Since taking office, Donald Trump has been besieged by lawsuits and investigations of his inner circle.
And his legal woes are only likely to deepen.
In January, Trump will lose the protections the U.S. legal system affords to a sitting president.
“A major question mark for Trump and for Biden really is whether Donald Trump will be indicted when he leaves office. The Justice Department in the U.S. has a longstanding policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted and there are other legal protections afforded to a sitting president. But that sort of protection and immunity goes out the window when you're no longer president.”
Reuters correspondent Jan Wolfe broke down the numerous issues Trump could be facing.
“Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, a state prosecutor, has been investigating Trump and his business for more than two years, already began as an investigation into hush money payments allegedly given to women who said they had affairs with Trump. But according to court filings, that probe has expanded more broadly into potential tax fraud."
Trump has called Vance’s case politically motivated harassment.
"The Justice Department, led by a new U.S. Attorney General, could also theoretically indict Trump if it thinks their federal charges to be brought against him."
"There's also no shortage of civil lawsuits against Trump. He's been facing those for years. I think his status as president, while not shutting down those cases, has helped him sort of postpone them.”
"You have E. Jean Carroll who is suing Trump for defamation. In that case, she says she was raped by Trump. He called her a liar. She's suing for defamation, essentially saying that he defamed her character by calling her a liar. So that's a case where Trump could at some point have to sit under oath for a deposition. He could even have to provide a DNA sample to prove who's telling the truth."
So - there's a lot on Trump's plate.
But what’s the likelihood of actually seeing him in a courtroom?
“So I think there is a gut reaction among certain people that a prosecution of Trump would simply not be in the national interest, even if there were evidence of wrongdoing (...) Joe Biden said in August that he felt that way, that a federal prosecution of Trump would be bad for the country. But he also said, ‘I'll leave it to my Justice Department’. That was a rebuke of Trump, who's been criticized for politicizing the Justice Department under his tenure. Biden made a point of saying, I'll leave it to my attorney general to decide.”
Then, there's speculation of steps that Trump himself could take to avoid prosecution.
Namely, the presidential pardon.
In 2018, Trump said he had, quote, the “absolute right” to pardon himself - a claim many legal scholars dispute.
“The pardon power is in the Constitution. It's something the founding fathers of the U.S. discussed at length. It's a very broad power. It was a way of giving a president a way to do justice and show mercy. But it can be abused, one could say [...] Trump could even try to pardon himself. A lot of legal experts think that would be unconstitutional. It would make Trump the judge in his own case, which just smacks of unfairness. But no one's ever tried it before. So we don't have a court ruling on whether it's proper. So that's a huge question mark: would Trump issue a broadly worded pardon that is meant to protect himself from future legal jeopardy?”