Tuesday was a bad day for Republican nominee Donald Trump. He began the day with a press conference in which he hoped to put the money for vets controversy behind him, but only made everything worse when he decided to throw a temper tantrum at the press, leading to an embarrassing sideshow carried on live TV by three major cable news networks.
This was followed by the release of previously sealed court documents in relation to the Trump University fraud case. Media outlets had been awaiting the release after Judge Gonzalo Curiel issued an order Friday unsealing court records, of which the Trump U playbook was included. By Wednesday morning, papers and networks across the nation made public the juiciest portions, showing that the for-profit school was every bit the predatory confidence game that many had figured.
The hits kept coming on Wednesday, as USA Today published an exclusive report showing that the real estate mogul had been involved in a lot of lawsuits in the past. Sure, this was already well known. But the amount of suits that the paper was able to uncover seems like a misprint.
From the report:
An exclusive USA TODAY analysis of legal filings across the United States finds that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee and his businesses have been involved in at least 3,500 legal actions in federal and state courts during the past three decades. They range from skirmishes with casino patrons to million-dollar real estate suits to personal defamation lawsuits.
The sheer volume of lawsuits is unprecedented for a presidential nominee. No candidate of a major party has had anything approaching the number of Trump’s courtroom entanglements.
Holy shitballs! For comparison’s sake, USA Today also looked at Hillary Clinton and found that while she’s had her own share of legal actions over the past couple decades, it doesn’t even come close to what we’ve seen with Trump. It also showed that many lawsuits she was involved in were due to her being a high-ranking government official.
To be sure, likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has had her own legal challenges, including an ongoing FBI investigation and civil lawsuits into her exclusive use of an email server while secretary of State. When husband Bill Clinton was president, she was involved in investigations by special counsels looking into the Whitewater land deal in Arkansas and other controversies. None resulted in legal charges against her.
During her time as first lady, U.S. senator from New York and secretary of State, Clinton has been named in more than 900 lawsuits, mostly as a defendant, a review of state and federal court records finds. More than a third of the lawsuits were filed by federal prisoners, political activists or other citizens seeking redress from the government by suing a list of high-ranking officials.
And it isn’t like Trump has settled or put all of those legal cases to bed. Mere months before the election, he still has at least 50 cases open against him, besides the Trump U one that will now hound him until November.
Just since he announced his candidacy a year ago, at least 70 new cases have been filed, about evenly divided between lawsuits filed by him and his companies and those filed against them. And the records review found at least 50 civil lawsuits remain open even as he moves toward claiming the nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in seven weeks. On Tuesday, court documents were released in one of the most dramatic current cases, filed in California by former students accusing Trump University of fraudulent and misleading behavior.
It goes without saying, no major presidential candidate has been this litigious in the history of this country. A dive into the cases shows he’ll literally sue over anything — he’s been the plaintiff more than 1,900 times — whether it is over homeowners complaining about palm trees on his golf courses or not making enough money on Trump Vodka or people using the word ‘trump’ without his permission.
On the flip side, he’s also been sued for being a general deadbeat. We already know about the multiple bankruptcies. Additionally, local and state government have gone after him for not paying property taxes, or trying to fraudulently reduce his tax bills. He’s also been sued for doing dumb shit, like refusing the pay for shirts bearing his name, claiming he didn’t think the deal was good.
Anyway, this is who the Republicans feel should not only be their standard-bearer, but also lead the free world. Good job, guys!