Tag: justice department
Trump Faces Huge Potential Damages In January 6 Civil Lawsuits

Trump Faces Huge Potential Damages In January 6 Civil Lawsuits

Before Justice Arthur Engoron released his verdict in New York Attorney General Letitia James' civil fraud case, many legal experts predicted that Trump would get clobbered financially. And that's exactly what happened.

On Friday afternoon, February 16, Engoron ordered Trump to pay almost $355 million. But when interest in factored in, that figure increases to $450 million.

Engoron's decision comes after two separate civil defamation lawsuits by former Elle Magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll.

Trump was ordered to pay Carroll $5 million in damages in her first lawsuit against him and $83.3 million in the second one. Between James' case (including the interest) and the damages in Carroll's lawsuits, Trump owes over $535 million.

According to Forbes' Alison Durkee, those aren't the only civil cases that Trump needs to be worried about.

In an article published on February 19, Durkee explains, "Former President Donald Trump now owes more than $440 million before interest in civil court fines after being ordered to pay more than $354 million Friday in the civil fraud case against him and his company — and it's possible more damages awards could be coming as the ex-president faces more civil cases seeking to hold him liable for the January 6 riot. Trump still faces multiple civil lawsuits — which have largely been consolidated in court — brought by Democratic lawmakers and Capitol police officers, which seek to hold Trump personally liable for the January 6 riot."

Durkee adds, "Those cases are now moving forward after federal district and appeals courts refused to throw them out, rejecting Trump's argument that he has 'immunity' because the allegations stem from actions he took as president."

Durkee notes that the "January 6 civil cases" are "moving forward again in federal district court after appeals courts refused to throw them out." A hearing, according to Durkee, has been scheduled for this Friday, February 23.

"Trump has denied the allegations against him in the civil January 6 lawsuits, accusing Democratic lawmakers in his motion to dismiss of 'attempting to undermine the First Amendment by bringing this lawsuit, based on their longstanding and public grudges against President Trump,'" Durkee reports. "The lawmakers 'fail to plausibly plead any viable conspiracy theory against President Trump,' Trump's attorneys wrote…. The ex-president has continued to insist ex-presidents have 'absolute immunity' even as courts have rejected his arguments, claiming such immunity is necessary even when their actions 'cross the line.'"

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

E. Jean Carroll

Facing 'Untenable Scenario,' Three Trump Lawyers Abandon His Defense

Former President Donald Trump's rout of his GOP rivals in the Iowa Caucus appears to not have worked to soothe the moods of three of his top lawyers who, until this week, were defending him in two separate high-profile trials.

The New Republic reports Trump attorneys Joe Tacopina, Chad D. Siegel, and Matthew G. DeOreo, of the law firm Tacopina, Siegel and DeOreo, all filed a motion to withdraw as counsel in two of the former president's upcoming cases. The three lawyers had been representing Trump in his currently ongoing defamation trial in which plaintiff E. Jean Carroll is suing for $10 million in damages, and in Trump's upcoming March trial in Manhattan District Court over alleged hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Former federal prosecutor Michael McAuliffe told Newsweek that while there are "a number of reasons" why an attorney might want to stop representing a client, Tacopina, Siegel, and DeOreo may have dropped the ex-president out of frustration that their client wasn't properly following their advice.

"The attorney-client relationship might have suffered a fundamental breach of confidence, running in either or both directions," McAuliffe said. "A strong-willed client who thinks he or she is more of a lawyer than the actual lawyer can create an untenable scenario for that lawyer to continue representing the client’s interests."

In a statement to the New York Times, Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung didn't acknowledge the attorneys' withdrawal motion, but said the former president "has the most experienced, qualified, disciplined, and overall strongest legal team ever assembled."

The E. Jean Carroll defamation trial began with a rocky start for Trump, whose Truth Social account posted more than 30 attacks in less than two hours on the writer whom a jury found last year was sexually abused by Trump. This week's proceedings are simply to determine how much Trump will be ordered to pay, as prior court rulings found him liable for both sexual abuse and defamation.

Trump is scheduled to stand trial in Manhattan on March 25, where District Attorney Alvin Bragg has accused Trump of falsifying business records in relation to alleged payoffs involving Daniels' allegations of an affair prior to the 2016 presidential election. A guilty verdict on all counts could theoretically result in more than 600 years in prison. Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Trump Attorney Warned Him Against Defying Secret Documents Subpoena

Trump Attorney Warned Him Against Defying Secret Documents Subpoena

Former President Donald Trump was warned last year that holding onto classified documents after he was subpoenaed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for their return to the National Archives could amount to obstruction of justice, according to records shared exclusively with The Guardian over the weekend.

"The previously unreported warning conveyed to Trump by his lawyer Evan Corcoran could be significant in the criminal investigation surrounding Trump's handling of classified materials given it shows he knew about his subpoena obligations," the outlet reports.

Noting special counsel Jack Smith's probe into why "Trump World" failed to return the requested materials, "prosecutors have fixated on Trump's valet Walt Nauta, after he told the Justice Department that Trump told him to move boxes out of the storage room before and after the subpoena. The activity was captured on subpoenaed surveillance footage, though there were gaps in the tapes," The Guardian reveals.

"The warning was one of several key moments that Corcoran preserved in roughly 50 pages of contemporaneous notes described to The Guardian on the condition of anonymity, which prosecutors have viewed in recent months as central to the criminal investigation," Washington correspondent Hugh Lowell writes.

"The notes revealed how Trump and Nauta had unusually detailed knowledge of the botched subpoena response, including where Corcoran intended to search and not search for classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, as well as when Corcoran was actually doing his search," Lowell continues, adding that "the notes ended up before the grand jury in Washington hearing evidence in the case after a US appeals court allowed attorney-client privilege to be pierced because judges believed Trump might have used Corcoran's legal advice in furtherance of a crime."

Lowell also explains from the notes that the room in which boxes filled with top-secret records were kept "might have been left unattended" during Trump World's search — which because it was incomplete prompted the Federal Bureau of Investigation to execute its own search warrant last August.

Furthermore, Trump was reportedly "irritated" with the subpoena as well as the "unusually detailed nature" of Corcoran's written accounts.

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

George Santos

Justice Department Indicts George Santos Under Seal

United States Representative George Santos (R-NY) was criminally indicted by the Justice Department on Wednesday, CNN exclusively reported.

"Santos is expected to appear as soon as Wednesday at federal court in New York’s eastern district, where the charges have been filed under seal," correspondents Mark Morales and Evan Perez learned from insider sources.

"The exact nature of the charges couldn’t immediately be learned but the FBI and the Justice Department public integrity prosecutors in New York and Washington have been examining allegations of false statements in Santos' campaign finance filings and other claims," they explained.

Santos' tenure has been stained by numerous allegations of fraud, dishonesty, and alleged illegal practices prior to and during his campaign for Congress in 2022. Santos is also being probed by the House Ethics Committee.

The accusations include "breaking campaign finance laws, violating federal conflict of interest laws, stealing cash meant for an Iraq War veteran’s dying dog, masterminding a credit card fraud scheme, and lying about where he went to school and worked," CNN noted," adding that "Santos has admitted to making some misleading claims about his education and financial status, but continues to deny the more serious allegations."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.