Washington: Donald Trump has now been indicted for the third time, with the former president being charged Tuesday in Washington over his efforts to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election. The federal investigation is the latest criminal case for Trump as he runs for the White House in 2024. Special counsel Jack Smith, who indicted Trump in the election case, has also charged Trump in federal court with the illegal retention of top secret documents. In New York, Trump faces criminal charges in a hush money case and a civil trial over his business practices. And in Georgia, a county district attorney is expected to announce charging decisions in August over efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state.
Trump, a Republican, has denied any wrongdoing and says he is being targeted by Democrats trying to keep him from reclaiming the presidency.
Here’s a look at some of the other top probes against the former president:
CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS CASE
Trump has been charged by Smith in a federal case in Florida related to the mishandling of classified documents, including sensitive documents on nuclear capabilities. The 40 felony counts against him include charges of retaining classified information, obstructing justice and making false statements.
That historic indictment ? the first federal case against a former president ? alleges that Trump repeatedly enlisted aides and lawyers to help him hide records demanded by investigators and cavalierly showed off a Pentagon ?plan of attack? and classified map. The top charges carry a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
Walt Nauta, a valet for Trump, and Carlos De Oliveira, the property manager at Trump’s Florida estate, have been charged with scheming to conceal surveillance footage from federal investigators and lying about it.
Both Trump and Nauta have pleaded not guilty. De Oliveira, who was charged in a superseding indictment with Trump, made an initial court appearance Monday.
A federal judge has set a trial date of May 20, 2024. If that date holds, it will mean a possible trial will not start until deep into the presidential nominating calendar and probably well after the Republican nominee is clear ? though before that person is officially nominated at the Republican National Convention.
HUSH MONEY SCHEME
Trump became the first former U.S. President in history to face criminal charges when he was indicted in New York in March on state charges stemming from hush money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to bury allegations of extramarital sexual encounters.
He pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. Each count is punishable by up to four years in prison, though it’s not clear if a judge would impose any prison time if Trump were convicted.
The counts are linked to a series of checks that were written to his lawyer Michael Cohen to reimburse him for his role in paying off porn actor Stormy Daniels, who alleged a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, not long after Melania Trump gave birth to their son, Barron. Those payments were recorded in various internal company documents as being for a legal retainer that prosecutors say didn’t exist.
The former president is next set to appear in state court on Dec. 4, two months before Republicans begin their nominating process in earnest.
For over two years, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has been investigating whether Trump and his allies illegally meddled in the 2020 election in Georgia. She has signaled that any indictments in the case will likely come this month.
The Democratic district attorney’s investigation began shortly after the release of a recording of a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which the then-president suggested that Raffensperger could ‘find 11,780 votes’ ‘just enough to overtake Democrat Joe Biden and overturn Trump’s narrow loss in the state.
But the investigation’s scope broadened considerably after that, and Willis convened a special grand jury to hear testimony from witnesses including high-profile Trump allies, such as attorney Rudy Giuliani and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and high-ranking Georgia officials, such as Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp.
Prosecutors advised Giuliani and Georgia Republicans who served as fake electors that they were at risk of being indicted. The fake electors signed a certificate asserting Trump had won the election and declaring themselves the state’s rightful electors, even though Biden had won the state and Democratic electors had already been certified.
A court filing in early May indicated that Willis had reached immunity deals with at least eight fake electors, suggesting they may be cooperating with authorities.
The foreperson on the special grand jury indicated publicly that the panel had recommended multiple indictments. Willis is expected to ask a regular grand jury to return indictments in the case.
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