Fraud is crime that differs from theft. Theft involves taking something through force or coercion. Fraud involves the purposeful misrepresentation of facts. Fraud can be prosecuted criminally and also pursued civilly by the misrepresented party.
Over the past week or so, a number of women have approached news organizations claiming that Donald Trump molested them decades in the past. One of them, the Jessica Leeds, very recently appeared in the NY Times. She claimed he groped her in first class section of a 1980s airplane (that did not have the lifting armrests she claimed Trump raised to get access to her).
Now here is where it gets interesting. Jessica Leeds is reported to have connections with the Clinton Foundation, a connection revealed in a Wikileaks dump of Podesta e-mails. A search of the Internet reveals much more information about her, so I will spend no more time on it outline “the rest of the story”. My basic question is what should Donald Trump do if these reports are true?
It is my belief that criminal fraud has been committed and that collusion to commit that fraud involves the Clinton Foundation, the NY Times and Ms. Leeds at a minimum. Such collusion would be criminal and might very well be considered a form of racketeering. Thus, if I were Trump, I would ask for an FBI investigation and a special federal prosecutor to expedite the prosecution of any crimes. I would demand that the current director of the FBI and Attorney General recuse themselves.
I would also immediately file a massive civil lawsuit alleging attempts to defraud and defame. Said suit would include all the parties in the criminal action but also be sufficiently open to bring in others who have knowingly contributed to this fraud. If, for example, the Washington Post used a different grope story that could be immediately proven false, I would either incorporate them in the suit or file another one. I would also ask the FBI to include them in the investigation of criminal activity.
Donald Trump has made law and order one of the cornerstones of his campaign. He has stated repeatedly that if we cease to be a nation of laws, we cease to be America. We will see what he does with the above and see whether it can be done without distracting from his other messages. Certainly, he has some of the best lawyers and investigators in the world and more than likely some very interesting folks from the construction industry and docks of NYC.
This just in: Melania Trump has sent a cease and desist demand to have People magazine retract a false story. Details here.