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More Legal Trouble for Trump

This isn't really 1A news; some days just don't have a BIG story. So, we place it at the top of the page because it makes the most sense in terms of the organization of the other items. Anyhow, in what has become a near-daily occurrence, Donald Trump's legal hole got a couple of shovelfuls (or shovelsful) of dirt deeper on Monday.

To start, in case you were waiting with bated breath to see if E. Jean Carroll would go after the former president for his comments at the CNN town hall, well, she's decided she will do so. We did not anticipate this particular approach, but what Carroll and her lawyer have very sensibly decided to do is amend her complaint in the as-yet-unresolved lawsuit she filed in 2019 (the one Trump already lost was filed in 2022).

In view of the new remarks from the old president, Carroll is now asking for $10 million in damages in the 2019 case. Again, that would be on top of the millions she was already awarded in the 2022 case. As our lawyer-readers have already pointed out, facts that were already established in the first trial (e.g., that Trump sexually assaulted Carroll) are not open to being relitigated in the second trial, whenever it takes place. Meanwhile, there is little doubt that Trump said nasty things about Carroll during the town hall, and that those things were heard by millions of people. So, as far as defamation cases go, this one's already in the home stretch even though it hasn't even left the gate yet. And by adding this to the existing case, as opposed to filing a third case, Carroll protects herself from going through the sausage grinder any more times than necessary.

And now for something completely different. It would seem the investigation being overseen by special counsel Jack Smith appears to have taken yet another new direction, as the Trump Organization has been subpoenaed for records related to its international dealings since 2017, particularly in China, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

Little more is known about the subpoena right now, including exactly when it was issued, and whether or not the Trump Organization has complied (or, alternatively, intends to comply). During his presidential campaign, Trump promised not to do business with foreign countries. If he broke a campaign promise, well, that's not illegal, and it happens all the time. On the other hand, for a sitting president or his company to do business with a foreign nation, and in particular with that nation's government, might run afoul of all sorts of laws, starting with the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

This is yet another reminder of something we've written many times, most recently last week: There's no way to know for sure when Jack Smith will be "done," because there's no way to know for sure what list of things he's looking into. At this point, it is clear that it is more than just the Mar-a-Lago documents and the events of 1/6. Meanwhile, it's kind of remarkable that a former president gets into hot water for potential defamation of a woman he sexually assaulted, and for potential corrupt dealings with foreign nations, and it doesn't even feel like major news, since this kind of thing is now so squarely in "dog bites man" territory when it comes to Trump. (Z)

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