This week at the Democratic National Convention, speakers are calling Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump unstable, unfit for office and a guy who overreacts way too much. Former New York City mayor (and billionaire ex-Republican) Michael Bloomberg said he endorsed Hillary Clinton because, unlike her opponent, she’s a “sane, competent person.”
What do you think? Does Trump fly off the handle too often for your taste? Is he a reckless, risky choice to lead America (and have access to the nuclear codes)? Is he, as Bloomberg called him, a “dangerous demagogue”? Perhaps looking at Trump’s legal history will help you answer those questions—and ultimately decide whom to cast your vote for in November.
Donald Trump has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits and counting. He’s been sued often (at least 1,300 times). He’s sued others even more often, with a number of threatened lawsuits in the mix as well. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the most noteworthy suits and threats. Draw your own conclusions.
Who: Comedian Bill Maher
Why: Maher offered to donate $5 million to charity if Trump proved he wasn’t “the spawn of his mother having sex with an orangutan.” Trump sent his birth certificate and Maher didn’t send the money.
What Happened: Trump took him to court demanding the money.
How It Was Resolved: Trump dropped the suit, perhaps recognizing the odds of success were low since it’s difficult to enforce verbal contracts, particularly when they’re jokes. (Maher had suggested the charity should be “The Hair Club for Men.”)
Who: Rapper Mac Miller
Why: Mentioned Trump in the song “Donald Trump.”
What Happened: Trump vowed to teach the “ungrateful dog” a “big boy lesson about finance and lawsuits.”
How It Was Resolved: Miller defused the situation by tweeting “let’s be friends.” Though a 2016 rant about Trump being a “racist son of a bitch” may have tested that friendship.
Who: Trump’s biographer Timothy O’Brien
Why: The author of 2005’s TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald insisted sources indicated Trump was worth at most $250 million, while Trump insisted he was worth at least $5 billion. (Later lowered to at least $4 billion.)
What Happened: Trump sued in 2006.
How It Was Resolved: The judge dismissed the lawsuit, finding O’Brien was not acting maliciously. Afterwards, Trump declared his net worth was “indisputable.”
Who: MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell
Why: O’Donnell insisted Trump was worth less than $1 billion.
What Happened: Trump threatened to sue over the “many false statements.”
How It Was Resolved: Trump hasn’t sued and O’Donnell has mocked that Trump “cannot afford to sue me.”
Who: Trump’s ex-wife Ivana
Why: She talked about their life together without his permission.
What Happened: Trump sued his ex-wife and mother of three of his children for $25 million for violating their divorce agreement’s gag order.
How It Was Resolved: Trump successfully won a court ruling in 1992 that Ivana must keep quiet. The two settled in 1993 and are on much better terms now.
Who: Julius and Edmund Trump
Why: They had the same last name as him.
What Happened: As Trump lawyer Roy Cohn’s complaint noted: “The defendants are South Africans whose recent entrance in the New York area utilizing the name ‘the Trump Group’ can only be viewed as a poorly veiled attempt at trading on the goodwill, reputation and financial credibility of the plaintiff.”
How It Was Resolved: After nearly five years, the judge threw it out. (But also denied Julius and Edmund monetary damages.)
Who: Miss USA contestant Sheena Monnin
Why: Miss Pennsylvania described Trump’s pageant as “fraudulent,” “trashy,” and “rigged.”
What Happened: Trump took her to court.
How It Resolved Itself: Trump won $5 million in 2013. His attorney in the case later allegedly told a Daily Beast reporter: “Do you want to destroy your life? It’s going to be my privilege to serve [the lawsuit] to you on a silver platter like I did that idiot from Pennsylvania in Miss USA, because I think you’re dumber than she is.”
Why: They wanted to generate energy near his Aberdeenshire golf course. He did not want this.
What Happened: Trump initiated years of legal battles to block a wind farm near his golf course.
How It Was Resolved: Defeat. Which must have been particularly humbling because his mother is from there.
Who: The U.S. government
Why: Many reasons over the years, but the tensions began in 1973 when the Department of Justice accused Trump of violating the Fair Housing Act of 1968 by discriminating against African Americans.
What Happened: Trump attorney Roy Cohn countersued for $100 million ($543 million in 2016 dollars), arguing the charges were “irresponsible and baseless.”
How It Was Resolved: An agreement was reached in 1975, but Trump continues to sue the government over various matters. Just this June he sued the District of Columbia over the $1.7 million tax bill for the hotel he is developing at the Old Post Office Pavilion.
Why: OK, technically he sued Trump Entertainment. By 2014, Trump had lost control of the company with his name on it but still held a 10-percent stake even as Atlantic City and its Trump hotel-casinos struggled more and more mightily.
What Happened: Trump sued to get his name removed from Atlantic City’s Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal.
How It Was Resolved: His name is still on the Taj, though he successfully got it removed from the Plaza. Even that was a strange victory as the property–which once hosted the legendary Tyson-Spinks fight–had already closed down completely.