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Trump and his businesses are tangled in an array of state and federal investigations and lawsuits.
He's fighting to keep the Trump Organization alive in an ongoing New York fraud trial.
His troubles in criminal and civil cases are heating up along with his 2024 presidential campaign.
The lawsuits and prosecutions involving Donald Trump are piling up.
The ex-president — who is the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination — now is indicted in four separate prosecutions, the first former Oval Office occupant to ever be charged. He faces 91 criminal counts overall.
In Atlanta, he and 18 co-defendants were charged in a sprawling RICO case for trying to overturn the election results in Georgia. The Justice Department brought a separate case against him in Washington, DC, for his election challenges. In Florida, the Justice Department brought 37 counts against him for his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House. And in New York, he stands charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.
Meanwhile, Trump is set to face a second defamation trial brought by E. Jean Carroll — the magazine writer who won a civil trial against Trump for sexual assault and defamation this past May.
And he faces a grab bag of additional lawsuits that could financially harm him and his international real-estate and golf resort empire.
Keep up to date on the latest of Trump's legal travails with this guide to the ever-evolving Trump docket.
Indictments against Trump
The Georgia RICO case
The parties: Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, Trump, and his Republican associates
The issues: In August, Willis brought a sprawling RICO case against Trump and 18 co-defendants, accusing them of forming an enterprise to illegally try to keep him in power despite losing the 2020 election.
The indictment brings charges over campaigns from Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows, and other top Trump allies to pressure state officials to overturn the election results. It also brings charges against state Republican officials who acted as false electors and submitted fake documents to Congress.
What's next: The case is the most complicated one pending against Trump and will likely be the last to go to trial. With 19 defendants overall — many of them lawyers — there are numerous legal issues to sort out. (Three of those lawyers, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis, and Kenneth Chesebro, have pleaded guilty, making things a little easier.) But with a potential 20-year sentence on RICO charges and no prospect of a preemptive pardon, the case is Trump's biggest legal threat.
The Justice Department's investigation into 2020 election interference
The parties: Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith brought an indictment against Trump in Washington, DC federal court. The case is being overseen by US District Judge Tanya Chutkan, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, who has overseen numerous criminal trials of January 6 rioters.
The issues: The indictment alleges Trump and a group of yet-unindicted co-conspirators conspired to stop Congress from doing its duty to certify now-President Joe Biden's electoral victory in the 2020 election and rob Americans of their lawful votes.
Smith's indictment includes few details that weren't already uncovered by reporters and from the congressional investigation into the pro-Trump riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The congressional committee recommended bringing charges against Trump that largely line up with the indictment Smith ultimately brought.
Like Willis's indictment, the case includes the false elector scheme. In addition to Georgia, the indictment includes activity in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and other states where Trump lost and tried to overturn the results.
What's next: A trial has been scheduled for March 4, which would make it the first of Trump's criminal cases to go to trial.
The Justice Department's investigation into classified documents
The parties: Smith brought an indictment against Trump and his aide Waltine Nauta in a Florida federal court in June. He later slapped Trump with a superseding indictment that added Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliveira as a co-defendant. They've all pleaded not guilty in the case, which is expected to go to trial in mid-2024.
The issues: Early in 2022, Trump turned over 15 boxes of documents — including some marked as classified and "top secret" — to the National Archives. But federal investigators scrutinizing the former president's handling of records reportedly grew suspicious that Trump or people close to him still retained some key records. The FBI seized about a dozen boxes of additional documents during a raid of Mar-a-Lago last summer.
The Mar-a-Lago case and a separate January 6 investigation are both being overseen by special prosecutor Jack Smith, whom US Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed in November. Smith's team has been collecting evidence that would help support a case that Trump knowingly retained the records sought by the government, and obstructed efforts to return them.
According to the indictment — which brings 37 criminal counts against Trump — Trump violated the Espionage Act 31 times by illegally holding on to sensitive national-security documents, conspiring to obstruct justice, lying to law enforcement, and violating three different statutes related to withholding and concealing government records.
Nauta and De Oliviera, often at Trump's direction, helped hide documents, the indictment says. Nauta also lied to law enforcement about his actions, according to prosecutors.
What's next: US District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee who previously made rulings sympathetic to him, is presiding over the case. She set a trial for May, but because the case involves complicated legal issues related to classified documents and presidential powers, it may be delayed until after the 2024 election.
The Manhattan DA's indictment over the hush-money settlement to Stormy Daniels
The parties: District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg and Donald Trump.
The issues: Bragg's office investigated whether Trump violated campaign finance laws in connection to hush money payments made to Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. A grand jury voted to bring criminal charges against Trump in the case.
Michael Cohen, Trump's former fixer and personal lawyer, is a key witness. He has testified under oath that he made the payments to Daniels at Trump's direction, and pleaded guilty to federal campaign finance violations in connection with the payments in 2018.
