Trump indictment tracker: Where do cases against former US president stand?

Donald Trump has been convicted in New York and faces three other indictments. Here’s what you need to know.

Supporters hold placards and flags following the announcement of the verdict in former U.S. President Donald Trump's criminal trial over charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, outside Trump Tower, in New York City, U.S. May 30, 2024. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Donald Trump supporters hold placards and flags after the former US president's conviction in a hush money trial in New York on May 30, 2024 [Andrew Kelly/Reuters]

Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s presumptive 2024 presidential candidate, has become the first former president in United States history to be convicted of a crime.

A New York jury on May 30 found Trump guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in relation to a hush money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, which he won.

Prosecutors said the payment aimed to prevent Daniels from going public with her claim she had a sexual encounter with Trump a decade earlier, which would have hurt his campaign for the White House. Trump has denied any affair took place.

The ex-president, who had pleaded not guilty in the case, has promised to fight his conviction. He has proclaimed his innocence and accused officials of conducting a politically motivated “witch-hunt”.

The New York case is not the only criminal indictment Trump faces, though it is the only one that is expected to be heard in court before November’s election.

The Republican is set to face off against President Joe Biden, a Democrat, in what is expected to be a neck-and-neck contest on November 5.

Trump has been charged in three other cases: a federal indictment in Florida on accusations he mishandled classified documents and two cases – in the US state of Georgia and in Washington, DC – related to his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which he lost to Biden.

He has pleaded not guilty in all three cases and denied any wrongdoing.

Here’s where things stand:

2020 election interference – federal case

Trump has been charged with four federal felonies in connection with his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

The sweeping indictment unsealed on August 1 last year recaps a months-long misinformation campaign by Trump, in which the former president pushed fraud claims that prosecutors said he knew to be untrue.

Trump also pressured state and federal officials, including his Vice President Mike Pence, to intervene in the election certification process, authorities said.

The pressure campaign, which continued even as pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, amounted to an attempt to obstruct “a bedrock function of democracy”, according to the indictment.

Trump is charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the US, one count of conspiracy against rights, one count of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and one count of obstructing an official proceeding.

The former president pleaded not guilty to the charges during a brief arraignment in federal court in Washington, DC, on August 3. He later dismissed the case as being part of a political campaign seeking to derail his re-election.

The start date of the case has been repeatedly delayed due to appeals from Trump’s legal team. The US Supreme Court is expected to rule by the end of June on Trump’s claim of immunity in the case for official acts taken as president.

The court’s 6-3 conservative majority – including three justices appointed by Trump – signalled during arguments in April that it was prepared to recognise some immunity from criminal prosecution for former presidents.

Such a ruling could require the Washington, DC, trial judge, Tanya Chutkan, to decide in the coming months if certain actions by Trump cited in the indictment must be excised from the prosecution’s case.

Classified documents – federal case

In June 2023, Trump was indicted in a separate federal case related to his handling of sensitive documents that he took from the White House at the end of his presidency.

The former president was initially charged with 37 felony counts, the majority of which were for unauthorised retention of national security secrets. He was also charged with obstruction of justice and making false statements to investigators.

The indictment detailed how Trump showed off the classified documents to visitors, storing many in easily accessible areas of his Mar-a-Lago estate and resort club. As federal investigators closed in, the charging document said, Trump enlisted aides to help hide the documents.

“Our laws that protect national defence information are critical to the safety and security of the United States, and they must be enforced,” special counsel Jack Smith, who also oversees the federal election case, said upon unsealing the secret documents indictment.

“Violations of those laws put our country at risk,” Smith said.

In late July last year, federal prosecutors announced three more charges against Trump. His aide and a property manager at Mar-a-Lago have also been charged in the case.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, and the case has been slowed by a flurry of legal challenges mounted by the ex-president and his two co-defendants.

Aileen Cannon, the presiding judge, who Trump nominated to the bench, has given Trump’s lawyers broad leeway to attack the allegations.

She had originally set the trial date for May 20, but two weeks before that date, Cannon indefinitely postponed the proceedings.

Falsifying business documents – New York state case

After a second day of deliberations, a New York jury delivered a guilty verdict on all 34 counts Trump faced.

The counts were linked to a series of checks written to Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen as reimbursements for hush money payments made to Daniels.

The payments were recorded in various internal company documents as being for a legal retainer that prosecutors said did not exist.

Minutes after the verdict was handed down, Trump slammed the trial as “rigged” and said he “didn’t do anything wrong”.

“I’m a very innocent man, and it’s OK – I’m fighting for our country. I’m fighting for our constitution,” he said as he left the New York court, accusing the Biden administration – without evidence – of seeking to derail his 2024 re-election bid.

“This was done by the Biden administration in order to wound or hurt an opponent, a political opponent. And I think it’s just a disgrace, and we’ll keep fighting. We’ll fight ’til the end, and we’ll win.”

A sentencing hearing in the case has been set for July 11.

2020 election interference – Georgia state case

After investigating Trump for more than two and a half years, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in 2023 levelled charges against the former president and 18 other co-defendants, who prosecutors say conspired to overturn the election results in the state.

Trump and his allies were charged under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law, also known as RICO, which is often reserved for prosecuting organised crime.

The probe was sparked by a January 2, 2021, phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the state’s top election official. In the call, Trump, who was trailing in the state’s final vote count, suggested Raffensperger could “find 11,780 votes” to flip the state in his favour.

One of the charges Trump is facing directly relates to that conversation. The indictment says the former president “unlawfully solicited, requested and importuned” Raffensperger to violate his oath of office.

The indictment also accuses Trump and his co-defendants of pushing to illegally breach voting equipment. “In Georgia, members of the enterprise stole data, including ballot images, voting equipment software and personal voter information,” it said.

Trump, who has denied wrongdoing, surrendered at the Fulton County Jail in late August last year to be booked in the case, becoming the first former president in US history to have his mugshot taken.

A week later, on August 31, he entered a not guilty plea in a court filing. The filing, which was signed by Trump, read: “As evidenced by my signature below, I do hereby waive formal arraignment and enter my plea of NOT GUILTY to the indictment in this case.”

Since then, the case has been sidetracked by allegations that Willis, the lead prosecutor, tainted the prosecution by having a romantic relationship with a lawyer she hired to work on the investigation.

The Georgia Court of Appeals agreed to consider Trump’s demand that Willis’s office be disqualified. That appeal is expected to take several months, making it all but certain the case does not go to trial before November’s election.

This article was last updated on May 31, 2024.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies