•Trials await Donald Trump
• Claims against Trump for sexual assult
• Joe Biden promised not to get in the way of Justice as regard Trump
President Donald Trump’s legal entanglements are likely to intensify when he leaves the White House and loses immunity from prosecution
The probe led by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is one of several legal entanglements likely to intensify when Trump loses power and immunity from prosecution upon leaving the White House. Trump faces two New York state inquiries into whether he misled tax authorities, or business partners.
Two women alleging he sexually assaulted them are suing him. Carroll says Trump raped her in the mid-1990s in a New York department store. Her lawsuit says Trump’s denial of the allegation including that she was “totally lying” to sell a memoir defamed her. Carroll is seeking a DNA sample from Trump to see if it matches material found on a dress she says she wore during the incident.
Some Democrats are calling for the revival of a federal campaign finance investigation that appeared to end under U.S. Attorney General William Barr. It isn’t known whether any investigation has gathered sufficient evidence to charge Trump with any crimes.
Trump said he has the “absolute right” to pardon himself for any federal offenses, but the concept remains untested because no president has ever attempted to do so.
1974 Justice Department opinion said presidents could not pardon themselves because that would violate the “fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case.”.
Vance’s investigation is particularly troublesome for Trump because it involves possible state-level charges that could not be wiped away with a presidential pardon. Though Vance, a Democrat, hasn’t disclosed the details of his probe. Vance’s office declined to comment. It isn’t clear whether the long-running probe is close to conclusion, or months or years away from any resolution.
In the past, Trump has called Vance’s investigation “a continuation of the witch hunt the greatest witch hunt in history.”
Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, told Congress that Trump often inflated the value of his assets when dealing with lenders or potential business partners, but deflated them when it benefited him for tax purposes. New York Attorney General Letitia James is also investigating whether Trump’s company lied about the value of its assets to get loans or tax benefits, though her probe is civil not criminal in nature. There were new revelations Thursday, that both James and Vance had also subpoenaed documents related to tax deductions taken by Trump’s company related to business consulting fees paid to his daughter, Ivanka Trump.
Part of Vance’s criminal investigation pertains to payments made during Trump’s 2016 campaign to porn actress Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal to prevent them from publicly alleging they had extramarital affairs with him. The Justice Department has a longtime policy stating that it is unconstitutional to prosecute a sitting president in federal court.
President-elect Joe Biden, a Democrat, has said that he would not direct his Justice Department to pursue charges against Trump nor would he stand in the way of investigations it might take up on its own. “I am not going to make that individual judgment,” Biden told reporters in August.
Paul Rosenzweig, a former senior counsel in the Clinton investigation, argues that potentially criminal behavior stemming from Trump’s time as a businessman would make him an exception to the practice of not prosecuting former presidents. Once out of office, Trump won’t be able to point to his busy schedule as a reason to delay civil lawsuits, like ones brought by E. Jean Carroll, a former magazine advice columnist, and Summer Zervos, a restaurateur and contestant on his old TV show, “The Apprentice.”