What's next: Trump was arrested in Manhattan criminal court on April 4 and was arraigned. He is facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.
The judge scheduled a trial to begin on March 25, 2024, but it may be pushed back because of its proximity to the Washington, DC-based election interference case.
The Trump Organization Payroll Case
The Parties: The Trump Organization was found guilty of 17 tax fraud counts on December 6, 2022 in a speedy, slam-dunk conviction in New York state court.
The Issues: A four-woman, eight-man, mostly working-class jury held Trump's real estate and golf resort business criminally liable for a 2005-2018 tax-dodge scheme admittedly run by the company's two top financial executives.
The two, former CFO Allen Weisselberg and top payroll executive Jeffrey McConney, helped themselves and a half-dozen other company execs cheat on their income taxes by paying them in part with pricey perks and benefits — including free use of luxury cars and apartments — that were never reported to tax authorities.
What's next: Potential repercussions include a heightened hesitancy among banks to lend to a company with felony status and an energized Trump probe in the Manhattan district attorney's office. Government corruption watchdogs also have renewed reason to urge the federal government to cease doing business with the former president.
Civil lawsuits against Trump
The NY AG's civil case against the Trump family and Trump Organization
The parties: New York Attorney General Letitia James has sued Trump, his family, and the Trump Organization.
The issues: James says she has uncovered a decadelong pattern of financial wrongdoing at Trump's multibillion-dollar real-estate and golf resort empire.
She alleges Trump inflated the values of his properties by billions of dollars in financial filings used to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in bank loans. She also alleges he low-balled his properties' worth for tax breaks. Trump has derided the AG's efforts as a politically motivated witch hunt.
The 220-page lawsuit arose from a three-year investigation and seeks multiple, corporation-crippling demands that will be decided by a Manhattan judge in October.
James wants the company to pay back the $250 million Trump allegedly pocketed through misleading banks. She also seeks to ban Trump and his eldest sons — Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, who have all served as Trump Organization executives — from ever running a company in New York state again.
Perhaps most extremely, her lawsuit seeks to pull the Trump Organization's New York papers of incorporation. That charter lets Trump draw revenue from his New York properties, including the lucrative commercial rents at his Manhattan skyscrapers.
These measures would run Trump's corporate headquarters out of New York and could put the Trump Organization out of business entirely.
What's next: The trial began in October and featured testimony from Donald Trump himself, as well as his three eldest children and a parade of Trump Organization executives and accountants. It's scheduled to continue until December 15, when Trump's team will finish presenting their defense.
Before the trial, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron issued a summary judgment opinion largely siding with the attorney general's lawsuit. But his "corporate death penalty" order, which would effectively dissolve the Trump Organization, has been put on hold as the Trumps appeal his decision.
The disqualification lawsuits
The Parties: Voters and advocacy groups in several states have filed lawsuits seeking to keep Donald Trump off the ballot in 2024. A case in Colorado brought by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has been litigated most extensively so far.
The Issues: Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, passed shortly after the Civil War, forbids "an officer of the United States" from being "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" against the country.
Advocacy groups argue Trump incited the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol and should be ineligible from holding office again. Trump's lawyers say he was engaged in free speech and has no relationship with the far-right rioters who stormed Congress to support him.
In a 102-page opinion issued in November, a Colorado state judge found that CREW sufficiently "established that Trump engaged in an insurrection on January 6, 2021 through incitement, and that the First Amendment does not protect Trump's speech." But, the judge ruled, Trump wasn't "an officer of the United States" in the way the 14th Amendment is meant to be understood, and so Trump can remain on the ballot.
What's next: CREW is appealing the case. It'll almost certainly end up in front of the US Supreme Court.
Lawsuits alleging 'incitement' on January 6
The Parties: House Democrats and two Capitol police officers accused Trump of inciting the violent mob on January 6.
The Issues: Trump's lawyers have argued that his time as president grants him immunity that shields him from civil liability in connection with his January 6 address at the Ellipse, where he urged supporters to "fight like hell."
A federal judge rejected Trump's bid to dismiss the civil lawsuits, ruling that his rhetoric on January 6 was "akin to telling an excited mob that corn-dealers starve the poor in front of the corn-dealer's home."
US District Judge Amit Mehta said Trump later displayed a tacit agreement with the mob minutes after rioters breached the Capitol when he sent a tweet admonishing then-Vice President Mike Pence for lacking the "courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country."
What's Next: Trump has appealed Mehta's ruling to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. His lawyers have argued that the immunity afforded to the former president cannot be "undercut if the presidential act in question is unpopular among the judiciary." The Justice Department says Trump's actions aren't covered by presidential immunity. The appeals court heard oral arguments in December but hasn't yet issued a decision.
