According to political analysts and legal experts, Donald Trump’s legal woes have turned insurmountable and could tarnish the former US president’s hopes of an election-winning return.
On Wednesday, Trump and his three adult children were accused of lying to tax collectors, lenders and insurers in a “shocking” fraud scheme that regularly misvalued their assets to enrich themselves. .
The civil suit filed by the attorney general of New York comes after the FBI examined Trump’s sensitive government documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, and a special grand jury in Georgia considered whether he and others had tampered with state election officials. tried to influence. After his defeat there by Joe Biden.
The former US president has repeatedly indicated that he intends to run for the White House again in 2024. But a series of criminal, civil and congressional investigations still cannot derail that bid.
“she has done,, Told Alan Lichtman, a professor of history at American University in Washington who has accurately predicted every presidential election since 1984. “They have too many burdens, too many baggage to be able to run again, even assuming they escape from prison, they survive bankruptcy. I’m not sure why.” He’s about to escape from jail.”
After a three-year investigation, New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, alleged that Trump made false statements of his net worth and false asset valuations in order to obtain and satisfy debt, obtain insurance benefits, and pay lower taxes. . Children Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric were also named as defendants.
At a press conference, James insisted on the title of Trump’s 1987 memoir and business how-to book, The Art of the Deal.
“This investigation revealed that Donald Trump indulged in years of illegal conduct to defraud the banks and the people of the great state of New York, to increase his net worth. Claiming that you have money that you have No, there is no equivalent to ‘the art of bargaining’. It is the art of stealing,” she said.
His office requested that the former president pay at least $250m in fines and that his family be banned from running a business in the state.
James may not bring criminal charges against Trump in this civil investigation, but said she was referring to federal prosecutors in Manhattan as well as criminal fraud charges at the Internal Revenue Service.
Trump reiterated in his defense that the suit is “another witch hunt” against him and again referred to James, who is black, as a racist, via his Truth social platform, calling him “a Fraud that campaigned on ‘Get Trump.’ platform, despite the fact that the city under his watch is one of the world’s crime and murder disasters!
But critics said the lawsuit is at the heart of Trump’s self-portrait as a successful property developer who made billions, hosted the reality TV show The Apprentice and promised to apply that business acumen to the presidency.
Lawrence Tribe, professor of constitutional law at Harvard University, said that the civil component “includes things of particular importance to Trump and his family and their organization, namely defrauding the public, defrauding banks, defrauding insurance companies, and corruption.” Continuing through. Without all that corruption, the entire Trump empire is involved in something like a recession.”
Tribe added: “Trump is probably more concerned with things like this, because he has to wear an orange jumpsuit and probably answer a criminal indictment … and something.”
No former former president has faced such a high and so severe scrutiny. Last month, FBI agents searched Mar-a-Lago and seized official documents marked Top Secret, Secret and Confidential. Trump faces potential indictment for violating the Espionage Act, obstructing a federal investigation, or mishandling sensitive government records.
As so often during his professional career, Trump sought to throw sand in legal gear. He bought time by persuading a court to appoint a judge, Raymond Deary, as a special master to review the documents. But so far Dearie seems to be far away from the yes-man. On Tuesday he warned Trump’s lawyers: “My view is you can’t have your cake and eat it too.”
The former president also faces a state grand jury investigation in Georgia over attempts to scuttle that state’s election result in 2020.
The Justice Department is investigating Biden’s role in the deadly January 6 attack on the US Capitol by a mob of his supporters intended to prevent authentication of his election victory. Its efforts have been fueled by a parallel inquiry by the House of Representatives committee, whose hearing is due to resume next week.
In addition, the Trump Organization – which manages hotels, golf courses and other properties around the world – is set to go on trial next month in a criminal case alleging that he had committed crimes including his longtime finance chief Allen. There is a plan to give benefits without tax to senior officers. Weisselberg, who took in more than $1.7m in extras alone.
In another setback Wednesday, arguably the worst day of Trump’s legal defeat, a federal appeals court asked the Justice Department to resume reviewing classified records seized from Mar-a-Lago as part of its criminal investigation. Gave the permission to.
Meanwhile, the former president insisted he had done nothing wrong with maintaining the documents. “It doesn’t have to be a process, as I understand it,” he told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “If you are the President of the United States, you can declassify simply by saying: ‘It is unclassified’.”
“Even thinking about it, because you’re sending it to Mar-a-Lago or wherever you’re sending it… could be a process, but it doesn’t have to be.”
Despite all this, Trump is laying the groundwork for a potential comeback campaign and has accused Biden’s administration of targeting him to undermine his political prospects.
Asked by a conservative radio host what would happen if he was indicted on classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, Trump replied: “I think you’ll have problems in this country that we’ve probably never had before.” I don’t think the people of the United States will stand up for it.”
Kurt Bardella, an adviser to the Democratic National Committee, said: “If you have the best defense for your conduct: if you hold me accountable, there will be violence, it looks like someone who has no business or So is in public service or being out of jail.”
Bardella expressed hope that, in the long run, Trump would be held accountable. “Everything about Donald Trump has always been about the grift. It’s always been about the con. And now the task of unmasking him is at hand.”