Republican presidential candidate contest: Legal rows? They're this tough-talking tycoon's Trump card

One saga, dating back to 1986, casts Mr Trump in the light of an angel

Click to follow
The Independent US

If you care to be President, better not to have legal dramas in your life. But to Donald Trump, litigation can seem like cream to a cat. Sometimes people sue him, as in a continuing case about the late, lamented Trump University, but more often he is going after those he thinks have slighted or mistreated him.

Any American voter paying attention will know that Mr Trump most recently took umbrage at the Spanish-speaking television network Univision for breaking ties with him after he termed immigrants from Mexico “criminals” and “rapists”, and declined to honour an agreement to air a Miss Universe pageant that he co-controlled with NBC Universal (which also walked away from him).

That fight burst back into millions of US sitting rooms when Mr Trump squabbled this week with the main anchor of Univision, Jorge Ramos, and briefly threw him out of a news conference. When Mr Ramos returned, Mr Trump reminded him how much he is suing his network for: $500m (£325m). A first hearing on a Univision motion to dismiss the lawsuit is set for 14 September.

jorge-ramos-fox.jpg
Journalist Jorge Ramos is escorted out of a Donald Trump press conference

Less well known is that Mr Trump is also going after José Andrés, a Spanish celebrity chef, to the tune of $10m after he withdrew from a planned new restaurant in a Trump hotel, again because of the Mexican immigrant comments. Some time next month, Mr Trump is expected to give sworn testimony in a class action brought by a former student of Trump University (founded in 2005 to teach students how to become property tycoons, just like its namesake). He is also still battling a $40m suit filed against him by the New York Attorney General for purportedly running an educational establishment without proper licensing.

Mr Trump’s past is similarly peppered with legal confrontations. He sued the author Timothy O’Brien for suggesting in his book Trump Nation that its title character wasn’t nearly as wealthy as he claimed he was. That suit was dismissed. He eventually reached a settlement with Deutsche Bank in a feud over the terms of loans it had made for his now-completed 90-storey tower in Chicago.

One saga, dating back to 1986, casts Mr Trump in the light of an angel. A bank in Georgia was preparing to repossess the family farm of a woman whose husband had shot himself weeks before in the mistaken hope that the insurance money would be enough to pay off huge debts.

The farm was to be auctioned off. Mr Trump rang the bank in question – he wrote about it in his book The America We Deserve – and threatened to “bring a lawsuit for murder against the bank” if it went ahead. It didn’t.

Comments