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Last Updated : Oct 18, 2020 11:46 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

US Election 2020: Donald Trump likely to face legal storm if he loses election

Several opinion polls have shown that Democratic nominee Joe Biden is leading by over nine points on an average.

US President Donald Trump will find himself barraged with legal cases if he fails to secure re-election in November. Sans the protection that comes with the presidency, Trump will be vulnerable to several investigations, including possible fraud in financial dealings as a private citizen, defamation suits and criminal cases.

Trump faces defamation lawsuits sparked by his denials of assault accusations made by several women, including E Jean Carroll, a former magazine columnist, who accused him of rape. Additionally, claims have been made that he corrupted the presidency for his personal gains.

With the backing of the White House, Trump has blocked and delayed several such investigations and lawsuits, including a fight over a subpoena of his tax returns, as per a CNN report. These matters are likely to come to fore if he is not re-elected.


"In every regard, his leaving office makes it easier for prosecutors and plaintiffs in civil cases to pursue their cases against him," CNN quoted Harry Sandick, a former federal prosecutor in the Manhattan US attorney's office, as saying.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat, has also suggested that a 'Presidential Crimes Commission' made up of independent prosecutors who can examine "those who enabled a corrupt president."

One of the most serious legal threats that the President is facing is Manhattan district attorney's broad criminal investigation into the financial workings of the Trump Organization, as per the CNN report.

Prosecutors have claimed in court filings that the probe could examine whether the President and his company engaged in "bank fraud, insurance fraud, criminal tax fraud and falsification of business records."

Read: Donald Trump vs Joe Biden: Where they stand on health, economy, more

"He is so powerful right now. They know that they cannot indict him right now so there is an incentive to build their case and get ready. If he loses and leaves office, things will move very quickly," said Jennifer Rodgers, a CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, as per the report.

The New York attorney general is also proceeding with a separate civil investigation into the Trump Organization for alleged inflation of the value of certain assets in some instances and undervaluing them in others, in a bid to secure loans and obtain tax benefits.

Some lawyers have also claimed that Trump may attempt to pardon himself from federal crimes before he leaves the White House.

The decision of whether to revive those investigations would then lie with the Biden administration and law enforcement officials leading the Justice Department and Manhattan US attorney's office, the report said.

Meanwhile, Democratic nominee Biden, as per the latest opinion polls, leads against incumbent Trump by over nine points on an average.

Click here for Moneycontrol's complete coverage of the US Election 2020
First Published on Oct 18, 2020 11:46 am