Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Minden-Tahoe Airport on October 08, 2022 in Minden, Nevada.
CNN  — 

On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that Donald Trump must sit for a deposition in a defamation case brought by E. Jean Carroll, a woman who says Trump raped her in the 1990s.

“The defendant should not be permitted to run the clock out on plaintiff’s attempt to gain a remedy for what allegedly was a serious wrong,” wrote the judge.

Trump has denied Carroll’s allegation.

The ruling is the latest in a series of legal setbacks to Trump in recent months, which come even as the former President looks to be readying for a third presidential bid in 2024.


* New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a massive civil fraud lawsuit against Trump as well as his three eldest children alleging that they “deceived lenders, insurers and tax authorities by inflating the value of his properties using misleading appraisals,” according to CNN reporting. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

* As of last month, the Manhattan district attorney’s office was still investigating the Trump Organization’s finances. “The investigation is ongoing,” District Attorney Alvin Bragg told reporters.

* The Department of Justice is investigating Trump’s retention of various classified materials after leaving the presidency. As recently as last week, DOJ officials made clear that – despite having conducted a search at Mar-a-Lago in August – they do not believe they have collected all the classified documents in Trump’s possession.

* The Department of Justice continues to also investigate the January 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Last month, DOJ issued more than 30 subpoenas for people in Trump’s orbit in connection to the ongoing probe.

* Fulton County (Georgia) District Attorney Fani Willis is investigating Trump’s role in attempting to overturn the 2020 election results in the state of Georgia. CNN recently reported that she could begin issuing indictments tied to the probe as soon as December.

It’s, well, a lot. If past is prologue, Trump’s approach will be to delay on all fronts – hoping to muddy the legal waters over time. Which means that he could well be making a decision about whether to run for president again with at least some of these legal issues hanging over his head.

The Point: Trump’s political path to the next Republican nomination is far clearer than his legal one.