Trump’s 3 indictments, 4 criminal investigations: What to know about the cases


As former President Donald Trump pushes forward with his 2024 campaign, incidents from before, during and after his term in office are under intense legal scrutiny. He has now been indicted in three cases and remains under investigation in another criminal probe.

Here’s where the four investigations, led by two state prosecutors and a federal special counsel, stand:

Indicted: Manhattan “hush money” probe

A New York grand jury investigating the circumstances surrounding a “hush money” payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016 voted to indict Donald Trump in March, making him the first former president in U.S. history to face criminal charges.

He was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, and pleaded not guilty to all charges on April 4. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg defended the decision to charge Trump in a press conference.

“Under New York state law, it is a felony to falsify business records with intent to defraud and intent to conceal another crime,” Bragg told reporters. “That is exactly what this case is about: 34 false statements made to cover up other crimes.”

The case stems from a payment made just days before Trump was elected president in 2016. His former attorney, Michael Cohen, arranged a wire transfer of $130,000 to Daniels in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair. Prosecutors were investigating potential falsification of business records related to reimbursements made to Cohen. Trump has denied having a sexual encounter with Daniels, and vehemently denied wrongdoing in this case. 

In the weeks before the grand jury decision, a steady stream of former Trump employees and White House staffers were seen entering Bragg’s offices, including Trump’s former White House counselor and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, former director of strategic communications Hope Hicks, and his former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen.

Cohen, who went to prison on federal charges related to the $130,000 payment to Daniels, has met repeatedly with prosecutors this year — more than a half-dozen times since mid-January. 

He appeared before the grand jury twice.

In his memoir “Disloyal,” Cohen described an intense effort in October 2016 — just before the presidential election — to prevent the actress from speaking publicly about an alleged affair with Trump. Ultimately, Cohen wired the money through a newly created limited liability company, and both Cohen and Daniels have claimed she and Trump signed a non-disclosure agreement using the aliases David Dennison and Peggy Peterson.

Trump, a Republican who is running once again for president, has repeatedly denied allegations of wrongdoing, and lashed out at Bragg, a Democrat, calling the case a “political persecution.”

In ruling against an effort by Trump to have the case moved from state to federal jurisdiction Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein addressed Trump’s accusation that the indictment was politically motivated.

“Trump argues that a ‘politically motivated’ district attorney who ‘disfavored [Trump’s] acts and policies as president’ caused the grand jury to indict. Trump fails to show, however, that the grand jury lacked a rational basis for the indictment,” Hellerstein wrote.

Hellerstein also faulted another argument made on Trump’s behalf, that he is immune from prosecution because the payments were made while he was president.

“Reimbursing Cohen for advancing hush money to Stephanie Clifford cannot be considered the performance of a constitutional duty,” Hellerstein wrote. “Falsifying business records to hide such reimbursement, and to transform the reimbursement into a business expense for Trump and income to Cohen, likewise does not relate to a presidential duty.”

The case is scheduled to go on trial in March 2024.

Indicted: Special counsel’s Mar-a-Lago documents case

Trump became the first former president charged with federal crimes in June, and entered a not guilty plea to 37 felony counts related to alleged “willful retention” of national security information after leaving the White House. An aide to Trump, Waltine Nauta, was also charged in the case and has entered a not guilty plea. 

Three additional charges against Trump, and two more charges against Nauta, were filed in late July, when prosecutors also introduced charges against Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliveira.

The case was brought by special counsel Jack Smith, who was appointed in November to oversee two Justice Department’s criminal investigations into Trump. 

The indictment accuses Trump of storing boxes containing classified documents “in various locations at The Mar-a-Lago Club including in a ballroom, a bathroom and shower, an office space, his bedroom, and a storage room.” Trump lives at Mar-a-Lago, a private Palm Beach, Florida country club owned by his company.

Trump has defended his handling of classified information, and accused Smith of pursuing the case out of political bias, calling Smith a “radical.”

The judge in the case, Aileen Cannon, has scheduled the trial for May 2024, which would place it toward the end of the Republican presidential primary season.

Indicted: Special counsel’s Jan. 6 investigation

Smith’s office has also been investigating alleged efforts to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power after Trump lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden, including the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The grand jury hearing evidence in this case indicted Trump on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023.

The charges came a week after Trump revealed that he’d received a letter from Smith’s office identifying him as a target of the criminal investigation.

Trump faces four charges in this indictment: conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding; and conspiracy against rights.

The indictment lists six unnamed co-conspirators. Prosecutors allege they were “enlisted” to assist Trump in “his criminal efforts to overturn” the election “and retain power.”

Trump has vehemently denied allegations of wrongdoing related to his efforts to overturn the election results.

Under investigation: Post-election conduct in Fulton County, Georgia

The Fulton County district attorney’s investigation into Trump’s conduct following the 2020 election began in February 2021 — spurred by an infamous recorded Jan. 2, 2021, phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which Trump pressed him “to find 11,780 votes.”

The probe grew in size and scope over the next two years, ultimately leading to the creation of a special purpose grand jury — tasked with investigating not only Trump, but alleged efforts of dozens of his allies to thwart Georgia’s election, which President Joe Biden won.

The special purpose grand jury had subpoena power, but could not issue indictments. The panel of 23 Georgians interviewed 75 witnesses in 2022, and completed a report in January, which was provided to Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis — who has not said publicly if she plans to file charges in the case.

Among those interviewed by the special purpose grand jury were many Trump allies, including his former attorney, Rudy Giuliani; South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham; and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. It also interviewed Georgia officials who are among Trump’s political critics, such as Raffensperger and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.

Willis’ office sent letters in 2022 to multiple Trump allies warning that they could face charges, including so-called “fake electors” — who planned to reverse the state’s electoral college vote —  and Giuliani.

In February, a judge ordered a small portion of the report to be made public. In the introduction, the grand jurors wrote that they refuted a claim often made by Trump and his allies.

“We find by a unanimous vote that no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 presidential election that could result in overturning that election,” the report said.

Georgia grand jury recommended indictments in Trump 2020 election probe, foreperson says


The report also said that a “majority of the Grand Jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it” and recommended that the district attorney seek “appropriate indictments” for crimes where the “evidence is compelling.”

The Georgia Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an effort by Trump’s attorneys to quash the report and remove Willis from the case. Trump’s legal team has filed two similar motions in Fulton County court, and decisions on those filings have not yet been issued.

Willis has indicated in letters to county officials that potential indictments in the case could come between July 31 and Aug. 18. 

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