If you are the company you keep, Donald Trump has some explaining to do.
On Tuesday, Tom Barrack, the head of Trump’s 2016 inaugural committee, was charged in a seven-count indictment that targeted his undisclosed lobbying efforts on behalf of the United Arab Emirates. Barrack and Trump have been friends and business partners for decades. The indictment alleges that Barrack used that relationship to advance the interests of the UAE.
But Barrack’s legal woes are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the criminality of Trump’s inner circle. As CNN’s Chris Cillizza points out, ELEVEN “people who played a role in Trump’s presidential campaigns or his administration have been charged with crimes.” The list includes Steve Bannon, Elliot Broidy, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, Paul Manafort, George Nader, George Papadopoulos, Roger Stone, and Allen Weisselberg, who was charged with evading taxes on $1.76 million in income from the Trump Organization.
The Trump Organization has also been charged in connection with Weisselberg’s alleged tax schemes and prosecutors working on the case have refused to rule out charges against the former president.
Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is also the subject of a federal investigation for his role in trying to dig up foreign dirt on the Bidens. Giuliani has been banned from practicing law in New York and Washington, D.C.
Many other Trump associates – including cheerleaders at One America News and Fox News – have been sued by Dominion Voting Systems for defamation. The company, which operates voting machines, has been maligned as part of The Big Lie.
Of course, Trump himself has been on the wrong side of the law quite often. In 2019, for example, the New York Supreme Court ordered Trump to pay $2 million dollars to eight different organizations after he was found to have illegally misused charitable funds for political purposes. The year before, Trump agreed to pay $25 million dollars to people defrauded by Trump University.
The list goes on and on and on. USA Today reports that Trump has been involved in over 4,000 lawsuits in the last three decades, including 200+ contract disputes, 17 campaign cases, and 85 branding and trademark cases.
Then there are Trump’s efforts to overthrow the 2020 election, which are being probed by Georgia prosecutors. Reuters provides details:
Trump asked Raffensperger to “find” the votes needed to overturn Trump’s election loss, according to an audio recording obtained by the Washington Post.
Legal experts said Trump’s phone calls may have violated at least three Georgia criminal election laws: conspiracy to commit election fraud, criminal solicitation to commit election fraud, and intentional interference with performance of election duties.
Reuters also highlights a defamation suit filed against the former president:
E. Jean Carroll, a former Elle magazine writer, sued Trump for defamation in 2019 after the president denied her allegation that he raped her in the 1990s in a New York department store and accused her of lying to drum up sales for a book.
In August 2020, a state judge allowed the case to go forward, meaning Carroll’s lawyers could seek a DNA sample from Trump to match against a dress she said she wore at the store.
In addition, Trump is being sued by 12 Democratic members of Congress and two Capitol police officers for allegedly inciting the Jan. 6 riots with incendiary rhetoric. CNBC provides more details on that case:
The suit, first filed by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and the NAACP, accuses the defendants of violating a federal law by sparking the violence with the goal of preventing Congress from confirming the election of President Joe Biden. The cited law, the Ku Klux Klan Act, was first used in the late 1800s to target the racist KKK for its violence against Black Americans and its intimidation of members of Congress from the South.
In addition to Trump and Giuliani, the suit names extremist groups the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, and Warboys as defendants.