Donald Trump Has Several Other Legal Problems
Author: Greg Valliere
February 9, 2021
THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL THAT STARTS TODAY will likely end with acquittal within a couple of weeks, but Donald Trump’s legal issues will be far from over. He faces at least a dozen criminal and civil cases that will hound him for years to come.
PRESIDENT BIDEN, enjoying solid job approval numbers (above 50% positive) has wisely stated that he won’t pay much attention to the trial. His focus is the Covid aid bill, which is moving quickly and promises a flood of checks to a wide swath of American adults, families and children.
ONCE THE TRIAL IS OVER, Trump will claim vindication, but the enduring imagery will be the crazed mob of his followers who ransacked the Capitol. And then Trump’s legal woes will quickly intensify.
FIRST, Trump may face charges from the District of Columbia’s Attorney General for inciting a riot. And now there’s an investigation in Georgia of his phone calls to state officials, pressing them to “find” votes that would change the election results in that state.
THE MOST SERIOUS CHARGES may come from the Southern District of New York, where officials are preparing several cases. Now that Trump is no longer president, his immunity from prosecution has ended (we don’t expect Biden to authorize the Justice Department to prosecute Trump; that will be left up to the states).
ACTIVITIES BY THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION already are under scrutiny; Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, a partisan Democrat, is investigating bank fraud, insurance fraud, criminal tax fraud and falsification of business records. A New York state probe involves how Trump valued his assets; did he deliberately understate them in an effort to avoid steep real estate taxes? Trump’s tax records will become an issue again.
OTHER INVESTIGATIONS INVOLVE Trump’s relations with Deutsche Bank (many legal experts suspect money laundering), potential violations of the federal emoluments clause (did his hotels overcharge foreign officials?) and several claims by women of physical assault and defamation (these may be settled out of court).
TRUMP UNDOUBTEDLY WILL LABEL all of these potential cases as part of a “witch hunt” against him; many in his base will agree. But our prediction is that the Republican Party will tire of the drama and conclude by the end of 2021 that he’s a liability — certainly not a smart pick for the 2024 nomination.
MOST REPUBLICANS WE’VE TALKED WITH in recent days think the grievance-driven Trump will eventually become an albatross for the party. The GOP already has a major new issue to exploit: the lurch to the left by Biden and most Democrats on everything from the Keystone Pipeline to spending another $1.9 trillion on covid aid.
OPPOSITION TO PROGRESSIVE POLICIES could be a far more potent issue for Republicans than defending Trump, who will be tied up in the courts for many years to come.
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