Donald Trump Says He Might Sue Ted Cruz Over Citizenship Concerns

Donald Trump might well be prepared to unleash a nightmare scenario for the Republican Party. On Friday, the GOP frontrunner announced via Twitter that he is considering a lawsuit against his closest rival for his party’s presidential nomination, Texas senator Ted Cruz. Accusing Cruz of “cheating” and taking issue with his opponent’s use of negative campaign ads, Trump posted a notice that he will challenge Cruz’s citizenship in court if he is further provoked.

Later in the day, Donald Trump exchanged tweets with supporters regarding lingering questions regarding Ted Cruz’s eligibility for high office.

Although Donald Trump and Ted Cruz were once on good terms, things degraded when the race became tight, prompting Trump to declare "the bromance is over." (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The above-noted tweet isn’t the first time Donald Trump has threatened to sue Ted Cruz over the matter of birthright citizenship. As noted by CNN, Trump publicly contemplated suing Cruz “just for fun” over the issue.

It’s something of a variation on a tactic adopted by Donald Trump months ago, when he began a public campaign questioning whether or not Ted Cruz can legally serve as President of the United States. While both of Cruz’s parents are Americans, Cruz himself was born in Canada. Experts differ as to whether or someone is eligible to serve as president under the aforementioned circumstances.

In 2008, similar concerns were raised regarding John McCain during his candidacy for president. According to the Huffington Post, the United States Senate stepped in during that controversy and passed a resolution declaring McCain a natural-born citizen. But when Donald Trump initially forced the issue about Cruz, government brass was reluctant to step in.

“I just don’t think the Senate ought to get into the middle of this,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in early January. “These guys are all slugging it out in Iowa and New Hampshire. We’ll have a nominee, hopefully, by sometime in the spring.”

Children are fixtures at Donald Trump rallies. At a Baton Rouge rally, Trump used a Sharpie to autograph a baby's hand. At a previous rally, an ensemble of girls entertained the crowd with a patriotic song about the billionaire candidate. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Prior to this week, Donald trump had indicated that Republicans should worry about Democrats hauling Ted Cruz into court over the citizenship issue, particularly in the event that Cruz nets the GOP nomination. But now it’s Trump himself who might opt for that strategy.

Up to this point in the election cycle, the threat of a contested or brokered convention has been the biggest concern for the Republicans as their prospective nominees slug it out through this particularly heated primary season. But a situation in which the top nominee drags his closest competitor into court for an escalation of their already public and messy spat would undoubtedly prove to be a substantial embarrassment to the party.

Nevertheless, as Fortune Magazine pointed out late last year, the billionaire candidate has something of a penchant for wild and wooly legal manuevers. In an article entitled “Donald Trump’s 5 Craziest Lawsuits,” writer Ben Geier noted that Trump has previously sued business partner and television star Merv Griffin, and even his own ex-wife, Ivana, in the past. Earlier this week, Donald Trump settled a $500 million lawsuit against television network Univision, who dropped Trump’s beauty pageants after Trump’s incendiary comments about Mexicans during campaign speeches.

[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]