Trump legal cases tracker: What’s next

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(The Hill) — Former President Donald Trump is enmeshed in a tangled web of legal troubles set to play out in courtrooms across the country this year amid his campaign to return to the White House.

As Trump continues to mount his 2024 presidential campaign as the undisputed front-runner in the GOP primary, cemented by his wins in early states, his criminal trials are also fast approaching.

The former president’s first criminal trial is set to begin in late March, and his other three indictments could head to juries later this year. Trump pleaded not guilty to the combined 91 criminal charges.

In addition, he has already been ordered to pay more than $500 million across multiple civil lawsuits.

Here is the status of each criminal case and what comes next.

Georgia election interference case

What it is: Trump, along with 18 other defendants, were charged with entering an unlawful conspiracy to overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss in the state. Each defendant was charged under Georgia’s racketeering law and faced additional charges. Four of the defendants have since struck plea deals, including agreements to testify truthfully in future proceedings.

Trump’s victories overshadow weaknesses in reelection bid

What’s next: The case has taken a detour over the revelation that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) had a romantic relationship with a top prosecutor in the case. The judge is weighing defense attorneys’ arguments that prosecutors should be disqualified because the relationship amounted to a conflict of interest, a claim that Willis rejects. The judge is set to rule after hearing closing arguments on March 1. If the case moves forward, the judge will then return to grappling with defendants’ remaining pre-trial motions.

5 key milestones:

  • 8/14/23 — District Attorney Fani Willis (D) announces the long-awaited indictment

  • 8/24/23 — Trump is booked in Fulton County Jail and makes history as the first president, current or former, to take a mug shot

  • 10/24/2023 — Jenna Ellis becomes fourth defendant to plead guilty, quickly following plea deals struck by fellow ex-Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro. Georgia bail bondsman Scott Hall took a plea deal weeks earlier.

  • 1/8/2024 — Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade accused by defendant Michael Roman of having an affair, intensifying scrutiny around the historic prosecution.

  • 2/15/2024 — In an explosive hearing over her relationship with Wade, Willis took the stand herself to defend her reputation and urge the judge not to disqualify her office from the case.

Federal 2020 election interference case

What it is: Trump is accused of engaging in multiple criminal conspiracies to stay in power after losing the 2020 presidential election. He has pleaded not guilty to four felony counts that allege he pressured state legislators, developed false slates of electors, leveraged the Justice Department, pressured then-Vice President Mike Pence and exploited the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

What’s next: The Supreme Court will decide how to proceed with Trump’s immunity claims, which have so far been rejected by every judge that has considered them. The former president’s appeal has sidelined his trial date, however, and the former president is attempting to exhaust all options to run out the clock. Special counsel Jack Smith, meanwhile, is aiming to move things along as quickly as possible. The high court could proceed in multiple ways, and their decision will have an outsize influence on whether Trump goes to trial before the election.

5 key milestones:

  • 8/1/23 — Special counsel Jack Smith charges Trump

  • 8/3/23 — Trump appears in court for his arraignment, pleading not guilty

  • 1/23/24 — An appeals court declined to have Trump’s challenge to a gag order in his election interference case reheard by the full court. The order was largely upheld in December by an appeals court panel, though its terms were narrowed.

  • 2/2/2024 – Chutkan officially suspended Trump’s trial date, scheduled last year for March 4, amid his presidential immunity appeal.

  • 2/6/12 – A federal appeals panel ruled that Trump is not immune from criminal prosecution as a former president. Days later, he asked the Supreme Court to keep his federal election subversion trial on pause while he appeals the ruling.

Federal classified documents case

What it is: Trump faces 40 charges that he mishandled classified records and attempted to obstruct the government’s retrieval of those records after he left the White House at the end of his first term in 2021. The files allegedly contained national defense and weapons information, including some that had top-secret markings. The government’s retrieval of the records included an unprecedented FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago property in August 2022. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

What’s next: The judge, for now, has declined an attempt to push back the May 2024 trial date, but she will reconsider the trial timeline during a March 1 status conference. Trump has also filed several motions to dismiss the case that remain pending.

5 key milestones:

New York hush money case

What it is: Trump is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in connection with payments he made during the 2016 campaign he sent to his then-fixer, Michael Cohen. Prosecutors maintain that the reimbursements were for payments Cohen made to porn actress Stormy Daniels to stay silent over an alleged affair with Trump. Prosecutors say Trump improperly deemed the payments a legal retainer in an effort to hide damaging information from the public ahead of that year’s presidential election. Trump pleaded not guilty.

Trump seeks to block Stormy Daniels, Michael Cohen from testifying at NY hush money trial

What’s next: The case is set to go to trial on March 25, the first of Trump’s indictments. Beforehand, New York Supreme Court Acting Justice Juan Merchan must rule on whether the former president can block key witnesses from presenting evidence in the state’s case. It’s unclear at this point whether a hearing will be scheduled to determine the matter.

5 key milestones:

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