E. Jean Carroll's rape and defamation case against Trump
The Parties: Advice columnist E. Jean Carroll is suing Trump for defamation, battery, and emotional distress in federal court in Manhattan.
The Issues: Carroll filed two lawsuits against Trump.
Both lawsuits allege Trump defamed her after she publicly accused him of raping her in a Bergdorf-Goodman dressing room in Manhattan in the mid-90s. Trump responded to Carroll's rape claim by saying it was untrue and that she was "not my type." Trump also denied ever meeting Carroll, despite a photo to the contrary.
The first lawsuit was filed in 2019, while Trump was in office, and has been tangled up over legal questions of whether Trump disparaged Carroll as part of his presidential duties, which would make him immune to the lawsuit.
After Trump made more disparaging remarks about Carroll last fall, she filed a second defamation lawsuit against him. That lawsuit also included a rape allegation following the passage of a New York law that gave sexual assault accusers a new window to file civil cases regardless of when the alleged incident occurred.
The second lawsuit went to trial in April. A jury found Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation and awarded Carroll $5 million.
What's next: After Trump lost the trial, he repeated the same insults against Carroll. Carroll added new defamation claims to her first lawsuit. In July, the Justice Department dropped its argument that Trump disparaged Carroll as part of his presidential duties, paving the way for a second trial to be held in January.
The 'multi-level marketing' pyramid scheme case
The Parties: Lead plaintiff Catherine McKoy and three others sued Trump, his business, and his three eldest children, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump, in 2018 in federal court in Manhattan.
The Issues: Donald Trump is accused of promoting a scam multi-level marketing scheme on "The Celebrity Apprentice." The lawsuit alleges Trump pocketed $8.8 million from the scheme — but that they lost thousands of dollars. Trump's side has complained that the lawsuit is a politically motivated attack.
What's Next: The case is scheduled to go to trial in January 2024.
Michael Cohen's 'imprisonment' case
The Parties: Michael Cohen sued Donald Trump, former Attorney General Bill Barr, and more than a dozen federal prison officials and employees, in federal court in Manhattan in 2021.
The Issues: The president's former personal attorney is seeking $20 million in damages relating to the time he spent in prison for financial crimes and lying to Congress about Trump's dealings in Congress.
Cohen claimed he had been moved to home confinement for three months in the spring of 2020 due to the pandemic but was then vindictively thrown into solitary confinement when he refused to stop speaking to the press and writing a tell-all book about his former boss. A judge ordered him released after 16 days.
What's Next: The case was dismissed in November, but Cohen filed an appeal.
The Electric Avenue copyright case
The Parties: Eddy Grant, the composer/performer behind the 80s disco-reggae mega-hit "Electric Avenue," sued Donald Trump and his campaign in federal court in Manhattan in 2020.
The Issues: Grant is seeking $300,000 for copyright infringement. He claims Trump made unauthorized use of the 1983 dance floor staple during the 2020 campaign. About 40 seconds of the song played in the background of a Biden-bashing animation that Trump posted to his Twitter account. The animation was viewed 13 million times before being taken down a month later.
Trump has countered that the animation was political satire and so is exempt from copyright infringement claims. He's also said that the campaign merely reposted the animation and that he has no idea where it came from.
Trump was deposed last year, but it's unclear where or when exactly. Lawyers for Trump and Grant have agreed to a strict gag order in the case and have repeatedly declined to comment.
What's Next: The case is slowly winding its way toward trial; an April 24 deadline has been set for the sides to exchange evidence.
Lawsuits brought by Trump
Donald Trump v. Mary Trump and the New York Times
The Parties: The former president countersued his niece Mary Trump — and the New York Times — in 2021 in New York state court.
The Issues: Mary Trump, the Times, and three of its reporters "maliciously conspired" against him, Trump alleged, by collaborating with the Times on its expose of and breaching the confidentiality of the family's 2001 settlement of the estate of Mary Trump's grandfather, Fred Trump Sr.
What's Next: A judge tossed the claims against the New York Times and its reporters but hasn't yet ruled on Mary Trump's motion to dismiss the case.
Donald Trump v. Hillary Clinton
The Parties: Trump sued Hillary Clinton, her campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and prominent Democrats, including former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and former Clinton campaign chair John Podesta in a federal court in southern Florida in March 2022.
The Issues: Trump alleged that Clinton and her campaign staff conspired to harm his 2016 run for president by promoting a "contrived Trump-Russia link."
A judge tossed the massive lawsuit in September, calling it "a two-hundred-page political manifesto" in which Trump detailed "his grievances against those that have opposed him." He ordered Trump and his attorney to pay nearly $1 million in sanctions in January.
What's Next: Trump promised to appeal the dismissal, but it's unlikely he'll be successful given the sanctions he's faced in this case.
Camila DeChalus and C. Ryan Barber contributed to a previous version of this story.
Read the original article on Business Insider