Donald Trump is a fighter, famous for legal skirmishes over everything from his golf courses to his tax bills to Trump University. But until now, it hasn’t been clear precisely how litigious he is and what that might portend for a Trump presidency.
exclusive USA TODAY analysis of legal filings across the United States
finds that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee and his
businesses have been involved in at least 3,500 legal actions in federal
and state courts during the past three decades. They range from
skirmishes with casino patrons to million-dollar real estate suits to
personal defamation lawsuits.
The sheer volume of lawsuits is
unprecedented for a presidential nominee. No candidate of a major party
has had anything approaching the number of Trump’s courtroom
Just since he announced his candidacy a year ago,
at least 70 new cases have been filed, about evenly divided between
lawsuits filed by him and his companies and those filed against them.
And the records review found at least 50 civil lawsuits remain open even
as he moves toward claiming the nomination at the Republican National
Convention in Cleveland in seven weeks. On Tuesday, court documents were
released in one of the most dramatic current cases, filed in
California by former students accusing Trump University of fraudulent
and misleading behavior.
The legal actions provide clues to the leadership style the billionaire
businessman would bring to bear as commander in chief. He sometimes
responds to even small disputes with overwhelming legal force. He
doesn’t hesitate to deploy his wealth and legal firepower against
adversaries with limited resources, such as homeowners. He sometimes
refuses to pay real estate brokers, lawyers and other vendors. (Continues at USA Today)