The 20 major lawsuits and investigations Trump is facing now that he’s left office

Former president says investigations are politically motivated

The main lawsuits Trump is facing after leaving office

Lawsuits and investigations hung over Donald Trump throughout his business career, then his presidency, and have continued on through to his current post-presidency phase.

Most recently, there’s the bombshell $250m lawsuit from New York attorney general Letitia James against Mr Trump and three of his children for a host of allegedly fraudulent business practices. But there are plenty more.

Mr Trump has reportedly faced an estimated 4,000 cases in his lifetime, plus two (unsuccessful) impeachments, two (successful) divorces, six bankruptcies, and 26 sexual misconduct allegations. Things haven only gotten worse now that he’s a private citizen again, without the backing of the Justice Department.

No former president has ever been indicted for criminal conduct, and presidents are argued to have immunity from prosecution while in office, but things have changed.

The usually blustery ex-president reportedly told an associate that since leaving office, he’s worried people across the country are going to be “suing me for the rest of my life.”

He now faces more than a dozen high-profile lawsuits and investigations. Here’s what you need to know.

The Capitol Riots and the 2020 Election

The president faces a number of big lawsuits relating to his conduct during the 2020 election — and especially on 6 January, the day a mob of pro-Trump supporters attacked the Capitol after a fiery speech from the recently defeated president.

In February of 2021, congressman Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, sued the president for allegedly inciting the riot, alongside his former lawyer Rudy Giuliani and right-wing extremist groups. In March of that year, California Democrat Eric Swalwell filed a similar suit, which also included Donald Trump Jr, the ex-president’s son, and Alabama congressman Mo Brooks. 

Mr Thompson dropped his suit in July 2021 as the January 6 committee process was heating up, but Mr Swalwell’s remains ongoing.

In July 2022, Mr Trump’s lawyers argued he can’t be sued for his alleged role in inciting the Capitol riots, claiming he has immunity from civil lawsuits related to his work as president. They said his January 6 speech urging supporters to march on the Capitol and trashing the 2020 election results was part of “an open discussion and debate about the integrity of the 2020 election.”

Jason Miller, a Trump senior adviser, said in response to the suits that the president “did not incite or conspire to incite any violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6th”.

District of Columbia attorney general Karl Racine has said he is collaborating with federal prosecutors and investigating whether Mr Trump’s role in the riots violated any DC  laws, though no charges have been filed. The DC official has launched a suit against militia groups who were present on January 6.

Prosecutors in Atlanta, meanwhile, have focused on Mr Trump’s conduct before the riots, such as a now infamous tape of Mr Trump urging Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensberger, a Republican, to “find” just enough votes to overturn the state’s election results.

Georgia officials haven’t charged Trump with any crimes thus far, but have subpoenaed many of his top advisers.

Mr Miller has described that investigation as a “witch hunt” and “Democrats’ latest attempt to score political points”.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) Legal Defense Fund is also suing Mr Trump over the election, accusing him, his campaign, and the Republican National Committee of attempting to overturn the election, in violating of the Voting Rights Act and Reconstruction-era Klu Klux Klan act. The group is also representing members of Congress in their own suit against the president.

At the end of March 2021, two Capitol police officers also filed a suit against Mr Trump for damages over the “physical and emotional injuries” they suffered during and after the riot. James Blassingame and Sidney Hemb are seeking compensation in excess of $75,000 plus interest and costs each.

This February, a federal court found Mr Trump wasn’t immune from litigation in relation to the suits.

Then, this summer, a federal judge allowed three other lawsuits, from members of the US Capitol and DC Metropolitan police forces, to move forward on similar grounds.

Federal officials are also investigating Mr Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, though haven’t prosecuted him directly thus far, instead subpoenaing and searching numerous associates.

Sexual Harassment

The former president also faces ongoing suits related to sexual harassment allegations, which he has denied, prompting defamation suits from his accusers.

Former Elle magazine columnist E Jean Carroll accused the president of raping her in a New York department store in the mid-1990s. Mr Trump has said she was “totally lying” about the allegation. The DOJ has argued at appeal that Mr Trump shouldn’t face the suit, as his comments were related to his work as a federal employee because they concerned his fitness for office.

The case remains pending in federal appeals court, and Ms Carroll plans to file a new lawsuit against Mr Trump, under a new New York state law, passed in May, which gives adult victims of sexual assault a one-time opportunity to file civil lawsuits past the normal statute of limitations.

