As a businessman he is a professional in averting lawsuits, as US President he apparently survived two impeachment proceedings without any harm. But now Donald Trump is facing a legal avalanche in 2022.
Trump, in his own words, earned a doctorate in filing lawsuits. He is said to have sought over 2000 lawsuits since 1973. In 2022 he will now face a flood of lawsuits and proceedings.
In addition, investigations are underway against the former US president in the state of New York and in the borough of Manhattan, where statements by his former advisor Michael Cohen incriminate him.
Attorney General Letitia James summoned Trump to testify under oath on Jan. It is about allegations of systematic tax evasion by Trump's real estate and hotel group. In return, Trump has now sued the attorney general.
That's what it's about
A lot of legal hardship awaits businessman Donald Trump in the coming year.
The civil law suits include everything from sexual abuse allegations to inheritance disputes.
Large federal investigations are ongoing, which are likely to result in new proceedings.
2022 will not only be uncomfortable for his real estate and hotel group Trump Organization, Donald Trump himself will also face a whole flood of lawsuits, proceedings and investigations that are about to be indicted.
“The list just keeps getting longer,” said Martin Flaherty, a lawyer at Fordham Law School in New York. “I'm tempted to say: Name something – and it threatens him.” Donald Trump has been sued hundreds of times in his life, mostly for failing to make contractual payments.
2022: Proceedings, investigations and mid-term elections
In January there were around 30 proceedings against Trump – from tax fraud, self-enrichment, money laundering, sexual abuse Inheritance dispute is all there.
There have now been even more investigations, especially criminal ones. And that apart from the investigations of the parliamentary committee, which clarifies whether Trump should and can be held personally liable for inciting the storming of the US Capitol on January 6th (see box).
Any accusation that comes about could not only have a negative impact on Trump's business and political ambitions. It would also be a historic first: never since the first head of state, George Washington, took office in 1789, a former US president has been criminally prosecuted.
Trump, who is said to have sought around 2,000 lawsuits in his life, dismisses all investigations against him as a politically motivated “witch hunt”. Quite a few doubt that he will be able to maintain this eternal accusation in view of the threatened legal hardship in 2022, the year of the mid-term elections.
New York? h3>
The New York State Attorney General is investigating allegations of systematic tax evasion against Trump's real estate and hotel group. In this regard, she summoned Trump to testify under oath on January 7th.
In the Trump Organization, the value of real estate is said to have been artificially extrapolated when it came to obtaining loans from banks, and again subtracted when it came to tax savings. Trump's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen had described this alleged double strategy in 2019 before a committee of the US Congress.
Trump responded to his subpoena becoming known with a lawsuit against the attorney general: The investigation violated his constitutional rights, was politically motivated and “out of personal contempt”. James, a member of the Democratic camp, denied the allegations, saying: “Our investigation will continue undeterred because no one is above the law, not even someone named Trump.”
Manhattan: Hush money and Trump's tax documents
The attorney general of the New York borough of Manhattan is also investigating Trump, for example because of allegedly paid hush money. In July, she also brought charges against the Trump Organization and its long-time CFO Allen Weisselberg for tax fraud. The process is scheduled to begin in August 2022 in front of a grand jury.
No charges have been brought against Trump himself in these proceedings – so far. But “given the relatively small group of people in the leadership and Trump's tendency to micromanage,” the “New York Times” assumes that “the ongoing investigations come pretty close to the ex-president.” In particular, the public prosecutor's office has now been able to inspect Trump's tax documents. Details must not be made public – unless there is a process.
Add to this the Westchester County District Attorney's investigation into whether Trump's company lied to officials to lower taxes on a golf course there.
Georgia: abuse of office?
Additional criminal investigations are ongoing in Atlanta, Georgia. Here, the Fulton County District Attorney's Office has been investigating possible attempts by Trump to interfere in the administration of the state in the 2020 elections since January. The occasion was the one-hour phone call in which Trump urged the state election officer to correct the election result in his favor: “I only want to find 11,780 votes.”
Civil lawsuits: sperm on the dress and inheritance fraud?
Trump also threatens legal hardship in a number of civil lawsuits. Protesters complain because Trump's security team allegedly attacked them in front of Trump Tower in 2015. It should be negotiated this spring.
In connection with the events surrounding the storming of the Capitol on January 6th, Trump is confronted with four different civil suits, from Capitol police officers to Democratic MPs. There will be a hearing on January 10, 2022 as to whether everyone will be admitted.
Or the libel suit brought by columnist E. Jean Carroll. She had accused Trump in 2019 of raping her in the 1990s. The then president responded publicly with insulting statements, which Carroll went to court. In this context, she requests a DNA sample from Trump, which is to be compared with genetic material on a dress that she was wearing on the day of the alleged rape. The case is pending before a federal appeals court.
Mary Trump, meanwhile, accuses her uncle and other family members of cheating on her inheritance of millions. Against this Trump has now filed a lawsuit himself – as well as against the newspaper “New York Times” and several of its media workers, who had gained insight into tax documents and other confidential documents through Trump's niece.
The US Supreme Court has to decide
Documents by January 6th
A legal dispute is also raging around the events of the Capitol storm on January 6th. The responsible parliamentary committee of inquiry requires access to government documents of that time, which Trump wants to prevent with the help of the Supreme Court. He had previously tried unsuccessfully on lower levels to prevent the documents from being passed on. The final decision now rests with the Supreme Court.
Trump insists on the prerogative of a president to withhold certain information from Congress or the courts. However, two lower federal courts have ruled that the so-called executive privilege applies to the protection of the government, not that of a single person who is also no longer President.
The House Committee is investigating the January 6th which supporters of Trump invaded Congress to prevent Trump from being voted out of office. The certification had to be interrupted, five people died.
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