Donald Trump experienced a particularly turbulent day on Wednesday as the former president suffered a series of losses and potential setbacks in legal cases and his 2024 White House campaign.
In the space of 24 hours, Trump saw major updates involving the Georgia election interference criminal investigation, in which he was indicted under along with 18 other defendants. There was also news in the federal classified documents case.
Trump was also struck a blow in relation to the $250 million civil suit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, as well as a defamation lawsuit filed by former Elle columnist E. Jean Carroll.
Finally, Wednesday also saw another suit filed. It aims to remove Trump from the 2024 ballot on the basis that his actions around the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol allegedly violated his Constitutional oath.
Trump has long denied all wrongdoing in connection to the numerous civil and criminal trials against him. Newsweek has contacted his office for comment via email in connection to the series of setbacks.
Trump Ruled Liable in E. Jean Carroll Defamation Case
On Wednesday, a judge ruled that Trump did defame his rape accuser Carroll in 2019 while the former president was denying the assault took place. The ruling states that all a jury needs to do in the upcoming civil trial is to decide the size of the damages Trump should owe.
In May, Carroll successfully sued Trump for sexual battery and defamation in relation to comments he gave in which he denied raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the 1990s, and was awarded $5 million in damages.
The second defamation suit focuses on comments made while Trump was president in 2019. These include claiming the accusation was a hoax to sell more copies of Carroll’s book, and telling The Hill that the attack could not have occurred as “she’s not my type.”
Carroll later amended her 2019 lawsuit to include the comments Trump made at a CNN town hall on May 10. This came one day after a jury ruled him liable for the other suit, in which the former president called Carroll a whack job, and said the abuse claim was a made-up story.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan said that Trump’s statement that the May verdict proved Trump’s comments about Carroll in 2019 were also defamatory. Kaplan added that a jury will not need to hear evidence on their liability.
Trump is appealing the May jury defamation verdict, as well as Kaplan’s previous refusal to have the 2019 lawsuit dismissed.
Entertainment and defamation lawyer Tre Lovell told Newsweek: “If I were Trump’s attorney, I would tell him that nothing he can say will change anyone’s minds since the issue and the case are already out there. He should abstain from making any more statements, let the legal team do what they can to have the case reversed, and then he can tout any rulings that are beneficial to him.
“As he can see, talking about it just makes things worse,” Lovell added.
Mar-a-Lago IT Worker Cooperation Deal
On Wednesday, it was revealed that a IT Mar-a-Lago worker reached a deal with investigators. He had previously retracted a false statement that he was unaware of any attempts by Trump to delete security footage sought by federal prosecutors at the Florida resort as part of the classified documents case.
Yuscil Taveras was previously reported to have flipped on Trump after receiving a new attorney not paid for by the former president. He will now not face perjury charges for providing false information in return for his cooperation in the case.
Taveras previously testified in March 2023, where he denied being aware of contacts or conversations about the security footage at Mar-a-Lago.
Taveras provided information in July that implicated Trump aide Walt Nauta, maintenance worker Carlos De Oliveira, and the former president regarding alleged “efforts to delete security camera footage,” prosecutors said.
Court filings on Wednesday showed that Taveras agreed to change his testimony in the classified documents case on the basis he will not face any charges himself.
No Delay in NY Fraud Civil Trial
Trump was unsuccessful in his attempts to have the start of the civil trial involving him and The Trump Organization delayed, as Judge Arthur Engoron ruled the arguments for doing so were completely without merit.
New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing Trump, two of his children, and his real-estate business for $250 million over claims the company inflated or undervalued the value of a number of the former president’s assets and properties to obtain benefits such as better bank loans and reduced tax bills between 2011 and 2021.
A civil trial to hear the fraud allegations is set to begin on October 2, which Trump had sought to be pushed back.
Even with the former president’s legal team’s attempts to delay proceedings, Engoron said last year that he is “determined” the civil trial will begin in October as scheduled.
14th Amendment Lawsuit Filed
In Colorado, a group consisting of Republican former state, federal and local officials filed a lawsuit to have Trump removed from the 2024 ballot in the Grand Canyon State over claims the former president violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment on January 6, 2021.
The section states that a person who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” after taking an oath of office to support the Constitution should be prevented from running for office again.
“We aren’t bringing this case to make a point, we’re bringing it because it is necessary to defend our republic both today and in the future,” Noah Bookbinder, president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington [CRW], who are representing the plaintiffs, said in a statement.
“While it is unprecedented to bring this type of case against a former president, January 6th was an unprecedented attack that is exactly the kind of event the framers of the 14th Amendment wanted to build protections in case of. You don’t break the glass unless there’s an emergency,” Bookbinder added.
There are numerous other attempts to have Trump barred from running for president again over claims he engaged in an insurrection on January 6. Some secretary of states said they are examining whether the 14th amendment can be applied for Trump next year.
The Republican said in a recent Truth Social post that the 14th Amendment has no legal basis or standing relative to the 2024 election, and attempts to have him barred from ballots are a trick to ensure he cannot win the race.
Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell Trials
Finally on Wednesday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee denied requests for former Trump attorneys Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell to have their cases removed from each other. This means they will both be put on trial together on October 23.
McAfee ruled that the defendants under Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation will be able to receive a fair hearing, and rejected their requests to go through a speedy trial separately.
McAfee also said he is skeptical of Willis’ calls to have all 19 defendants be put on trial together.
Trump is also requesting that he can sever his case from the other defendants who are seeking a speedy trial. McAfee’s unwillingness to sever Chesebro and Powell’s trials means there is a possibility the former president will still go on trial with numerous other suspects in the Georgia case.
There is also the possibility that Powell and Chesebro could be convicted in their speedy trial before Trump’s case arrives in front of a jury, if Willis cannot trial the other defendants on October 23.