Business and Fraud Cases

The former president’s sprawling business empire is another target for legal action. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R Vance, Jr, a Democrat, led a criminal investigation against Mr Trump for more than a year over hush money payments to women accusing him of affairs during the presidential campaigns, as well as potential fraud relating to allegedly selectively devaluing and inflating the value of his business’s assets for tax and loan benefits.

At the end of 2021, Mr Vance left office, but the investigation has continued under his successor Alvin Bragg, who has warned prosecutors an indictment against Mr Trump himself is not likely due to the strength of the criminal case.

Top Trump associates, including his former banker and longtime accountant, have reportedly been interviewed as part of the investigation.

In August, the probe netted a major victory, with former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg pleading guilty to felony tax charges.

Perhaps the most consequential legal threat of all comes from New York Attorney General Letitia James.

On 21 September 2022, she filed a bombshell $250m lawsuit against Mr Trump and three of his children, accusing them of perpetrating “the art of the steal” through a litany of fraudulent business practices the AG’s office has been investigating for years. (Mr Trump has called the suit a politically driven “witch hunt” and denied any wrongdoing.)

The attorney general’s findings have also been referred to federal prosecutors and the Internal Revenue Service, Ms James said.

Finally, a group of anonymous people has filed a class-action suit against the Trump family and business arguing they used the Trump brand to scam investors into paying for worthless business ventures. Mr Trump is appealing the suit after previously trying to force it into arbitration.

In March of 2022, Mr Trump and his two sons agreed to be deposed in the suit.

Alan Garten, general counsel for the Trump Organization, has previously said all Trump business practices were above board.

"Everything was done in strict compliance with applicable law and under the advice of counsel and tax experts." he previously told the New York Times. "All applicable taxes were paid and no party received any undue benefit,” he added.

Another suit mixed business and politics, much as president Trump and his family did throughout his administration.

In January of 2020, the DC attorney general filed a lawsuit claiming Mr Trump’s inauguration committee overpaid the Trump International Hotel in 2017 during the festivities.

In May of 2022, the Trump Organization and Trump inaugural committee agreed to a $750,000 settleement of the case.

Parallel to all of these cases is yet another look into Mr Trump’s business practices.

In October of 2021, the Westchester District Attorney’s Office in New York launched an investigation into financial irregularities surrounding Mr Trump’s golf course in the area, which remained ongoing as of August 2022.

Other Suits and Potential Cases

In addition to suits against the Trump family, there are legal fights within it. Mary Trump, the former president’s niece, has a pending case accusing Mr Trump of defrauding her of millions of dollars in an inheritance dispute. The case remains in the New York Supreme Court.

Mr Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen has sued the ex-president and top lieutenants like former attorney general Bill Barr, accusing them of conspiring to extend Cohen’s prison stay for lying to Congress.

In August, Mr Trump urged a court to dismiss the suit, claiming he has “absolute immunity” to it.

The former president is also facing a suit from five Hispanic men who allege they were assaulted by security at a protest outside Trump Tower. Mr Trump has insisted the men were “troublemakers” and that his security “did nothing wrong.” A trial in the case was set for July, but was reportedly delayed due to the numerous other legal entanglements Mr Trump is facing.

Mr Trump’s real estate empire has attracted other cases as well: a Washington Post analysis found that numerous pending suits relate to his properties, ranging from slip-and-fall lawsuits, to allegations of bed bugs at a Las Vegas hotel, to former and current tenants who say the Trumps schemed them with phoney rent invoices.

There are also a number of simmering legal questions that could turn into future cases, such as Mr Trump’s actions highlighted in the Mueller report, to potential suits against those involved in the Capitol riots that could name the ex-president.

Last but not least, outside of Donald Trump’s New York legal troubles, he’s also facing a serious investigation in Florida, where federal officials searched his Mar-a-Lago estate in August as part of an investigation into how numerous classified documents were improperly taken out of the White House.

How’s he going to pay for all of this?

While Mr Trump’s business may have taken a $700m hit since he was president, he remains a wealthy man, and a recently formed post-presidential Trump political action committee raised more than $31m, which he could use for his surely enormous legal expenses.

The Trump Organization, congressman Mo Brooks, Rudy Giuliani, and the RNC did not respond to a request for comment from The Independent.

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