Former President Donald Trump is now facing indictment in a fourth case, as he was charged on Monday in Georgia for his endeavors to reverse the outcome of the 2020 general election in the state.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis initiated the investigation shortly after the release of a recording of a phone conversation on January 2, 2021, between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. During this call, the then-president suggested that Raffensperger could “find 11,780 votes,” which would be sufficient to surpass Joe Biden’s count.
Trump, a member of the Republican Party, has characterized his discussion with Raffensperger as “perfect” and has depicted the legal proceedings led by the Democratic district attorney as driven by political motives.
Let’s examine several other prominent investigations targeting Trump while he actively seeks the 2024 Republican nomination:
CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS CASE
Under the guidance of special counsel Jack Smith, two federal investigations connected to Trump have been underway, and both have led to legal actions against the former president.
In June, the initial set of charges stemming from these investigations materialized. Trump faced indictment for mishandling confidential documents at his Florida residence. The indictment claimed that Trump engaged aides and attorneys repeatedly to assist in concealing records requested by investigators. Additionally, he was alleged to have casually revealed a Pentagon “plan of attack” and a classified map.
In July, an updated indictment was issued, introducing additional charges against Trump. These new accusations alleged that he had requested the erasure of surveillance footage at his Mar-a-Lago estate. This action occurred after FBI and Justice Department investigators had visited in June 2022 to retrieve classified documents he had taken from the White House upon his departure. The revised indictment also asserted that he unlawfully retained a document that he had purportedly displayed to visitors in New Jersey.
In the entirety of the classified documents case, Trump now confronts a total of 40 felony charges. The most severe of these charges carries a potential prison sentence of up to 20 years.
Walt Nauta, who served as a valet for Trump, and Carlos De Oliveira, the property manager at Trump’s Florida estate, have also been implicated in this case. They have been charged with colluding to obscure surveillance footage from federal investigators and providing false statements concerning it.
Both Trump and Nauta have entered pleas of not guilty. De Oliveira’s arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon has set the trial date for May 20, 2024. If this date remains unchanged, the trial could potentially commence well into the presidential nominating schedule and likely after the Republican nominee becomes evident. However, the trial is projected to occur before the official nomination of the Republican candidate at the Republican National Convention.
In August, Special Counsel Jack Smith introduced his second case against Trump, resulting in the former president’s indictment on felony charges. These charges pertain to his efforts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 election in the lead-up to the violent uprising by his supporters at the U.S. Capitol.
Contained within the four-count indictment are allegations of conspiracy aimed at defrauding the U.S. government and conspiring to obstruct an official process: specifically, the certification of Biden’s victory by Congress. The indictment outlines how Trump repeatedly propagated false claims to supporters and others that he had emerged victorious in the election, despite being aware of the falsehood. It further details his endeavors to influence state officials, Vice President Mike Pence, and ultimately Congress to nullify the legitimate election results.
Following weeks of disseminating falsehoods about the election outcome, prosecutors contend that Trump sought to capitalize on the violence at the Capitol by using it as a justification to further delay the tabulation of votes that confirmed his defeat.
In the legal documents outlining the charges, prosecutors referenced several individuals who were not indicted but allegedly collaborated in the conspiracy. This group includes legal professionals from within and outside of government who purportedly collaborated with Trump to challenge the election results and promote legally questionable tactics involving fictitious elector slates in battleground states won by Biden.
HUSH MONEY SCHEME
In March, Trump made history by becoming the inaugural former U.S. president to confront criminal charges. He was indicted in New York on state charges connected to hush money payments orchestrated during the 2016 presidential campaign to conceal claims of extramarital sexual liaisons.
Trump entered a plea of not guilty to 34 felony counts involving the falsification of business records. Each of these counts carries a potential prison sentence of up to four years, although it remains uncertain if a judge would impose imprisonment in the event of a conviction.
These charges are linked to a series of checks issued to his attorney, Michael Cohen, intended as reimbursement for Cohen’s involvement in settling claims by adult film actress Stormy Daniels. She had alleged a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, shortly after the birth of their son, Barron. The payments were recorded in internal company documents as being for a legal retainer that, according to prosecutors, had no factual basis.
NEW YORK CIVIL CASES
New York Attorney General Letitia James has taken legal action against both Trump and the Trump Organization, asserting that they provided misleading information to banks and tax authorities regarding the valuation of assets, such as golf courses and skyscrapers, with the intention of obtaining loans and tax advantages.
This lawsuit has the potential to result in monetary penalties for the company if James, a Democrat, prevails. She seeks a fine of $250 million and a prohibition on Trump engaging in business activities in New York. While Manhattan prosecutors examined the same alleged actions, they did not pursue criminal charges.
A civil trial has been scheduled in state court for October.
Concurrently, a distinct civil case in federal court in New York concluded in May with Trump being held liable for the sexual abuse and defamation of former magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll during the mid-1990s. The jury, however, dismissed Carroll’s assertion of rape by Trump in a dressing room.
As a result, Trump was directed to pay $5 million to Carroll. He has launched an appeal and staunchly denies her allegations. In July, a federal judge upheld the jury’s decision against Trump, dismissing the former president’s assertions that the awarded amount was excessive.