WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has long been the subject and instigator of lawsuits, both before his presidency and while he has been in the White House. That will not change after he leaves.
A number of lawsuits and investigations awaits Trump once he returns to private life. Some could stain his family’s reputation. Some could affect his business. And some could damage him personally as the protection provided by the presidency goes away.
Trump lost to President-elect Joe Biden after a contentious and prolonged race to win the White House. As of Saturday afternoon, Biden had 290 electoral votes, more than the 270 needed to secure the election after flipping several battleground states that Trump won in 2016. In the popular vote, Biden had 74,857,880 votes to Trump’s 70,598,535.
“The short answer is that once he leaves the office, his cloak of immunity, actual or implied by (Justice Department guidelines), will disappear,” said David Weinstein, a former Florida federal prosecutor.
The Justice Department has a long-standing policy that a sitting president cannot be prosecuted for criminal offenses. Former special counsel Robert Mueller cited the policy when investigators elected not to make a determination on whether Trump obstructed justice during the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
But that immunity is for actions he took while in office, and “it stops there,” Weinstein said.
The most significant threats against Trump once he leaves office are brewing in his hometown, New York City.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has been conducting a criminal investigation into Trump and his company’s business dealings. New York Attorney General Letitia James is investigating whether Trump and his company committed tax fraud. read more…