so intent on destroying our country." This suit was filed in the federal district court in Washington, and will focus on Trump as a private citizen, instead of as an official. He faces the potential of more than just this suit, since he lost his protections of holding office. It is expected that his lawyers will argue the first amendment and that he told the crowd to organize peacefully.

To add on, Trump is also being sued by counties in Georgia in relation to his failed voter fraud lawsuits, due to the high legal fees. So far, two counties, Cobb and DeKalb, have sued saying his lawsuits were based on "unsubstantiated and frivolous claims." They hope to recover the costs from Trump and David Shafer, Georgia GOP chairman. In total, the counties claim to have spent upwards of 16,000 dollars on his baseless claims. Since this story was only released today, there is not much information on these suits yet.

Finally, Trump's infamous taxes have been handed over to Manhattan prosecutors. On Monday, a United States Supreme Court order cleared eight years of Trump's tax returns and other financial records to be obtained by prosecutors. These documents have been handed over to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. This does not mean these documents will be publicized any time soon, or ever. Any materials turned over to a grand jury under New York state law, must be kept secret. This investigation began eight years ago, after the disclosing of the 130,000 dollars of hush money paid to Stormy Daniels by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. Cohen also told Congress that the Trump Organization has lied about financial situations to evade taxes.

In all, it is uncertain which of these cases and suits will end up with any significant results, but despite Trump leaving office his name will likely be heard for quite a while in the news. As a private citizen, it seems that he will be held accountable.

About WiNK

WiNK (“Wooster Ink”) is Wooster School’s online student news publication. WiNK serves as the student voice of our community, and provides readers with a weekly overview of what's happening in our students' lives. While most of the content is developed in our Upper School Publications elective, we rely on other students and faculty to be contributors.

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