Trump faces investigations, lawsuits as he considers running the White House
Former US President Donald Trump raises his fist as he walks to a vehicle outside Trump Tower in New York City on August 10, 2022.
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Like Donald Trump pondering whether to make a third run for the White House – and when to announce that decision – the former president faces a flurry of formal investigations and civil lawsuits.
Some of those polls put Trump at risk of criminal sanctions. Others threaten his pocketbook.
What remains to be seen is whether they will hurt or help Trump, which many supporters expect and hope will be his candidacy in 2024.
Republican Trump has repeatedly called the legal probes a “witch hunt” by Democratic officials and allies designed to embarrass him politically. He has denied any wrongdoing.
Here are the top legal challenges facing Trump at the moment.
Federal criminal investigation into the deletion of White House records
Monday’s filings investigation reveals potentially the biggest legal threat to Trump, following his stunning revelation that a group of FBI agents raided his residence at the club Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida.
The raid is connected to a federal grand jury in Washington, DC, that is investigating Trump for the removal of records from the White House when he leaves office in January 2021.
The National Archives and Records Administration in January 2022 retrieved 15 boxes of White House files from Mar-a-Lago. That government agency said the documents should have been sent to NARA by the end of the Trump administration.
A month later, the National Archives revealed it had found documents marked as “top secret national security information” in the boxes. The Justice Department in May issued subpoenas for those documents to the National Archives.
On Monday, FBI agents carrying search warrants arrived at Mar-a-Lago and seized about a dozen boxes from the residence, according to Trump’s attorney, who was in the New York area at the time. That attorney, Christina Bobb, said agents were investigating possible violations of the law related to the Presidential Records Act and the handling of classified documents.
Department of Justice on Thursday file a petition to cancel the search warrant that the FBI used to raid Trump’s home.
In order to obtain such a subpoena, the FBI must show the judge that there may be some reason the crime was committed and that the evidence they are looking for is related to the potential crime.
A spokesman for Trump told NBC News on Thursday.
Georgia criminally investigates Trump for interference in state’s 2020 presidential election
Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis‘the office is presenting evidence and testimony to a special grand jury in Atlanta tasked with investigating Trump and several of his allies in connection with their attempt to get officials in Georgia cancel President Joe Biden’s election victory there.
Ahead of Monday’s FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, some legal observers see the Fulton County investigation as the most pressing threat of criminal prosecution against Trump. It is still possible.
Willis, a Democrat, is paying particular attention to the January 2, 2021, call Trump placed on Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. During that conversation, the then-president asked Raffensperger to “find” Trump more than 11,700 votes to reverse his defeat to Biden.
The DA is also investigating contacts Trump’s allies have with the state’s attorney general, and the top federal prosecutor for the Northern District of Georgia.
Willis last month issued subpoenas to lawyers on the Trump campaign legal teamamong them are former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, as well as US Senator Lindsey Graham, RS.C., and a dozen so-called fake electors for Trump in Georgia.
Those electors are assembled with the goal of setting up a legal dispute in which Trump’s vehicle will challenge the legitimacy of the Electoral College delegates awarded to Biden for his popular victory in Georgia. .
Federal criminal investigation into the Capitol riots of January 6, 2021
Another grand jury in Washington is gathering evidence and testimony related to Trump’s actions that led to the uprising on Capitol Hill by a mob of his supporters who swarmed through the boardrooms. Congress, interrupting Biden’s election confirmation.
Trump, who in the weeks before the riots falsely claimed that popular vote fraud was the cause of his defeat in the election, is not under criminal investigation in the case, NBC News reported. last week, citing a federal official.
But the grand jury subpoenaed Former Trump White House adviser Pat Cipollone to testify in investigationalong with two top aides to former Vice President Mike Pence.
Select House Committee to Investigate January 6 Riots
The House committee, which has interviewed more than 1,000 people involved in its investigation into the riots, has begun holding a series of public hearings on Trump’s actions leading up to and during the attack. into the Capitol.
Witnesses testified that Trump, after organizing a rally for supporters outside the White House earlier that day, wanted to join the crowd outside the Capitol as they protested his election Biden.
After being rebuffed in that attempt, Trump then spent hours watching the attack on Congress unfold on television without taking steps to remove the crowd, witnesses said.
“Donald Trump’s behavior on January 6th…is a stain in our history,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill. said during the July 22 panel hearing.
The committee cannot bring criminal or civil charges against Trump but is expected to present its findings in a damning final report.
Federal criminal investigation into attempt to overturn 2020 presidential election
Trump and his allies, including a team of lawyers led by Giuliani, have engaged in a wide-ranging effort to reverse Trump’s losses to Biden in seven swing states.
The Justice Department is keeping an eye on those efforts, including a pressure campaign to force Pence to refuse Biden’s endorsement of victory at a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6. Pence disagreed with Biden. that plan and certified Biden’s victory in the Electoral College, ensuring that he would become president.
Federal agents seized the phones of three men who had discussions with Trump at the time they were involved in efforts to undo Biden’s victory.
Representative Scott Perry, R-Pa., took his phone this week. Attorney John Eastman, one of the leading architects of the plan to submit fake electors to Trump, had previously had his phone confiscated, as did former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark.
Trump has sought to make Clark the attorney general of the United States, where he would likely be in a position to have the Justice Department back Trump in his bid to reverse the election.
Eric Holder, who served as attorney general in the Obama administration, in a radio interview last week said Trump “probably” will face criminal charges against officials from his White House involved in that effort.
“But I think before that, I expected something to happen to that prosecutor in Atlanta,” Holder said, referring to the Georgia state election interference investigation being conducted by DA Willis.
New York Attorney General’s Office Civil Investigation into Trump Organization business practices
On Wednesday, Trump appeared in an hour-long skirmish at the office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James, who is eyeing allegations that Trump’s company mismanaged regulations. stated real estate asset prices to obtain financial benefits worth millions of dollars.
Trump declined to answer questions under oath by his attorney James, citing his Fifth Amendment right against incriminating himself more than 440 times.
Trump’s son Eric Trump, who runs the Trump Organization with his brother Donald Trump Jr., in 2020 cited the Fifth Amendment more than 500 times when he refused to answer questions about the end. their own load in the investigation.
Democrat James pointed to her poll focusing on claims that Trump properties were tweaked to get better terms on loans and insurance as well as to get tax reduction. Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen testified to that practice during an appearance before Congress.
The attorney general at the conclusion of that investigation could seek to impose civil sanctions, including monetary penalties, on the Trump Organization.
Manhattan District Attorney’s Criminal Case Against the Trump Organization
The Trump Organization and its longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg are awaiting trial on criminal charges in a 15-count indictment related to an alleged conspiracy to evade restitution taxes. CFO and other executives since 2005. The defendants have all pleaded not guilty.
Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg is also known to be investigating Trump and his company for possible crimes related to manipulating the valuation of the assets that were brought to light in the civil case of AG James.
Earlier this year, two top prosecutors in Bragg’s office handling that investigation dropped out after Bragg refused to file criminal charges against Trump.
Mark Pomerantz, former special counsel at Bragg’s office, said: “I believe Donald Trump is, in fact, guilty and, second, there is enough evidence legally to uphold a conviction. guilty if we continue” last month in a podcast interview.
If Trump “was Joe Blow from Kokomowe will prosecute,” Pomerantz said.
Bragg’s office said the investigation is ongoing.
But there is a widespread belief that the Democratic DA will not seek to prosecute Trump in the absence of a cooperating witness who can present evidence against him.