After an election, a president-elect has an enormous amount of work to do. The period between Election Day and Inauguration Day flies by, and an incoming leader has to assemble a team, receive policy briefings, put an agenda in place, and attend a seemingly endless stream of meetings.In Donald Trump's case, there's another part of his upcoming schedule that most presidents-elect don't have to worry about -- because most presidents-elect haven't been accused of committing fraud. Politico reported
Before Donald Trump raises his right hand to take the oath of office in January, he's set for a less-auspicious swearing-in: taking the witness stand in his own defense in a federal court civil trial over alleged fraud in his Trump University real estate seminar program.Trump faces a legal ordeal no president-elect has ever encountered: juggling defending himself before a jury with preparing for the vast challenges a political novice will face in assuming the presidency.
American voters didn't seem to care about Trump's allegedly fraudulent "university" scheme, but the president-elect stands accused of running an ugly scam, bilking customers/students out of quite a bit of money. Many of the victims of Trump's alleged con filed a class-action lawsuit, and jury selection is due to begin on Nov. 28 in San Diego.The Republican will be the first president-elect to defend himself in court ahead of his inauguration. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the target of racist attacks from Trump during the campaign, will oversee the proceedings.Making matters worse for the incoming president, this isn't the only Trump-related case to keep an eye on.The dubious "Trump University" operation isn't just facing a civil suit; it's also under investigation from the New York attorney general's office. Trump's suspicious charitable foundation, which has also been accused of being a scam, is also facing legal scrutiny.What's more, the FBI has reportedly looked into the Trump campaign's ties to Russian officials -- more on this a little later this morning -- and as USA Today recently reported
, there are literally dozens of pending lawsuits surrounding Trump and his business enterprises that don't simply go away because Americans elected him.
Trump faces significant open litigation tied to his businesses: angry members at his Jupiter, Fla. golf course say they were cheated out of refunds on their dues and a former employee at the same club claims she was fired after reporting sexual harassment.... Trump is also defending lawsuits tied to his campaign. A disgruntled GOP political consultant sued for $4 million saying Trump defamed her. Another suit, a class action, says the campaign violated consumer protection laws by sending unsolicited text messages.If elected, the open lawsuits will tag along with Trump. He would not be entitled to immunity, and could be required to give depositions or even testify in open court. That could chew up time and expose a litany of uncomfortable private and business dealings to the public.
Note, none of these cases include the lawsuits Trump threatened to file during the campaign, including vows to go after the many women who accused him of sexual misconduct.These controversies also don't include the IRS audit of Trump's finances, which remains unresolved, and which may or may not exist. (It's an open question as to whether or not the Republican simply made up the audit; neither he nor his team have ever substantiated the claims.)Remember, America, this is the man you elected.In the campaign's closing weeks, Trump routinely said it would be a national "disgrace" if Hillary Clinton won and faced legal problems after the election -- an argument many of his followers found compelling.One wonders if they appreciate the irony.