Witness For The Prosecution: Trump Judicial History
The president has been doing a fantastic job making the case for his own impeachment. He was trying to do the opposite, but something about the best laid plans. For some reason he seems to have trouble securing competent legal counsel. His current attorney, Michael Cohen, is embroiled in some scandal involving a porn star and Sean Hannity. Having literally no where else to turn, Trump has called in the B-Team of Rudy Giuliani and Others. If you're wondering why Trump has no where to turn, join me for a look at some of his past run-ins with the judicial system.
1973 – Fair Housing Act
The Justice Department sued Trump for violating the Fair Housing Act by refusing to rent to black tenants.
Trump hires attorney Roy Cohn. You may remember Roy Cohn from witch hunts such as McCarthyism. Trump and Cohn countersued the government for $100 million. The countersuit claimed Trump did not know any black people personally, but he had seen Sanford and Son and neither Sanford nor his son lived up to the Trump brand image. It wasn't racist. It wasn't personal. It was just good business.
A federal judge threw out the Sanford and Son counterclaim, calling it “a waste of time and paper.”
1990 Trump Taj Mahal
In April 1990 an analyst predicted Trump Taj Mahal would close by the end of the year. Trump called the analyst's firm threatening to sue. He told them, “This is complete and total fake analysis, okay. Trump Taj Mahal will be the greatest of all both the Taj Mahals. Believe me. Better even than the one in Indonesia. This analyst is probably some frustrated black guy named Lamont who hates Trump because I wouldn't rent him an apartment. Like that's my fault. Everyone is always blaming Trump. I settled that case without even, not one admission of guilt, okay. For Lamont to be holding a grudge against Trump all these years is very, very unclassy. That I can tell you.”
The analyst refused to retract his statement. The firm fired him. Trump Taj Mahal declared bankruptcy in November 1990.
2008 Deutsche Bank
In 2005 Trump took out a $640 million loan from Deutsche Bank. In 2008, a representative of Deutsche Bank called Donnie and said, “Hey, Mr. Trump. I see you've taken out a rather large loan and haven't made a payment yet. Do you think you could do around $40 million to keep your account in good standing?”
Trump then sued Deutsche Bank for $3 billion. He claimed their attempt to collect a debt damaged his business because other banks stopped loaning him ridiculous sums of money he had no intention of repaying. Deutsche Bank then filed suit for $40 million of the $640 million owed.
Trump still owes Deutsche Bank over $300 million to this very day.
2009 Morrison Cohen
Trump sued his own lawyers. The law firm of Morrison Cohen posted links on their website to Trump-related news articles. Donnie sued them for $5 million for using his name. Trump filed a second suit claiming Morrison Cohen overcharged him for their services.
Morrison Cohen filed a counter suit requesting payment on those overcharged bills. Because Trump hadn't paid them. This seems to be a pattern with Trump. I'm not sure why, but he sees receiving a bill as some sort of injustice he must fight all the way to the Supreme Court.
Surprisingly, Trump was no match for a building full of attorneys. And a judge had to explain to a future President of the United States that news articles are a matter of public record. Because that's what the news is, a public record.
2011 Timothy O'Brien
Author Timothy O'Brien wrote a biography of Trump, Trump Nation: The Art of Being the Donald. In the book, O'Brien claimed Trump is not a billionaire as he so often claims.
Trump was enraged to be outed as a lowly trailer trash millionaire. He filed a lawsuit against Timothy O'Brien for $5 billion. Representing Donnie was Marc Kasowitz, the man who would later represent Donnie in the Trump University lawsuit. Neither Trump nor his awesome legal counsel were able to prove in court that he is a billionaire.
Trump explained to the judge his billions in debt is actually income because he has no intention of repaying those loans. He further stated his net worth varied daily depending upon his feelings.
I only made up one of those statements. The other one he actually said. Under oath. In a court of law.
After Trump called Mexicans rapists and drug dealers, Univision opted not to continue any business ties with him. Therefore, they refused to air the Trump-owned Miss USA pageant. I have no idea why they wanted to air it in the first place. Who watches beauty pageants other than Donald Trump and the mothers of the contestants? Miss America is streamed online now because they can't find a network willing to give up three hours of prime time for a show sponsored by Sally Hansen Hair Removal Cream. (That crap doesn't work, by the way.) I remember a time before I had 500 channels when Miss America would screw up my night. And what did I miss Sanford and Son for? Nothing. Name a Miss America not named Vanessa Williams. Exactly. You can't.
Anyway, Trump filed a $500 million lawsuit against Univision for defamation. His lawsuit claimed he didn't say anything negative toward Hispanic Americans in his campaign speech. His speech was about Mexicans. He loves the people of Hispania. And furthermore, he can't be racist because he used to watch Sanford and Son and there was like a Mexican or a Puerto Rican guy on that show.
Trump eventually bought out Univision's interest in the Miss USA pageant and made a deal with Fox. Fox chose to air the pageant on a Sunday night at 8pm. One viewer tweeted it was the worst Simpsons ever.
2016 Clark County, Nevada
This lawsuit was filed on November 8, 2016. You may remember that as Election Day. Or you may remember it as the day you expected to see the first woman elected president, but had the moment ripped out of your hands like the crown of the first black Miss America.
While you were pondering the injustices which plague Hillary Clinton and Vanessa Williams, Donald Trump was busy filing a lawsuit in Clark County, Nevada. He alleged they were keeping the polls open too late and it wasn't fair because the people in line were mostly Latino and they are totally biased against Trump. It was mid-morning in Nevada when he filed the suit. I guess that's late if you're up at 5am tweeting to all the haters and losers. We were supposed to be laughing about this on November 9, but uneasy lies the head that briefly wears a crown.
Top Photo by Michael Vadon || CC-BY-4.0
Lower Photo by Christopher Peterson (Sacredhands) || CC-BY