Trump sued after a Pulitzer Prize-winning architect critic attacked Donald Trump’s plans to build a new Manhattan skyscraper. Trump filed suit against the tenant’s law firm when he tried to stop evictions from a building he was trying clear. Trump filed suit against the law firm representing the tenants after a former president claimed that he was worth less than he had stated.
It was not surprising that Trump filed a lengthy suit last week accusing Hillary Clinton and her Democratic Party of conspiring against him in his losing presidential campaign.
Trump has spent his entire life repurposing personal and political grievances into legal causes. He has used the courts throughout his political and business career to voice his grievances, intimidate his adversaries, ruin their reputations, and seek media attention.
“It’s part his pattern of using law to punish his enemies,” stated James D. Zirin (a former federal prosecutor in Manhattan) and author of “Plaintiff in chief,” which details Trump’s legal history. “Litigation was his way of living.”
Trump’s latest lawsuit rehashes a familiar grievance. In 2016, Democrats concocted fictitious claims about Trump’s campaign colluding to Russia, and that the FBI pursued an “unfounded investigation.”
The suit of 108 pages is as political as it is legal. It names as defendants Clinton and her aides, long-standing targets of his ire, and the law enforcement community. These include former FBI Director James Comey, Peter Strzok, and Lisa Page, who were two FBI officials who sent critical texts messages about Trump during 2016.
It also builds on the work of John Durham as special counsel, listing the defendants — a cybersecurity lawyer, an exFBI lawyer, and a Russia analyst — who were charged in the criminal investigation.
Trump portrays himself in the suit as the victim in a massive racketeering conspiracy. FBI agents who conducted the investigation knew it was “based upon a false and contrived assumption.”
“The Defendants conspired maliciously to create a false narrative that Donald J. Trump was colluding, in order to fabricate a false narrative,” his lawyers wrote. They described the scheme as “so outrageous and subversive that even Watergate pales in comparison”.
A Justice Department inspector general investigation has established that the FBI made mistakes and missteps in the Russia probe. Trump could use these to his advantage if his lawsuit is successful. Russia did interfere in the 2016 elections.
In January 2017, U.S. intelligence agencies found that Russia had launched a wide-ranging influence campaign to help Trump defeat Clinton. After three years of investigation, the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed those conclusions. It stated that intelligence officials had detailed information that Russia preferred Trump, and that Russian President Vladimir Putin had “approved of and directed aspects” to the Kremlin’s influence campaign. It also discovered clear links between Trump’s campaign campaign and Russia. The committee concluded that Trump’s campaign chairman was in regular contact with a Russian intelligence official, and that Trump associates were keen to take advantage of the Kremlin’s assistance.
Robert Mueller, a former special counsel, was charged with investigating further the links between Trump, Russia and Trump. Although Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy, he concluded that Russian interference in the election was “sweeping” and systematic. Mueller’s investigation led to criminal charges against 34 people, three entities and 26 Russians, Trump’s former campaign chair, and national security advisor.
Reps for Trump declined to comment on requests for information. Alina Habba, Trump’s attorney, defended Trump’s approach to Newsmax and said that more suits would be coming “soon.”
She said, “We have another lawsuit being filed shortly.” “And anyone that is going to try to fabricate malicious stories about him, while he was sitting in the presidency, prior to his presidency, or now will be sued.”
Trump was using the filing, however, to get his supporters excited at a rally in Georgia on Saturday night.
Trump proclaimed, “To fight back against the corrupt establishment’s constant hoaxes, lies, and to hold them accountable, this week, I filed a historic suit to hold them responsible for the Russia. Russia. Russia hoax.” Trump’s mention of Clinton was met with loud applause, and the revival of the “Lock Her Up!” chant that was a key feature of his 2016 campaign.
Trump’s efforts, which come as he is considering another run for the White House could be a political cudgel. However, it could also lend credibility to campaign trail grievances. Stephen Gillers, a New York University professor in legal ethics, stated that Trump’s efforts are not only useful but also politically useful.
