If things don’t go Donald Trump’s way on Election Day, the President may face more serious matters than how to pack up the West Wing.
Without some of the protections afforded him by the presidency, Trump will become vulnerable to multiple investigations looking into possible fraud in his financial business dealings as a private citizen — both as an individual and through his company. He faces defamation lawsuits sparked by his denials of accusations made by women who have alleged he assaulted them, including E. Jean Carroll, the former magazine columnist who has accused him of rape. And then there are claims he corrupted the presidency for his personal profits.
As President, Trump has been able to block and delay several of these investigations and lawsuits — including a yearlong fight over a subpoena for his tax returns — in part because of his official position. Many of those matters have wound through the courts and will come to a head whether he is reelected or not.
But with the polls showing that Democratic rival Joe Biden is leading in the race, the stakes become much higher for Trump if he loses the election. A raft of legal issues, including a criminal investigation by New York prosecutors, will come into focus in the weeks after Election Day.
“In every regard, his leaving office makes it easier for prosecutors and plaintiffs in civil cases to pursue their cases against him,” said Harry Sandick, a former federal prosecutor in the Manhattan US attorney’s office. “For example, he is claiming a higher protection from subpoenas in the criminal cases and also in the congressional subpoena cases, [and that] is based largely on the fact that he is President.”
Some have suggested a formal apparatus for investigating Trump after he leaves office. Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat, has floated the creation of a “Presidential Crimes Commission,” made up of independent prosecutors who can examine “those who enabled a corrupt president,” as he put it in an August tweet. “Example 1: Sabotaging the mail to win an election.”
The most genuine legitimate danger confronting Trump is the Manhattan lead prosecutor’s expansive criminal examination concerning the monetary functions of the Trump Organization. Investigators have recommended in court filings that the examination could look at whether the President and his organization occupied with bank extortion, protection misrepresentation, criminal duty misrepresentation and adulteration of business records.
Throughout that test, Trump has provoked a summon to his bookkeeping firm for a very long time of expense forms and monetary records. Five courts have governed the summon is legitimate, and a week ago Trump confronted the most recent mishap when a government re-appraising court denied his allure, deciding that the terrific jury summon was not excessively wide or given in dishonesty. On Tuesday, Trump’s legal advisors requested that the Supreme Court block the authorization of the summon to permit it an opportunity to speak to the court. Trump previously lost an appeal to the most elevated court in July, when it decided that the president isn’t safe from a state excellent jury summon.
New York examiners have said the assessment records, working papers and documentation around business exchanges are vital to their examination, which has been in progress for over a year.