10:37 am, Thursday, 23 May 2024

The legal troubles of former US president Donald Trump

  • Reuters
  • Update Time : 01:40:24 pm, Wednesday, 6 March 2024
  • 10 Time View

Donald Trump faces unprecedented legal troubles in civil and criminal cases as he seeks the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic President Joe Biden in the November 5 US election. Trump denies any wrongdoing.

Here is a look at the major legal cases facing the former US president, including 91 criminal indictments across two federal and two state cases:

Special Counsel’s Election Subversion Charges

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to decide whether Trump is immune from prosecution on charges he conspired to prevent Congress from certifying his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden and deprive voters of the right to a fair election.

The justices put on hold the criminal case being pursued by Special Counsel Jack Smith and will review a lower court’s rejection of Trump’s claim of immunity from prosecution because he was president.

The court set the case for oral argument during the week of April 22, further delaying Trump’s criminal case as he seeks to regain the presidency. The case had originally been set for trial on March 4.

Trump pleaded not guilty on Aug. 3, 2023 to a four-count indictment.

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the contention made by Trump’s lawyers that former presidents cannot face criminal charges for conduct related to their official responsibilities.

The DC Circuit concluded that any executive immunity that may have shielded Trump from criminal charges while he served as president “no longer protects him against this prosecution.”

Smith had urged the top court to reject any delay.

On Jan. 6, 2021, Trump’s supporters attacked the Capitol after the then-president gave a speech telling them to march there and “fight like hell” to prevent the election from being “stolen.” Prosecutors said Trump exploited the attack, spurning advice that he send a message directing rioters to leave.

Trump and others organized fraudulent slates of electors in seven states, all of which he lost, to be certified as official by Congress on January 6 in a bid to thwart certification of Biden’s victory, the indictment said.

The indictment presented examples of Trump’s false claims of widespread voting fraud and noted that close advisers, including senior intelligence officials, told him the results were legitimate.

Trial Over ‘Hush Money’ to Porn Star

Trump faces a trial beginning on March 25 on 34 criminal counts of falsifying business records after a grand jury in Manhattan indicted him for covering up hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election. That case made Trump the first former US president to face criminal charges and he pleaded not guilty on April 4, 2023.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, paid Daniels $130,000 for her silence about a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump in 2006. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, an elected Democrat, accuses Trump of trying to conceal a violation of election laws.

Trump has denied having a sexual encounter with Daniels but acknowledged reimbursing Cohen for the $130,000 payment. Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and other crimes in 2018 and was sentenced to three years in prison.

New York Attorney General Civil Lawsuit

Donald Trump on Wednesday lost a bid to pause a $454.2 million civil fraud judgment against him for overstating his net worth and real estate values to dupe lenders, meaning he must soon find the cash or post a bond to prevent New York authorities from seizing his property while he appeals.

New York State Justice Arthur Engoron on February 16 ordered Trump to pay $354.9 million in penalties after ruling in September that he repeatedly committed fraud, overstating his net worth by as much as much as $3.6 billion a year.

With daily interest that began to accrue in 2019, the payout had grown to $454.2 million with interest by February 22, and additional interest is tacked on each day.

That resolved a civil fraud lawsuit filed by New York State Attorney General Letitia James on September 21, 2022, that accused Trump and his family real estate business, the Trump Organization, of lying from 2011 to 2021 about his net worth and the value of his properties to obtain better terms from lenders and insurers. These properties included his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and Trump Tower penthouse in Manhattan.

Georgia Election-Subversion Charges

Trump on August 31, 2023, pleaded not guilty to state criminal charges in Georgia arising from his efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss to Biden. A grand jury indicted him after an investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, an elected Democrat.

He was charged with 13 felony counts, accused of pressuring state officials to reverse his election loss in Georgia and setting up a fake slate of electors to undermine the congressional certification of Biden’s victory.

Trump and his 18 co-defendants were charged under Georgia’s broadly written Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act that originally targeted the mafia. Counts against Trump include racketeering, conspiracy to commit forgery and conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer.

Trump has moved to disqualify Willis from the case, accusing her of “stoking racial animus” during a speech in which she addressed claims that she had an inappropriate relationship with Nathan Wade, the lawyer she hired to help run the criminal case.

The judge, Scott McAfee, is poised to rule on whether to disqualify Willis from pursing the prosecution.

Other co-defendants include Mark Meadows, Trump’s former White House chief of staff, and lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman. They have pleaded not guilty.

No trial date has been set.

Special Counsel’s Classified Documents Charges

Trump pleaded not guilty on June 13, 2023, and again on August 4, 2023, to charges brought by Smith in federal court in south Florida that he unlawfully kept classified national security documents after leaving office in January 2021 and misled officials who sought to recover them. Trump faces 40 criminal counts in the case.

The documents included information about the U.S. nuclear program and potential vulnerabilities in the event of an attack, according to the indictment. Smith accused Trump of risking national secrets by taking thousands of sensitive papers with him when he left the White House and storing them haphazardly at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and golf club in New Jersey.

The charges include violations of the Espionage Act, which criminalizes unauthorized possession of national defense information, and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

A May 20 trial date was set but is expected to be delayed.

Sexual Abuse and Defamation Civil Lawsuits​

A jury in Manhattan on January 26 ordered Trump to pay $83.3 million to writer E. Jean Carroll in her defamation lawsuit against him. Jurors found that Trump harmed Carroll and acted with malice when he defamed her by denying in 2019 that he raped her in the mid-1990s in a Bergdorf Goodman department store dressing room in Manhattan.

On May 9, 2023, another jury ordered Trump to pay Carroll $5 million over his similar October 2022 denial, finding that he had defamed and sexually abused Carroll. Trump appealed.

