DISLOYAL: Reality TV fraud lawsuit fractures Trump family

DISLOYAL: Reality TV fraud lawsuit fractures Trump family

A major reality TV fraud lawsuit just fractured the Trump family right as it heads to trial.

Donald Trump is defending so many lawsuits at the same time that it seems as if plaintiffs are rushing to get to the front of the line to seek justice.

That’s particularly true with a five-year-old lawsuit that was filed by viewers of The Apprentice and named Trump and all three of his grown children — Ivanka, Don Jr., and Eric — as defendants.

Now, the plaintiffs’ lawyers have voluntarily dismissed the Trump kids from the lawsuit in order to speed the trial up.

With fewer defendants, the faster the case moves through the processes involved in preparing for a trial.

They can skip three people in all those pre-trial motions; “We don’t want this admitted, we want that admitted…”

The complaint alleges that viewers were conned by Trump and his family, who were pitching investments in a “doomed desktop video phone.

But Trump has another problem, a much bigger problem than speeding things up in the trial.

The kids were deposed in the case.

Each one sold Dad out as the one responsible for arranging the entire scheme and for being the recipient of nearly all the money. Talk about motions to keep evidence out! The kids’ depositions will be played at trial.

They really sold Dad out all the way, according to a statement from the Plaintiffs’ attorney Robert Kaplan. Bloomberg reports:

“The sworn depositions of the Trump children ‘made clear’ that the former president ‘was the architect, principal actor, and largest beneficiary of the fraudulent scheme.'”

“As part of the agreement, depositions testimony from the three children — who worked closely with their father while his TV show aired — can still be used at trial. The former president and his company, Trump Corp., remain defendants.”

Additionally, Trump’s attorneys are well aware of the fact that a witness list submitted pre-trial can be altered, adding the kids as witnesses to rebut new testimony Trump might bring in.

The only reason this lawsuit could go forward is that Trump was paid to put the phone in the show and talk about its greatness.

Without payments, Trump could just say that he really thought it was the next best thing on his reality TV show, and was just saying it as a time filler.

But if you could sue someone for doing stupid things and always win, Trump would be broke.

The fact that the kids threw Dad under the tank should have some interesting repercussions.

Mr. Trump does not like disloyal people or dogs, and there are other lawsuits out there that also involve both the disgraced ex-president and his adult children.

The New York State lawsuit lists the executive officers of the Trump Organization as defendants, so the Trump kids are on the hook.

That’s the same Trump Organization whose CFO just got out of Riker’s Island after he and the company were convicted of tax fraud, the latter fined $1.6 million. Trump’s money man Allan Weisselberg is already facing new criminal charges.

Now, however, the lawsuit will almost surely focus primarily on Donald Trump as the company’s CEO, and it will be interesting to see whether he turns against his children for their perceived disloyalty.

One thing that Trump needs to consider is the fact that there are some serious criminal cases that he will likely face that will probably not name the three grown children as co-defendants.

His children could very likely be called as witnesses, however.

If so, each one will raise their hand and swear to tell the truth, knowing that they themselves could face criminal charges if they do not tell the whole truth.

Imagine Ivanka saying something like: ‘I asked Dad, why are you hiding those files that say “Top-Secret SCIF” when I’m holding a letter saying it’s against the law and you could be prosecuted for keeping them?’

Just speculation.

But fascinating speculation.

Perhaps, Daddy doesn’t want to alienate his children quite yet, given that the “big alleged criminal cases” haven’t been filed yet.

But one can bet that the family dynamic will make for fascinating “reality TV” and even more fascinating results.

But it’s clear from events of the last 12 months that the only network picking up the Trump family’s next season is Court TV.

I can be reached at jasonmiciak@gmail.com and @JasonMiciak

Editor’s note: This is an opinion column that solely reflects the opinions of the author.

Jason Miciak
Jason Miciak is an associate editor and opinion writer for Occupy Democrats. He's a Canadian-American who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a trained attorney, but for the last five years, he's devoted his time to writing political news and analysis. He enjoys life on the Gulf Coast as a single dad to a 15-year-old daughter. Hobbies include flower pots, cooking, and doing what his daughter tells him they're doing.

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