REPORT: Donald Trump Has Been Involved In Thousands Of Lawsuits – The Total Number Will Floor You

If you’ve been following Donald Trump at all, you’re aware of how many times he’s threatened to sue everyone on the planet. He’s flat-out said he wants to loosen libel laws so that the press can’t say anything bad about him. USA Today looked into his background of litigation, and what they found is absolutely appalling.

An exhaustive investigation of Trump’s background shows that he’s been involved in at least 3,500 legal actions in state and federal courts. They deal with everything from casino customers to multi-million dollar real estate battles, to his ongoing tax battles and more, over the past 30 years. After summarizing all of this, USA Today said:

“The sheer volume of lawsuits is unprecedented for a presidential nominee. No candidate of a major party has had anything approaching the number of Trump’s courtroom entanglements.” [emphasis mine]

Even more interesting than that is how these actions break down:

  • Trump has been the plaintiff in roughly 1,900 cases;
  • He’s been the defendant 1,450 times;
  • There have been 150 bankruptcy or other types of court filings one might see with a big business;
  • His casinos have gotten him into court 1,700 times;
  • Personal injuries have gotten him into court 700 times;
  • Real estate disputes, and government and taxes, have gotten him into court 465 times;
  • Trump University, Miss Universe and libel suits have gotten him into court 55 times.
  • 500 cases were dismissed or discontinued;
  • He won 450 cases;
  • Despite his claims that he never settles, he settled 175 cases.

In addition to all of that, 70 new cases have been filed since Trump formally announced his candidacy.

Trump loves litigation, and this analysis demonstrates that. During the GOP primary season, Trump threatened to sue Ted Cruz over his “natural-born” status, and the Republican National Committee over his loss in Louisiana. He recently threatened to sue The New York Times, and even threatened a copyright lawsuit over an artist’s nude drawing of him.

In other words, he threatens to sue at the drop of a hat, so it’s not too terribly surprising that he’s been the plaintiff in at least 1,900 different cases.

This analysis isn’t the first that USA Today has done on Trump’s legal problems. In mid-May, they released a report that tied Trump to over 100 lawsuits involving his businesses and tax evasion. At the time, five of Trump’s companies had warrants against them, just from the State of New York, for over $13,000 in unpaid and late taxes. All told, his businesses owed over $300,000 in back taxes at one point (which were eventually paid in full).

He also sued the New York City Tax Commission 55 times over roughly 15 years for their property value assessments of properties his father once owned.

Alan Garten, the general counsel for the Trump Organization, calls this “the cost of doing business,” and said that he believes they have less litigation than other companies of similar size. That’s probably what Trump himself would say, too, however, USA Today compared Trump to five other big-name real estate developers and found that to be untrue. Trump has actually been involved in more legal actions than the other five combined.

What does this mean for a potential presidency? The overwhelming amount of litigation that Trump has been involved in does provide clues as to how he’ll lead the country. USA Today’s assessment of that says:

“The legal actions provide clues to the leadership style the billionaire businessman would bring to bear as commander in chief. He sometimes responds to even small disputes with overwhelming legal force. He doesn’t hesitate to deploy his wealth and legal firepower against adversaries with limited resources, such as homeowners. He sometimes refuses to pay real estate brokers, lawyers and other vendors.

As he campaigns, Trump often touts his skills as a negotiator. The analysis shows that lawsuits are one of his primary negotiating tools. He turns to litigation to distance himself from failing projects that relied on the Trump brand to secure investments.”

There are all sorts of problems that a Trump presidency would bring, not the least of which involves starting wars with countries that piss him off. When China, Russia, Iran, or anybody else with whom we’re on shaky terms, refuses to cooperate with him, what will he do? If lawsuits are a primary negotiating tool for him in the business world, what will play that role in the world of foreign policy? What will he do to Congress when they don’t do as he tells them?

The questions, and their possible answers, paint a terrifying picture that boggles the mind.


Featured image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images