Trump's future is a minefield of legal battles as prosecutors 'follow the money': report

There are roughly 59 days left of President Donald J. Trump's presidency and what's waiting for the 74-year-old former reality star on the other side of the White House is a whole lot of legal battles, starting with the Manhattan district attorney's ongoing investigation into the Trump family-run business that has the potential to incriminate more than just the president. In this one case alone, if Trump were to be charged and convicted, he could face the prospect of incarceration.


"That case is examining whether fraud was committed when alleged hush-money payments were made ahead of the 2016 election to two women who said they had affairs with Trump years before he became president — claims he denies," The Washington Post reported Sunday. "­Prosecutors also are said to be looking at the possibility that false information was submitted on loan applications to obtain favorable rates and whether any information was manipulated in the pursuit of tax benefits."

The report continued, "...it remains to be seen whether this investigation will result in any charges, as prosecutors have yet to obtain Trump's tax records and related documents deemed crucial to their case. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., a Democrat, is in litigation to obtain that material, having won a series of victories in lower courts but now awaiting a final say from the U.S. Supreme Court — which has been silent on the matter for several weeks after Trump asked that it get involved."

It's a classic "following-the-money case," Andrew Weissmann, a prosecutor involved in Robert S. Mueller III's special counsel investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, said. "Accounting records are critical to that."

In a separate legal suit, the New York State Attorney General's Office is spearheading a civil fraud investigation which involves looking into whether or not Trump and the Trump Organization sought to minimize tax liability by knowingly misrepresenting the value of their assets to lenders.

As it stands currently, Trump could already owe the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) upwards of $100 million for tax evasion.

"His dispute with the IRS, if it's not resolved before he leaves office, is the same kind of huge potential exposure anyone would have in that kind of dispute with the IRS," said Stephen A. Saltzburg, a former Justice Department official and director of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution program at George Washington University Law School.

Additionally, there are two defamation suits stemming from personal misconduct also to be heard in New York. In a Manhattan federal court, author E. Jean Carroll awaits the advancement of her case after a preliminary victory stating that Trump's Justice Department could not intervene on the president's behalf, as it had attempted to do. Trump was accused of raping Carroll in a department store dressing room in the 1990s. Trump has repeatedly denied the claim, referring to her as a liar and saying he would never have been attracted to her in the first place. Caroll's team is seeking a DNA test from the president to confirm her report.

The Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos is accusing Trump of similar actions and her case is pending in front of New York state's highest court. A date has not yet been assigned.

Then there's the president's niece, author Mary L. Trump, who sued him, his sister Maryanne Trump Barry, and the estate of Trump's late brother Robert Trump. The crux of this one involves Mary being left out of a small fortune when the family patriarch, Fred Trump, died and his estate was settled in 1999.

A growing mountain of court cases will follow Trump long after he has left the White House on Jan. 20 - without presidential protection to cover it up.