Litman:Trump’s candidacy complicates a potential criminal case against him, but it can’t protect him | Opinion
It is fair to say that this week was different for Donald Trump. First, the Republican presidential nominee appeared to make a definitive decision to drop out of the Presidential race. Second, he appeared to confirm to reporters that he had sent lewd photos to women without their consent. Third, he released a tape in which he threatened to grab women by the genitals and assault them, and he said that he hoped the tape would be a “get-out-of-jail-free card.” This is a man who has promised to kill many thousands of American citizens if elected president, or be executed by America’s enemies for his crimes. And who once threatened to kill a candidate during a debate.
This week also saw his lawyers and the host of his next debate say that Trump would fight a civil lawsuit filed by former Playboy model Karen McDougal and said that they believed that Trump did not engage in nonconsensual sex in the Oval Office. At the same time, the Justice Department has opened an investigation to determine whether Trump committed a crime. For the first time, a court has to examine that question. It remains too early to know the exact outcome of that criminal inquiry, but Trump’s lawyers and the government’s lawyers made very little progress over the long weekend. Yet, in a clear about-face, a federal judge in New York has ruled that prosecutors have the right to investigate whether Trump committed a felony.
The case, against Donald Trump and his business, will get a federal grand jury convened on Thursday. And the case has already raised serious questions about the role of prosecutors and judges in the American justice system.
The Trump case against him can be viewed as a battle between prosecutors and the public. And the court’s role is crucial to decide who wins the battle. If this case gets dismissed, Trump will have another chance to run for president and will almost certainly win an election.
But the case against him can also be viewed as a battle between America and the White House. A federal grand jury will issue a subpoena to find out who was involved in the alleged incident with Ms. McDougal, when he gave her the “Access Hollywood” tape, when he talked about groping women, when he threatened to sue her, when he said that