In a matter of hours Tuesday, former President Donald Trump suffered humiliating defeats in courtrooms across the country that put him on track to have his personal taxes exposed, see his company dismantled, face a trial for an alleged rape, and confront the unencumbered power of the Department of Justice.
It was setback after setback for the former president, who would have struggled to keep up with all the bad news hour by hour—just as journalists struggled to keep track of all the updates and court appearances on Tuesday.
Covering the cascade of legal clashes forced this reporter to shuttle between two courthouses on New York’s Centre Street and step out of live testimony for courtroom teleconferences in two different states, while the Supreme Court also ruled that Congress had a right to Trump’s tax returns.
In the midst of this maelstrom of legal trouble, the real estate mogul’s longtime personal accountant completely disavowed the company’s financial shenanigans, saying if he’d known the way executives were dodging taxes for years, he would have died of shock. “I probably would’ve had a heart attack,” Donald Bender testified in Manhattan criminal court, where the Trump Organization is defending itself at trial against the District Attorney’s Office.
Trump’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day started at 10 a.m. in Manhattan civil court, where his family company is fighting the New York Attorney General’s $250 million lawsuit that accuses the company of widespread bank fraud. Justice Arthur F. Engoron, who had to repeatedly step in during the AG’s three-year investigation to force the Trumps to testify and turn over documents, has finally lost his patience.