Trump has denied any encounter with Carroll and accused her of making up her story to sell her memoir.

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The legal troubles of former US president Donald Trump

Update Time : 01:40:24 pm, Wednesday, 6 March 2024

Donald Trump faces unprecedented legal troubles in civil and criminal cases as he seeks the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic President Joe Biden in the November 5 US election. Trump denies any wrongdoing.

Here is a look at the major legal cases facing the former US president, including 91 criminal indictments across two federal and two state cases:

Special Counsel’s Election Subversion Charges

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to decide whether Trump is immune from prosecution on charges he conspired to prevent Congress from certifying his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden and deprive voters of the right to a fair election.

The justices put on hold the criminal case being pursued by Special Counsel Jack Smith and will review a lower court’s rejection of Trump’s claim of immunity from prosecution because he was president.

The court set the case for oral argument during the week of April 22, further delaying Trump’s criminal case as he seeks to regain the presidency. The case had originally been set for trial on March 4.

Trump pleaded not guilty on Aug. 3, 2023 to a four-count indictment.

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the contention made by Trump’s lawyers that former presidents cannot face criminal charges for conduct related to their official responsibilities.

The DC Circuit concluded that any executive immunity that may have shielded Trump from criminal charges while he served as president “no longer protects him against this prosecution.”

Smith had urged the top court to reject any delay.

On Jan. 6, 2021, Trump’s supporters attacked the Capitol after the then-president gave a speech telling them to march there and “fight like hell” to prevent the election from being “stolen.” Prosecutors said Trump exploited the attack, spurning advice that he send a message directing rioters to leave.

Trump and others organized fraudulent slates of electors in seven states, all of which he lost, to be certified as official by Congress on January 6 in a bid to thwart certification of Biden’s victory, the indictment said.

The indictment presented examples of Trump’s false claims of widespread voting fraud and noted that close advisers, including senior intelligence officials, told him the results were legitimate.

Trial Over ‘Hush Money’ to Porn Star

Trump faces a trial beginning on March 25 on 34 criminal counts of falsifying business records after a grand jury in Manhattan indicted him for covering up hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election. That case made Trump the first former US president to face criminal charges and he pleaded not guilty on April 4, 2023.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, paid Daniels $130,000 for her silence about a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump in 2006. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, an elected Democrat, accuses Trump of trying to conceal a violation of election laws.

Trump has denied having a sexual encounter with Daniels but acknowledged reimbursing Cohen for the $130,000 payment. Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and other crimes in 2018 and was sentenced to three years in prison.

New York Attorney General Civil Lawsuit

Donald Trump on Wednesday lost a bid to pause a $454.2 million civil fraud judgment against him for overstating his net worth and real estate values to dupe lenders, meaning he must soon find the cash or post a bond to prevent New York authorities from seizing his property while he appeals.

New York State Justice Arthur Engoron on February 16 ordered Trump to pay $354.9 million in penalties after ruling in September that he repeatedly committed fraud, overstating his net worth by as much as much as $3.6 billion a year.

With daily interest that began to accrue in 2019, the payout had grown to $454.2 million with interest by February 22, and additional interest is tacked on each day.

That resolved a civil fraud lawsuit filed by New York State Attorney General Letitia James on September 21, 2022, that accused Trump and his family real estate business, the Trump Organization, of lying from 2011 to 2021 about his net worth and the value of his properties to obtain better terms from lenders and insurers. These properties included his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and Trump Tower penthouse in Manhattan.

Georgia Election-Subversion Charges

Trump on August 31, 2023, pleaded not guilty to state criminal charges in Georgia arising from his efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss to Biden. A grand jury indicted him after an investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, an elected Democrat.

He was charged with 13 felony counts, accused of pressuring state officials to reverse his election loss in Georgia and setting up a fake slate of electors to undermine the congressional certification of Biden’s victory.

Trump and his 18 co-defendants were charged under Georgia’s broadly written Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act that originally targeted the mafia. Counts against Trump include racketeering, conspiracy to commit forgery and conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer.

Trump has moved to disqualify Willis from the case, accusing her of “stoking racial animus” during a speech in which she addressed claims that she had an inappropriate relationship with Nathan Wade, the lawyer she hired to help run the criminal case.

The judge, Scott McAfee, is poised to rule on whether to disqualify Willis from pursing the prosecution.

Other co-defendants include Mark Meadows, Trump’s former White House chief of staff, and lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman. They have pleaded not guilty.

No trial date has been set.

Special Counsel’s Classified Documents Charges

Trump pleaded not guilty on June 13, 2023, and again on August 4, 2023, to charges brought by Smith in federal court in south Florida that he unlawfully kept classified national security documents after leaving office in January 2021 and misled officials who sought to recover them. Trump faces 40 criminal counts in the case.

The documents included information about the U.S. nuclear program and potential vulnerabilities in the event of an attack, according to the indictment. Smith accused Trump of risking national secrets by taking thousands of sensitive papers with him when he left the White House and storing them haphazardly at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and golf club in New Jersey.

The charges include violations of the Espionage Act, which criminalizes unauthorized possession of national defense information, and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

A May 20 trial date was set but is expected to be delayed.

Sexual Abuse and Defamation Civil Lawsuits​

A jury in Manhattan on January 26 ordered Trump to pay $83.3 million to writer E. Jean Carroll in her defamation lawsuit against him. Jurors found that Trump harmed Carroll and acted with malice when he defamed her by denying in 2019 that he raped her in the mid-1990s in a Bergdorf Goodman department store dressing room in Manhattan.

On May 9, 2023, another jury ordered Trump to pay Carroll $5 million over his similar October 2022 denial, finding that he had defamed and sexually abused Carroll. Trump appealed.

Trump has denied any encounter with Carroll and accused her of making up her story to sell her memoir.