A section in this article has been updated to include recent developments.
Long before President Trump battled judges over contentious travel bans, the billionaire-turned-politician often dispatched his lawyers to court to sue cities, real estate developers, palm tree vandalizers, pageant contestants, vodka manufacturers and hundreds more.
In fact, Trump has been involved in more than 3,500 litigations, according to an analysis by USA Today. Of those, Trump was the plaintiff in 1,900.
Since winning his party’s nomination in July 2016, Trump has threatened dozens of lawsuits, often against vocal critics and news media companies. He once vowed to “open up” libel laws to make it easier to sue media outlets. He’s also threatened to sue women: those who accuse him of sexual assault, criticize his golf courses and a teenager who made a website.
It’s worth noting that while he blows hot air at his opponents — oftentimes on the campaign trail — Trump has rarely followed through on these threats. In some cases, his lawyers will send letters or cease and desist orders, but by and large they go without follow-up.
Below are the people and companies Trumphas sicced his lawyers on since July:
The New York Times
Trump’s first warning against The New York Timescame in September 2016 via Twitter. He wrote on Sept. 17 that his lawyers wanted to sue the “failing” Times for “irresponsible intent.” He didn’t elaborate as to which story by the news outlet caught his lawyers’ ire, but said he told them “no.” However,the Times had published an investigationearlier that day into how Trump built his fortune through taxpayer subsidies.
My lawyers want to sue the failing @nytimes so badly for irresponsible intent. I said no (for now), but they are watching. Really disgusting
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 17, 2016
Less than a month later, Trump threatened again. On Oct. 2, a lawyer for the then-candidateemailed the Times threatening legal action after the news outletpublished Trump’s 1995 tax records, which showed he declared a $916 million loss.
Trump threatened the Times again just 10 days later, claiming an article that interviewed two women who accused him of touching them inappropriately was libelous. His lawyer called the allegations false, and demanded a retraction, which the Times did not grant. Instead, the newspaper said it welcomed the chance to see Trump in court.
Sexual assault accusers
By Oct. 22, Trump alsovowed to sue the 11 womenwho had accused him of aggressive sexual advances. Speaking in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Trump used the podium to denounce the women as liars intending to hurt his campaign. “All of these liars will be sued after the election is over,” he said, adding that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton “put forward these liars with these fabricated stories.”
An elderly Scottish woman
The 92-year-old Scottish widow earned Trump’s scorn after appearing in a documentary, “You’ve Been Trumped Too,” which explored Trump’s path toward building a luxury golf resort on her property. Molly Forbes, who lived in a caravan on her son’s farm in Balmedie, Scotland, claimed in the film that she hadlost access to waterbecause of Trump,and was subject to bullying and intimidation.
Trump International issued a statement calling Forbes’ allegations “highly offensive, defamatory and categorically untrue,” adding that it had sought legal counsel and would pursue legal action.
After an NBC producer recovered an explosive tape featuring Trump and Billy Bush on a 2005 “Access Hollywood” segment — in which Trump made sexually explicit and vulgar comments about women — the candidate said he might pursue legal action.
In an Oct. 27 interview with Bill O’Reilly, Trump said NBC committed an illegal act by having his microphone on while he and Bush rode an NBC-branded bus.
Less than a week after Trump won the election, his then-campaign manager Kellyanne Conway issued an ominous warning to Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, who called Trump “a sexual predator who … fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate.”
Conway spoke up on Fox News: “I find Harry Reid’s public comments and insults about Donald Trump and other Republicans to be beyond the pale. They’re incredibly disappointing. And he should be very careful about characterizing somebody in a legal sense. He thinks — he thinks he’s just being some kind of political pundit there, but I would say be very careful about the way you characterize it.”
Reid didn’t stand down from his comment, responding to Conway’s statement that “it only took five days for President-elect Trump to try to silence his critics with the threat of legal action. This should shock and concern all Americans.”
In December, actor Tom Arnold claimed he had footage of Trump using racist, inflammatory language on “The Apprentice,” but said he didn’t want to release the footage. By Dec. 20, Arnold tweeted that he had received a threat of a defamation lawsuit by Trump’s camp.
Wife told me there’s house line VM from Trump Camp about defamation suit so it’s on! Open Apprentice vaults 4 discovery! Miss Universe too!!
— Tom Arnold (@TomArnold) December 21, 2016
A teenager from San Francisco
Metro previously reported that a 17-year-old girl identified as “Lucy” claimed to have received two cease and desist letters for a website, originally named trumpscratch.com, where users could virtually scratch Trump’s face with kitten paws.
However, Gizmodo reported Thursday afternoon that The Trump Organization denied sending any letters; andweb domain records show the site was registered on March 22. “Lucy” claimed to have received the first cease and desist on March 1.