Gillers stated that “to the unaware public, it adds credibility to those grievances’ force by the fact that grievances can be repackaged and made into legal claims.” “Anyone who is attentive to the court proceedings will be able see these claims as claims of political victims in another form. The validity of these claims is not something the general public pays attention to.
Trump also took similar actions last year. He filed suits against three major tech companies in the country, alleging that he and other conservatives were wrongfully censored following his account suspension.
Trump uses this tactic repeatedly.
Trump’s use lawsuits as a business tool was legendary in the casino, real estate and other industries where he made fortunes but lost them. Trump threatened or sued contractors, business partners and tax authorities, as well as media.
Barbara Res, a former executive at Trump Organization, said that Trump loved to sue, particularly parties that couldn’t afford legal defense. She stated that Trump used the “preventive strikes” suit to weaken his rivals and give the impression that he was the aggrieved party.
Res stated that Trump’s perception, like many others, is that the first person to sue has a valid complaint.
Trump didn’t hesitate to sue Deutsche Bank after he defaulted on a huge Deutsche Bank loan that was used for his Chicago condo tower and hotel. Instead, he filed a lawsuit against the lender accusing him of using “predatory lending techniques” to hurt his reputation and help trigger the global depression.
He argued that the bank should pay him, rather than paying it.
This was a new argument that eventually succeeded. Deutsche Bank eventually forgiven some of his loans and extended him new loans totaling hundreds of millions over the next few years.
A New York Times columnist was about to write about it when he received a note by Trump’s lawyer: “Please be assured, if your article does not reflect the truth, we will sue you.”
It’s a familiar threat to journalists. They repeat it with a raised voice.
We’ll sue! “We’ll sue” yelled a Trump lawyer in a telephone interview to Associated Press journalists about Trump University and other failed Trump ventures in 2016.
Trump received his attack dog legal strategies from Roy Cohn, one of his early legal advisors. The disbarred lawyer made his name in the Julius Rosenberg communist spying case. This sent Trump and his wife to the electric chair. He then served as an aide to Senator Joe McCarthy during the Red Scare hearings.
Trump sued the Justice Department, which had brought a case against Trump Organization in the 1970s for housing discrimination. Trump Organization finally settled and admitted no guilt.
The casework didn’t stop in the years that followed.
A USA Today investigation revealed that Trump was involved in at most 3,500 court cases during the past three decades — more than five top U.S. realty owners combined. Trump was the plaintiff in more than half the cases.
While Trump was still in the White House, the litigation continued. Trump and his associates filed many baseless lawsuits to challenge the results of the 2020 election in a desperate and futile effort to stay in power. Judges repeatedly ruled that the plaintiffs failed to prove fraud or misconduct.
Trump made it clear that he intended to do so even before the votes were counted.
He said, “We’ll go to the U.S. Supreme Court,” during a 2:30 a.m. appearance after polls closed.
“He’s extremely litigious, most of which is instituted to frustrate the opposing side by causing financial hardship,” stated Trump’s former fixer, Michael Cohen. He was sentenced for making hush-money payments to a porn star, and lying to Congress about a Trump skyscraper.
Cohen stated that Trump will win if he wins, as he did last in a case involving porn star Stormy Dans.
Other benefits have been realized by the suits. Trump spent over a year and half fighting the efforts of then-Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., to obtain copies his tax returns. The case reached the Supreme Court. Although Trump’s case was ultimately unsuccessful, Vance Jr., the former Manhattan District Attorney, failed to file charges. He was on the brink of being indicted and replaced by a successor , who allegedly has closed the case.
Family is not immune.
Trump sued Mary Trump, his niece and The New York Times in September over a 2018 article that challenged Trump’s claim of self-made wealth. It documented how Fred, his father, had given him $413 million over the years, including through tax avoidance strategies. Trump filed a lawsuit in New York state court alleging that Mary Trump violated a settlement agreement by disclosing records to reporters.
Ted Boutrous was Mary Trump’s lawyer and wrote to the court on March 11, saying that Trump’s lawsuit was brought in order to punish Mary Trump, and to silence speech in the public interest regarding the former President.