Trump indicted in Georgia: Here’s a look at the 4 criminal cases he faces

Former US president’s indictment in Georgia is his fourth criminal case. Here’s a look at the other investigations against him.

Donald Trump
Former US President Donald Trump makes a keynote speech at a Republican fundraising dinner in Columbia, South Carolina, US, on August 5, 2023 [File: Sam Wolfe/ Reuters]

Former US President Donald Trump and 18 of his allies have been criminally charged in the state of Georgia for scheming to overturn his election defeat there in 2020.

The indictment, revealed on Monday, is the fourth criminal case to be brought against Trump and the second this month to allege that he tried to subvert the results of the US presidential election in 2020.

Among the other defendants were Mark Meadows, Trump’s former White House chief of staff, and lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman.

The charges, brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, stem from a probe that began shortly after the release of a recording of a January 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”.

That number of votes would have been just enough to overtake his presidential challenger Joe Biden.

Trump, a Republican, has described his phone call to Raffensperger as “perfect” and has portrayed the prosecution by the Democratic district attorney as politically motivated.

Here’s a look at some of the other top investigations against Trump as he campaigns for the 2024 Republican nomination:

INTERACTIVE - Donald Trump four criminal cases-1692088265
(Al Jazeera)

Classified documents case

  • Special counsel Jack Smith has been leading two federal investigations of Trump, both of which have resulted in charges against the former president.
  • The first charges to result from those investigations came in June when Trump was indicted on charges he mishandled top secret documents at his Florida estate.
  • The indictment alleged 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 a classified map to members of the public.
  • An indictment issued in July added charges accusing Trump of asking for surveillance footage at his Mar-a-Lago estate to be deleted after FBI and Justice Department investigators visited in June 2022 to collect classified documents he took with him after leaving the White House.
  • The new indictment also charged him with illegally holding onto a document he is alleged to have shown off to visitors.
  • In all, Trump faces 40 felonies in the classified documents case. The most serious charge carries 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 in the top secret documents’ case over allegedly scheming to conceal surveillance footage from federal investigators and lying about their actions.
  • Trump and Nauta have pleaded not guilty. De Oliveira is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.
  • US District Judge Aileen Cannon set a trial date of May 20, 2024, for the case. 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 known.

Election interference

  • Smith’s second case against Trump was unveiled in August when he was indicted on felony charges for working to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the run-up to the violent riot by his supporters at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.
  • The four-count indictment includes charges of conspiracy to defraud the US government and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding: the congressional certification of Biden’s victory.
  • The indictment describes how Trump repeatedly told supporters and others that he had won the election, despite knowing that was false, and how he tried to persuade state officials, Vice President Mike Pence and finally Congress to overturn the legitimate results.
  • After a weekslong campaign of lies about the election results, prosecutors allege that Trump sought to exploit the violence at the Capitol by pointing to it as a reason to further delay the counting of votes that sealed his defeat.
  • The Trump campaign has called the charges “fake” and asked why it took two and a half years to bring them.

Hush money scheme

  • Trump became the first former US 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 is not clear if a judge would impose any prison time if Trump were convicted.
  • The counts are linked to a series of cheques that were written to his lawyer Michael Cohen to reimburse him for his role in paying off adult actress 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 did not exist.
  • The former president is next set to appear in state court on December 4, two months before Republicans begin their nominating process in earnest.

New York civil cases

  • New York Attorney General Letitia James has sued Trump and the Trump Organization, alleging they misled banks and tax authorities about the value of assets including golf courses and skyscrapers in order to receive loans and tax benefits.
  • That lawsuit could lead to civil penalties against the company if James, a Democrat, prevails. She is seeking a $250m fine and a ban on Trump doing business in New York. Manhattan prosecutors investigated the same alleged conduct but did not pursue criminal charges.
  • A civil trial is scheduled in state court for October.
  • In a separate civil case in federal court in New York, Trump was found liable in May for sexually abusing and defaming former magazine columnist E Jean Carroll in the mid-1990s. The jury rejected Carroll’s claim that Trump had raped her in a dressing room.
  • Trump was ordered to pay $5m to Carroll. He has appealed and has adamantly denied her accusations.
  • In July, a federal judge upheld the jury’s verdict against Trump, rejecting the former president’s claims that the award was excessive.

Source: News Agencies