X (Reuters) – Here is a list of additional legal troubles facing former President Donald Trump, who wrote on social media on Thursday that he has been indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice, apparently for mishandling sensitive government documents. He denies any wrongdoing.
2020 ELECTION AND THE U.S. CAPITOL ATTACK
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Special Counsel Jack Smith last year to investigate Trump on both the documents and Trump’s role in actions surrounding his loss in the 2020 presidential election that culminated in Trump’s supporters’ deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Trump had sought to prevent top aides, including his then-Vice President Mike Pence, from testifying in that probe being weighed by a separate D.C. grand jury. Pence appeared before the grand jury in April after Trump lost his legal challenge.
Trump repeatedly lambasted Pence before the attack for refusing to try to prevent Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election.
The federal probe is also examining a plot to submit phony slates of electors to block U.S. lawmakers from certifying Biden’s victory.
A special House of Representatives committee investigating the 2021 attack last year urged the Justice Department to charge Trump with corruption of an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to make a false statement and inciting or aiding an insurrection.
GEORGIA ELECTION TAMPERING PROBE
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat, is also investigating whether Trump and others acted illegally to try to overturn his defeat in that state’s 2020 presidential vote, with a charging decision expected by Sept. 1.
The criminal investigation focuses in part on a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call Trump made to fellow Republican Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger asking him to “find” enough votes needed to overturn Trump’s loss in Georgia.
Legal experts said Trump may have violated at least three Georgia criminal election laws: conspiracy to commit election fraud, criminal solicitation to commit election fraud and intentional interference with performance of election duties.
Trump could argue that his discussions were free speech protected by the U.S. Constitution.
NEW YORK ‘HUSH MONEY’ CRIMINAL CASE
Trump became the first U.S. president past or present to face criminal charges when a New York grand jury indicted him for allegedly falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment made to a porn star before the 2016 presidential election.
Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 for her silence about a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump in 2006. Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and other crimes and was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 during Trump’s presidency.
Prosecutors say Trump sought to cover up that the payment to Daniels exceeded federal campaign contribution limits. Trump has denied the allegations and the sexual encounter but has admitted to reimbursing Cohen for his payment to Daniels. Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records.
The trial is scheduled for March 25, 2024, but Trump is seeking to move the case from New York state to a federal court.
SEXUAL ABUSE AND DEFAMATION
A federal grand jury in Manhattan ordered Trump to pay writer E. Jean Carroll $5 million in damages after finding him liable for sexually abusing her in the 1990s and then defaming her by lying about it in 2022.
She is seeking to amend a separate lawsuit to demand at least $10 million more after Trump made public comments on CNN and his social media platform blasting the verdict, denying he had ever met her and accusing her of making up the allegations.
Carroll filed that lawsuit, which accuses Trump of defamation, in November 2019, but it has been bogged down in appeals.
NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL CIVIL LAWSUIT
New York Attorney General Letitia James sued Trump and his family business, the Trump Organization, last September for fraud.
James, a Democrat, said that her office found more than 200 examples of misleading asset valuations between 2011 and 2021, and that Trump inflated his net worth by billions of dollars – a scheme intended to help Trump obtain lower interest rates on loans and better insurance coverage.
The civil lawsuit seeks to permanently bar Trump and three of his adult children from running companies in New York state and to recoup at least $250 million obtained through fraud.
A trial is scheduled for October 2023.
TRUTH SOCIAL DEAL
The Justice Department and financial regulators are investigating special purpose acquisition company Digital World Acquisition Corp’s October 2021 deal with Trump’s social media firm Truth Social.
The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority have been investigating whether any securities regulations were broken, according to Digital World’s financial disclosure documents.
Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed the company and every director on its board, Digital World disclosed in June 2022.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax, Luc Cohen, Karen Freifeld, Sarah N. Lynch, Jonathan Stempel, Jacqueline Thomsen and Susan Heavey; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Howard Goller)