Donald Trump just fired a warning shot at the ‘fake news media’ he’s long criticized. Trump is suing both the New York Times and the Washington Post for allegedly printing untrue information about his impeachment proceedings.
By bringing these lawsuits, Trump has surprisingly left himself vulnerable to prosecution for other legal matters.
Two women have filed defamation lawsuits against Donald Trump. Jean E. Carroll and Summer Zervos have accused the President of making forceful sexual advances toward them well before he ran for office. The women both say when they later told their stories, Trump lied and defamed them publicly.
Summer Zervos’ case against the President has been delayed after Trump argued that the U.S. Constitution says that state cases of this nature can’t proceed while he’s in office. But if he can proceed with his own case against the New York Times, he might open the door for his accusers to proceed against him.
Trump and his legal team are using the same argument to delay the Carroll case. But this week, Jean E. Carroll’s legal team prepared for battle, armed with the fact that Trump himself is suing for defamation. That hypocrisy could make it difficult for Donald Trump’s lawyers to prove that Carroll’s case should be delayed.
The president shouldn’t be able to pick and choose which cases he wants to do while president and which cases he doesn’t want to do.
There are likely many reasons that Trump doesn’t want to see these defamation cases against him to move forward. If he did sexually assault Carroll or Zervos and it can be proven, Trump could find himself in another impeachment mess.
Back in the 90’s President Bill Clinton was in a similar situation when he denied having a sexual encounter with Monica Lewinski. After the affair had been proven, Clinton was impeached for perjury.
If guilty, Trump faces a similar dilemma. Donald Trump’s testimony in the Carroll case is likely to match what he’s been saying all along— that he doesn’t know her. But that could be difficult to prove if the dress that Carroll wore on the day of their encounter contains Donald Trump’s DNA.
Last year, Carroll dropped a bombshell saying she still had the dress she was wearing when Trump allegedly assaulted her. She also claims it hasn’t been washed. The dress was processed as evidence and male DNA discovered. Her legal team requested a sample of Trump’s DNA for comparison but Trump moved to delay the case until he’s out of office.
To be sure, there’s a long road ahead for Carroll even if the New York Times lawsuit paves the way for the case to move forward. But Donald Trump’s pride could be his undoing if his own defamation cases set a precedent for his accusers.
There’s some question as to whether Trump’s NYT suit could also impact the delayed Summer Zervos case. Both Zervos and Trump will need to submit their arguments to the court by May 11.
If Carroll is successful in using Trump’s current suits to push her own case forward, Zervos may be able to rely on the same logic. Either way, Trump may not be able to escape unscathed.