Trump’s Endless Legal Wars
Donald Trump is a different kind of guy and unique as a politician. Whereas, it’s usually a good idea in business and politics to avoid making enemies or taking on expensive lawsuits, Trump family money has allowed him to indulge in both. The guy is a fighter and has been in perpetual litigation-state, federal, tax, divorce, bankruptcy, or whatever, since he was a young adult.
As I previously wrote, Trump is likely to lose the Alvin Bragg prosecution early next year, just because of some curious New York laws and legal doctrines. So too, Merrick Garland’s torpedo man, Jack Smith, is obviously working on a seditious criminal conspiracy charge against Trump. That’s why he went to such great lengths to get Mike Pence before his grand jury. The worst thing you can say about Trump on Jan. 6 is he got some bad legal advice on the role of the vice-president. That’s not a crime, and I would think a federal appeals court would agree. The question is, would they intervene before or after a partisan D.C. jury convicts Trump on a sketchy legal theory?
But right now, Trump has his most dangerous case ever going on in New York City. The advice columnist E. Jean Carroll is suing him for an alleged rape decades ago in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room and for defamation. Normally, rape is a state criminal matter. But this being Trump, it’s somehow a civil suit in a federal court. That means no prison time is on the line, but Carrol can gain a huge money judgment, merely by winning on the preponderance of the evidence.
It’s hard to see how Trump can prevail here. His legal team is so discouraged that they threw in the towel and will not offer a case for the defense. The Trump-unfriendly judge has made every ruling against him, including allowing the highly dubious Jessica Leeds to testify on an unrelated Trump incident, as well as admitting as evidence the old Access Hollywood tapes. Then Trump badly hurt his own case, saying in a video deposition he never met Carroll and she was not attractive to him, yet he identified a picture from the 1980s as being himself and his second wife Marla Maples with Carroll. Expect the judge to also pressure any juror who threatens to deadlock a verdict and force the decision for Carroll.
Trump had been traveling in Scotland hoping to minimize the attention. But things have become so unglued, he may yet testify in person. He has until Sunday to decide.
Obama buddy Reid Hoffman, no surprise, has bankrolled Carroll’s case since the beginning. So too, a lot of other Trump lawsuits have been the product of his enemies. For example, Lisa Bloom, daughter of Gloria Allred and big time Democrat operative, was behind the Jane Doe lawsuit against Trump in 2016, later dropped.
Trump will downplay any decision against him as a “payday for perjury” and a put-up job by the Democrats, much like the ridiculous charges against justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh.
Trump, however, went through an extended “playboy era” in his life before entering politics, leaving behind dozens of women complaining about everything from just kissing them on the lips, to serious Bill Clinton-style assaults.
E. Jean Carroll herself is not a sympathetic figure. She has written a tell-all memoir of men abusing her since she was a kid. Something like the old Linda Ronstadt song. Yet, she came to New York City as an Indiana beauty queen and eagerly played the 1970s Sexual Revolution for fun and profit to become a famous Manhattan writer. The advice she gave young women for decades in the pages of Elle magazine was not exactly “don’t sleep around-find a nice guy, get married and have lots of kids.”
Since this is a civil not a criminal trial, Trump would technically not be a “convicted rapist,” but it would be rather embarrassing nonetheless. Tellingly, up until now, Big Media hasn’t heavily covered the Carroll case, because sex scandals strike a bit close to home for the all the big-shot libs at the networks. Former CBS chief Les Moonves is even accused by Carroll of doing the same thing to her as Trump.
Though, with Biden struggling (the Big Guy and his son may have to accept a plea deal, at least for Hunter, on tax and gun charges) and more news coming about all of Jeffrey Epstein’s rich Democrat guests on Pedo-Island, like Reid Hoffman, a rape verdict for Trump is just the distraction they were hoping for. MSNBC has its story line for the next several years, or until they switch over to a home-shopping-channel format, whichever comes first.
Meanwhile, Mark Penn had some good advice for Governor Ron DeSantis this week. You won the culture wars in Florida. Now it’s time to lean into your good government, man of character, appeal.
That is certainly a safe way to draw a contrast with his main rivals. DeSantis is even being criticized as a guy who was not social in Congress and preferred to spend his time at home with the wife and kids. That’s one kind of attack neither Trump nor Biden will ever have to worry about.
Frank Friday is an attorney in Louisville, KY.
Image: White House