Donald Trump faces two cases involving sexual misconduct that may move forward faster now that he is no longer the sitting US president.
New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance has been leading a years-long investigation that focuses on alleged hush-money payments Trump made to two women, and whether his businesses manipulated their assets to gain favourable loan terms and tax benefits.
Trump also faces legal proceedings related to allegations of sexual misconduct and rape. Author E Jean Carroll has a pending defamation lawsuit that accuses Trump of raping her in a New York department store in the 1990s.
Summer Zervos, a former contestant on the Trump’s The Apprentice TV show, is also accusing the former president of sexual misconduct, unwanted kissing and groping in a defamation lawsuit.
Zervos and Carroll are among more than two dozen women who have publicly accused Trump of sexual misconduct that they say occurred in the years before he became president.
Other women who have accused Trump include a former model who claims Trump sexually assaulted her at the 1997 US Open tennis tournament; a former Miss Universe pageant contestant who said Trump groped her in 2006; and a reporter who alleges Trump forcibly kissed her without her consent in 2005 at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
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In September 2020, Department of Justice under Donald Trump administration asked that the government be substituted for Trump as the defendant in the case. This after several unsuccessful attempts by Trump’s lawyers to get Carroll’s case dismissed or delayed,
Justice Department lawyers argued that Trump, like any typical government employee, is entitled under federal law to immunity from civil lawsuits when performing his job. They argued that he was acting in his capacity as president when he said Carroll was lying.
Now that there is a new president in White House – Joe Biden, it is yet to be seen whether Justice Department officials will continue to defend the case on Trump’s behalf.
It’s expected that would soon be deposed by Carroll’s lawyers as soon as the Justice Department stops defending him.
Carroll’s lawyers are also seeking a DNA sample from Trump. Carroll says she still has the dress she was wearing when Trump allegedly attacked her.
If the dress does contain traces of Trump’s DNA, it would not prove his guilt. But a match could be used as evidence that he had contact with the dress and to help disprove his claims that he never met Carroll.
Carroll said she’s confident the DNA on the dress belongs to Trump and wants her day in court.