Donald Trump: What are the investigations the former US president is facing?


Donald Trump: What are the investigations the former US president is facing?

Donald Trump has been criminally charged for the third time in four months as he campaigns to regain the US presidency in 2024.

Trump is now facing four criminal charges relating to attempts to overturn the 2020 election – as prosecutors try to tie him to the January 6 storming of the US Capitol in 2021.

The former US president was already facing a string of criminal and civil charges, including claims he paid “hush” money to a former porn actress in the run-up to the 2016 election.

Here we take a look at the charges Trump is facing as he plans to try and re-enter the White House.

January 6 riots (criminal and civil charges)

Trump has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the US government and witness tampering in relation to his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election result.

The 77-year-old is set to appear in court on Thursday when prosecutors will outline the charges against him and a judge will set out his bail conditions.

Trump might enter a plea at that time, but his arraignment – a formal reading of his criminal charges – could come at a later date.

Trump faces four charges:

• Conspiracy to defraud the US

• Conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding

• Obstruction of, and attempt to obstruct, an official proceeding

• Conspiracy against rights

Trump’s attorneys will likely file a motion to dismiss in the coming months, but those are rarely granted in criminal cases.

It is unclear when Trump’s trial will take place but it will likely be in many months’ time.

Donald Trump: What are the investigations the former US president is facing?

Special counsel Jack Smith, who has a reputation for winning tough cases against war criminals, mobsters and corrupt police officers, has been carrying out the criminal investigation into the Capitol attack.

Mr Smith, who secured the grand jury indictment of Trump on Tuesday, said the former president’s lies “fuelled” the deadly January 6 insurrection.

He added in a brief statement: “The attack on our nation’s capital on January 6 2021, was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy.”

Prosecutors also claimed he “exploited” the disorder by refusing his advisers’ suggestion to send a message directing the rioters to leave the building, after a rally and fiery speech by him earlier that day.

Donald Trump: What are the investigations the former US president is facing?

Trump has proclaimed his innocence after being charged.

He attacked the special counsel on social media, calling him “deranged Jack Smith”.

Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform: “Why did they wait so long? Because they wanted to put it right in the middle of my campaign. Prosecutorial Misconduct!”

The fresh charges do not affect Trump from a practical standpoint as nothing prevents criminal defendants from campaigning or taking office if they are convicted.

However, how it will affect the US public’s decision whether or not to vote for him is less clear.

Donald Trump: What are the investigations the former US president is facing?

Stormy Daniels (criminal charges)

Trump made history when he became the first former US president to face criminal charges in April.

He personally pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts as he appeared in a New York court on allegations relating to him allegedly falsifying business records in the run-up to the 2016 election.

The Manhattan criminal case centres around alleged “hush” money sent to former porn actress Stormy Daniels after she said they had an affair.

Ms Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims she had an affair with Trump in 2006, which the former US president denies.

In 2016, when he was running for president, she offered to sell her story to the press.

Trump’s then lawyer Michael Cohen was notified of her plans, resulting in a $130,000 (£105,000) payment allegedly being made to keep Ms Daniels quiet.

Once he was elected, Trump reportedly reimbursed Mr Cohen by paying him more than double the original amount. He continued to deny the affair, however.

New York investigators have been looking into the former president’s finances for years – originally led by former District Attorney Cyrus R Vance Jr.

But when he was replaced with Alvin Bragg in 2022, Mr Bragg decided to drop the grand jury investigation into claims the Trump empire fraudulently inflated its real estate value.

Instead, he decided to focus on the silence money case last summer, impanelling a grand jury (one assembled in secret to determine whether there’s enough evidence to prosecute) in January.

Donald Trump: What are the investigations the former US president is facing?

Soon after, Mr Cohen, who was jailed on several counts in 2018, was summoned by prosecutors.

According to court documents, Trump falsely listed his former lawyer’s reimbursement as “legal services”.

It is not yet known the exact charges the 76-year-old is facing, but these will be revealed when he appears in court and will likely involve accounting fraud.

Prosecutors could also indict him on campaign fraud charges – as silencing Ms Daniels’s claims could have helped propel him to power.

Trump has described the investigation as a politically motivated “witch hunt”.

Donald Trump: What are the investigations the former US president is facing?

Trump Organization fraud (civil case)

In a separate case, the New York attorney general Letitia James is pursuing a civil lawsuit against the Trump Organization for overvaluing its real estate assets by billions.

Lodged last September, Ms James alleges members of the Trump group lied to lenders about the group’s net worth to get bigger loans.

Documents see her accuse Trump, his sons Donald Jr, Eric, and daughter Ivanka of “astounding” fraud.

She is also seeking $250m (£226m) she claims the Trumps obtained fraudulently.

The case is set to go to court in October, and while it is not a criminal case at this stage, Ms James has referred it to the district attorney as such.

The lawsuit could, however, ban Trump and his children from owning real estate in New York for five years – or being business directors or officers there.

Donald Trump: What are the investigations the former US president is facing?

Georgia election result (criminal)

Trump disputed the results in several states after he lost the 2020 presidential election, including in Georgia where the close margin triggered a run-off.

Ahead of the Democratic victory on 5 January 2021, a phone call between Trump and the Republican secretary of state Brad Raffensperger was leaked to the media.

In it, Trump told Mr Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes”.

Donald Trump: What are the investigations the former US president is facing?

This sparked a 26-member grand jury investigation into electoral fraud, racketeering and making false statements to government officials – led by Fani Willis, top prosecutor for Georgia’s Fulton County.

They spent eight months interrogating more than 70 witnesses and filed a lengthy report earlier this year.

It is not clear whether Trump would be indicted as around 20 of his allies have also been named as potential targets of the probe.

The report is being kept secret, but Ms Willis will decide whether to prosecute later this year.

Trump rejects the investigation, calling Ms Willis a “young, ambitious, Radical Left Democrat… who is presiding over one of the most Crime Ridden and Corrupt places”.


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