Having trouble keeping Trump’s legal problems straight? We are here to help.
Former president Donald Trump was indicted Aug. 1 on charges that he attempted to prevent the peaceful transition of power after losing the 2020 election, efforts that culminated in his supporters storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The latest indictment came as Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, already faced more than 70 state and federal charges, plus a handful of ongoing investigations and legal battles related to his time in the White House and his private business dealings.
Read on for a recap of the major legal challenges Trump faces.
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
Special Counsel Jack Smith's indictment accuses former president Donald Trump of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election. For 2 ½ years, Trump has claimed the election was stolen from him, even as numerous inquiries have failed to unearth the sort of election fraud he claims. This indictment, built around the words of his allies and associates in the White House, centers on allegations that Trump sought to prevent the peaceful transfer of power, which ultimately culminated in his supporters' Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.
Four felony counts:
- Conspiring to defraud the United States
- Obstructing an official proceeding
- Conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding
- Violating a post-Civil War civil rights statute that makes it a crime to conspire to violate rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution, in this case the right for an individual to vote and have that vote counted
- Trump was arraigned Aug. 3
- UPCOMING: The judge has set a trial date of March 4, 2024
New York state court
Trump is accused of falsifying business records to hide alleged hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, a porn actor who claimed she and Trump had a sexual encounter before he ran for office. Trump allegedly asked his lawyer, Michael Cohen, to pay Daniels $130,000 in October 2016, reimbursing him in installments after being inaugurated.
- Falsifying business records in the first degree, a violation of New York state law, including at least one felony offense
- March 18, 2023 Trump announced on Truth Social that he expected to be arrested in the coming days
- March 30 Trump indicted
- April 4, 2023 Trump made first court appearance, pleaded not guilty to all charges
- NEXT UP: A trial is scheduled for March 25, 2024.
US District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Federal prosecutors, led by Special Counsel Jack Smith, allege that Trump held onto classified materials after leaving the White House, threatening national security. Trump is accused of stashing the documents in piles of boxes throughout his Mar-a-Lago property and showing them to unauthorized individuals at least twice.
40 felony counts:
- Related to the mishandling and "willful retention" of classified information after leaving the White House
- 32 felony counts related to willful retention of national defense information; 5 felony counts related to concealing documents; 2 felony counts related to destroying Mar-a-Lago security camera footage; 1 felony count of false statements
- That all includes the original 37 charges and additional 3 charges brought against Trump in July
- March 30, 2022 FBI opens its investigation
- April 26, 2022 Grand jury investigation begins
- Aug. 8, 2022 FBI raids Mar-a-Lago, seizing 102 classified documents located in a storage room and Trump's office
- June 8, 2023 Trump and Walt Nauta, his executive assistant, are indicted by a Miami grand jury, Trump on 37 counts, Nauta on six
- July 27, 2023 Three additional charges brought against Trump, two more against Nauta, and one charge against Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliveira, a new defendant
- NEXT UP: Going to trial May 20, 2024
Georgia presidential election
Georgia state court
Former president Donald Trump was indicted again Aug. 14 over alleged efforts to overturn his election loss in Georgia in 2020. The latest indictment came as Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, already faced dozens of state and federal charges, plus a handful of ongoing investigations and legal battles related to his time in the White House and his private business dealings.
The latest indictment, handed down Aug. 14 by a Georgia grand jury, charges Trump and 18 co-defendants with violating the state's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, Act; conspiracy to commit false statements and forgery; and soliciting a violation of oath by a public officer.
As of Oct. 24, four defendants, three attorneys and a bail bondsman, had pled guilty. Multiple agreed to testify in future trials related to the case.
13 counts against Trump:
- Violating Georgia's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
- 3 charges relating to soliciting a violation of oath by a public officer
- Conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer
- 8 charges related to conspiracy to commit forgery, conspiracy to commit false statements, and the filing of false documents
- Jan. 2, 2021 Trump calls George Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, urging him to “find 11,780 votes”
- Aug. 14, 2023 Trump and his allies indicted
- Aug. 24, 2023 Trump booked at Atlanta jail
- Sep. 29, 2023 Scott Graham Hall, a bail bondsman, accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to five years of probation
- Oct. 19, 2023 Trump lawyer Sidney Powell pleaded guilty to six misdemeanors and faces a fine and probation
- Oct. 20, 2023 Trump lawyer Kenneth Chesebro pleaded guilty to one felony charge and faces a fine, probation, and community service
- Oct. 24, 2023 Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis pleaded guilty to one felony charge and faces a fine, probation, and community service
She has pleaded guilty in the case
Michigan fake electors
Dana Nessel, Michigan’s attorney general, filed felony charges in July against 16 Republicans who acted as fake electors for Trump in 2020. While Trump himself is not a defendant in the case, his supporters across seven battleground states - including Michigan, Arizona, and Pennsylvania - filed false, signed certificates stating that Trump had won.
E. Jean Carroll
A jury found Trump liable for sexually abusing E. Jean Carroll in 1996, ordering him in May to pay the writer $5 million in damages in the civil case. Trump filed a counterclaim in late June, accusing Carroll of defaming him when she publicly accused him of rape on a May 10 CNN appearance - just a day after jurors concluded that his alleged sexual assault had not gone that far. That counterclaim is part of a separate defamation lawsuit Carroll filed against Trump in 2019, which is slated for a January trial.
A federal class action lawsuit filed in 2018 accused Trump and his children of peddling scams and multi-level-marketing schemes, which they allegedly touted as sound investments without evidence. That case is slated to begin Jan. 29, 2024.