DemDaily: The Trials of Trump. Where They Stand.
July 31, 2023
The Trials of Trump
Donald Trump's legal troubles are coming to a head as the Department of Justice (DOJ) moves forward with the next phase in two historic investigations involving the disgraced, twice-impeached former president.
|The latest developments add to the unprecedented scope of criminal and civil charges facing the 45th president on the federal and state level -- with trials rolling out as he runs for another term in the White House.|
Department of Justice
On July 16, 2023 Trump was officially informed by DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith that he is the subject of an investigation into his role in the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol and the election interference scheme to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The 30-month probe, which also incorporates the criminal referrals against Trump made in December 2022 by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack, is the largest in DOJ's history. The "target letter" received by Trump is a precursor to a federal indictment -- expected in the next week.
In the interim, last Thursday, July 27, a Florida grand jury returned a "superseding" indictment against Trump, adding three new charges to the 37 felony counts brought against him June 13 in the DOJ's classified documents case.
The June indictment charged illegal transfer, detention and coverup of highly classifed US secrets in violation of the Presidential Records Act.
The new grand jury counts charge Trump with attempting to "alter, destroy, mutilate or conceal evidence" when he ordered aides to delete Mar-a-Lago security footage sought by the grand jury in the classified documents investigation.
He is also charged with an additional count of willfully retaining national defense information -- allegedly related to military activity in Iran -- which Trump flaunted in a taped July 2021 interview at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club. In the recording, Trump, referring to the document in his hand, says, “This is secret information. See, as president I could have declassified it, now I can’t…Isn’t that interesting? It’s so cool.” A trial date is set for May 20, 2024.
Fulton County District Attorney, Georgia
In Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis confirmed she will charge the former president with crimes by the end of August -- on what may include witness tampering, solicitation to commit election fraud and conspiracy to commit election fraud.
Security is ramping up at the courthouse amid threats against Willis as she prepares to present evidence from the two and a half year investigation against Trump and at least 17 allies regarding their coordinated efforts to overturn the state's 2020 presidential election results.
In the meantime, an August 10th hearing has been set to hear a motion by Trump's attorneys to disqualify Willis and quash the Special Purpose Grand Jury's report.
|On May 9, 2023, a Manhattan federal jury found Trump liable in a civil case for the sexual abuse and defamation of author E. Jean Carroll, awarding her $5 million in damages. On May 22, 2023, Carroll filed a second defamation suit over additional verbal attacks Trump made following the verdict, seeking $10 million in damages. A trial date has been set for January 15, 2024.|
Manhattan District Attorney
On April 4, 2023, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg indicted Trump on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. The case involved a hush money scheme -- carried out in the final months of the 2016 presidential election -- to silence adult film star Stormy Daniels about a past affair with Trump. A trial date is set for March 25, 2024.
The Trump Organization was convicted in New York State Supreme Court in December 2022 on 17 counts of tax fraud, grand larceny and falsifying business records. The organization was fined $1.6 million and CFO Allen Weisselberg was sentenced to five months in jail. Trump and his adult children, who are senior executives, were not charged personally at the time.
New York Attorney General
In September 2022, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a $250 million civil lawsuit charging Trump, the Trump Organization, Donald Trump, Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, and others for their part in a “staggering” decade-long scheme to criminally defraud tax authorities. A trial is scheduled for October 2, 2023.
Racketeering Class Action Suit
A federal class action lawsuit, originally filed in October 2018 against the Trump Corporation, Donald Trump, and his three children -- is scheduled for trial January 29, 2024.
The suit accuses them of duping vulnerable investors into a 'multi-level marketing' pyramid scheme, fradulently encouraging consumers to give large amounts of money to organizations connected to the Trumps.
Several US Capitol Police and Washington, DC Metropolitan Police members are suing Trump for physical and emotional injuries caused by his "wrongful conduct" in inciting the January 6 riot. The violent attack on the US Capitol caused the deaths of nine people, including Officer Brian Sicknick, whose longtime partner is suing Trump for wrongful death and conspiracy to violate civil rights -- seeking $10 million in damages.
Trump is also facing other investigations, lawsuits and/or potential prosecution by the District of Columbia, Members of Congress, past employees, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, among others.
|Trump's political action committee, Save America, reported that it has spent more than $40 million on legal costs in the first half of 2023 alone to defend Trump, his advisers and others. Most of the PAC's estimated $130.4 million haul since Trump left office was raised from small-dollar contributions on false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.|
The former president, who has pleaded 'Not Guilty" to the 74 felony counts to-date, is released on his own recognizance with no limit on his domestic or international travel. The indictments do not disqualify him from running for or serving in office.
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Sources: Politico, CNN, The Guardian, CBS, Washington Post, ABC, Axios, DOJ, New York Magazine, Business Insider, FEC