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Trump faces legal proceedings after leaving office at the White House



President Trump faced a series of legal issues after leaving the White House, including a criminal investigation in Manhattan and a civil investigation by the New York State Attorney General for suspected fraud and multiple lawsuits.

After resigning in January, Mr. Trump will no longer enjoy the legal protection of the presidency, including the team of government lawyers who have defended him for nearly four years. He will also lose the protection of the Justice Department’s policy of prohibiting federal criminal prosecutions of incumbent presidents, which former special counsel Robert Mueller cited, partly because he explained why he did not prosecute during the Russian investigation Obstruct Trump’s justice.

With Mr. Trump leaving the White House, both the New York State investigation and the lawsuits he faces may move forward faster. Mr. Trump̵

7;s legal arguments slowed the sight of many people and cast doubt on the ability to prosecute or prosecute the current president.

According to Lisa Kern Griffin, a former federal prosecutor and Duke University Law School professor, Mr. Trump has significant civil and criminal influence. She said: “It is foreseeable that it will catch up with him,” although she added that it is unlikely that criminal proceedings will be filed against the former president.

Mr. Trump’s lawyer did not respond to a request for comment. Mr. Trump has repeatedly denied wrongdoing. He said that the investigation into his office and his business dealings was politically motivated.

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Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance (Cyrus Vance Jr.) said in court documents that he is investigating the Trump Organization and its officials for alleged fraud and financial misconduct.

The investigation also appears to be investigating the quiet money paid by Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to two women in order to silence their relationship with the president. When Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty to tax evasion and violation of campaign finances, federal prosecutors identified Mr. Trump as “Individual-1” in court documents, saying that Mr. Trump directed and coordinated the payment.

Mr. Trump denied this. The President called Mr. Vance’s investigation “the worst witch hunt in American history.” He has stated that he has never instructed Mr. Cohen to violate the law.

Trump Organization lawyers declined to comment on Mr. Vance’s investigation.

The district attorney’s office issued a large jury summons, asking Trump to provide eight years of tax returns and a large number of financial documents. Mr. Trump tried to stop the subpoena, saying that the current president is absolutely immune to criminal investigation. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected this argument in July, but also stated that Mr. Trump is free to raise other arguments that apply to any litigant under state law.

Mr. Trump tried again, saying that the subpoena was too broad and was issued out of malice. The federal judge and the Court of Appeal rejected this argument, and Mr. Trump appealed again to the Supreme Court, which has not yet disclosed whether it will hear the case.

Court documents show that New York State Attorney General Letitia James launched a civil investigation in March 2019 to investigate whether Mr. Trump and his company inappropriately exaggerated the value of his assets for economic and tax benefits .

A Trump Organization spokeswoman said that the investigation was all about politics. The president’s son Eric Trump called it an “anti-Trump fishing expedition.”

The Attorney General’s Office has been collecting documents and emails for several months. Eric Trump attended the oath ceremony in October.

Mr. Trump also faces private lawsuits that may move forward.

After Mr. Trump denied allegations that he raped her in the mid-1990s, counsel columnist E. Jean Carroll filed a defamation lawsuit. In October, a federal judge rejected the Justice Department’s request to represent Mr. Trump, which is an effective legal method that can effectively close the case. The Justice Department can appeal the ruling.

In another defamation case filed by the “apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos, Mr. Trump was accused of lying involving sexual misconduct. The president’s lawyers argued that the U.S. Constitution granted him immunity from civil lawsuits filed in courts in New York State. The case has yet to be heard by the State Supreme Court Appeal Court.

Write to Deanna Paul (deanna.paul@wsj.com) and Corinne Ramey (Corinne.Ramey@wsj.com)

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