when president trump leaves office in just 68 days he’ll return to the world of average citizen a world without special privileges and immunities of the presidency and while president trump has often been at the center of numerous lawsuits tonight we take a closer look at the wave of legal jeopardy that could be on the horizon and why a controversial potential self-pardon might not solve every coming legal test .
Donald trump has used the presidency as a legal shield . Donald trump says “the worst presidential harassment in history” but outside the white house a new reality awaits “he’s an ordinary citizen uh full stop i mean we we actually had an entire revolution against the idea of kingly prerogative and the idea that a king is above the law” No former president has ever been criminally investigated or charged with a crime but trump will leave office implicated in multiple active investigations into personal conduct from before the presidency there are credible allegations that donald trump has engaged in tax fraud bankruptcy fraud probate fraud and that’s unprecedented we’ve never had an allegation of pre-presidential criminal conduct follow a president after he leaves office. In new york manhattan district attorney cyrus vance is leading a criminal probe into trump’s business practices while vance has not spelled out specific allegations of wrongdoing he’s seeking eight years of trump’s tax returns last summer the u.s supreme court said trump did not have immunity from sub poenas there’s no reason for the president’s accounting firm mazars to a former accounting firm to resist those subpoenas anymore how critical are those documents what could they show the tax returns would be important for cyrus stance to explore but probably triangulating those tax returns with other sources of financial information that he’s been able to obtain or is still trying to obtain trump is the first president in 40 years to refuse to release his taxes according to the new york times decades of trump’s tax return data it obtained appears to show the billionaire businessman paid no federal income tax in 10 of the last 15 years and starting in 2010 claimed an income tax refund of 72.9 million which the times says is now at the center of an irs audit . But trump says actually i paid tax but and you’ll see that as soon as my tax returns are it’s underwrote it they’ve been underwrited for a long time the irs does not treat me well the times also reported trump has more than 300 million dollars in debt coming due in the next four years on top of 100 million dollar tax payment due in 2022 and potentially 100 million dollars more if he loses his refund battle with the irs the amount of money 400 million dollars is a peanut trump’s financial records are also at the center of a new york state investigation into possible financial fraud as alleged by former trump personal attorney michael cohen it was my experience that mr trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes such as trying to be listed amongst the wealthiest people in forbes and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes new york state attorney general leticia james is actively investigating cohen’s claims the outcome of the election will have no impact on our investigations and so we will continue our investigations again related to the testimony of michael cohen no one is above the law um and that um our investigations have nothing to do with politics but more to do with the uh facts their aggressiveness in seeking additional information is indicative of the seriousness with which they’re treating the allegations and of their conviction that the investment of resources will prove worthwhile legal experts say trump will soon likely face new subpoenas for documents and testimony he last gave a deposition in 2016 just before winning office in a civil case he brought against a former business partner i do well there simply is no immunization for a former president whatsoever and we could actually see something we have never seen before in this country which is the criminal trial of a former president and trump’s also facing fallout from allegations of sexual misconduct dating back decades e gene carroll a former l magazine writer claims trump raped her in a bergdorf goodman dressing room in the mid 90s no charges were brought but after president trump accused carol of lyon she sued for defamation a federal judge this week said the case can go forward i have no idea who this woman is this is a woman who’s also accused other men of things as you know it is a totally false accusation surprising to say that that his lawyers will have plenty of action in the coming years and and the criminal side of it may be the least of the concerns there’s also a new lawsuit from within his own family niece mary trump filing suit in september alleging her uncle donald fraudulently kept her from a financial stake in the family’s business the president has called his niece an opportunistic disgrace to be disinherited to be shut out entirely from the wealth of the family was to be told quite explicitly that you don’t count and you were not loved as he enters the post-presidency donald trump facing an unprecedented array of legal challenges but one big unanswered question whether the biden administration will pile on i will not interfere with the justice department’s judgment of whether or not they think they should pursue the prosecution of anyone that they think has violated the law i do believe that the justice department will be very leery of bringing prosecutions of a former president especially when the results of the election have been so hotly contested by that former president regardless president trump has floated the idea of preemptively pardoning himself yes i do have an absolute right to pardon myself a right not spelled out in the constitution and never tried before it also does not apply to state investigations like the criminal probe in new york criminal cases by and large move somewhat quicker and they’re the ones that carry with them at least the potential for for prison time so a pardon from himself or from his vice president would go no distance at all to exonerating him or immunizing him against those state legal proceedings.