This is the situation of the four criminal investigations against Donald Trump

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When the chairwoman of a Georgia grand jury investigating allegations of election interference against former President Donald Trump and his advisers gave a series of highly publicized (and rare) interviews this week, she hinted that the case could soon lead to formal charges.

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Three other investigations linked to Trump-related criminal cases have also moved rather quickly (though not quite as quickly) in recent months, amid the Justice Department’s insistence to proceed in Washington and the actions of a local New York prosecutor to proceed.

Never before has a former president faced the onslaught of lawsuits that Trump is facing now. Furthermore, everything indicates that the authorities could reach a decisive moment compared to all in the coming months. To make matters worse, the investigation has intensified now that Trump has begun preparations for his third campaign for the White House.

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FILE - Trump's lawyers in Georgia criticize the Fulton County investigation into possible illegal election meddling.  (AP/Alex Brandon, Files)

FILE – Trump’s lawyers in Georgia criticize the Fulton County investigation into possible illegal election meddling. (AP/Alex Brandon, Files)

In addition to the Georgia case, Trump is being investigated by a Washington special counsel for his involvement in actions to try to overturn the 2020 election results and for the possible improper handling of classified documents. Additionally, New York City authorities are investigating whether Trump authorized and participated in a plan to prepare a false accounting of bribe payments to a pornographic film actress who claimed to have been having an affair with him.

While the investigations, for the most part, appear to be simple (“There’s nothing to write home about,” Georgia foreman Emily Kohrs told the New York Times), each case involves a series of legal complexities that make difficult to predict its final outcome. That doesn’t take into account the potential complications of bringing charges in the middle of the presidential campaign against a rowdy figure like Trump, who has long labeled the actions of the authorities to try to hold him accountable for his acts of deception and motivated political witch-hunts.

Below, we describe the status of each of the investigations into criminal cases Trump faces.

Georgia: election interference

The Georgia investigation presents two areas of exposure for Trump.

The first is its direct participation in ar sharesrecruit an alternative list of presidential electors, even after the state’s Republican leadership re-certified Georgia’s achievements. “We’ve certainly talked a lot about the alternative voter slate,” Kohrs said.

The other involves phone calls Trump made to lobby state officials after the election, including one in which he told Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger that he needed to “find” 11,780 votes (to beat by one vote Joe Biden’s margin of victory in the state).

The decision to file formal charges against Trump will rest with Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis, who has been investigating the case for two years. Willis’s office said he’s evaluating all options, from criminal conspiracy and conspiracy to less serious crimesas an organization to commit an electoral crime.

Several legal experts have pointed out that Trump is in grave danger in the Georgia case.

“The indictment risk was already significant even before the grand jury report excerpts,” said Norman Eisen, a lawyer who served as special counsel to the House Judiciary Committee during Trump’s first impeachment trial. “The judging panel’s comments suggest that it is virtually certain to happen.”

Special Prosecutor: Annulment of elections

The Justice Department has, for more than a year, sought to learn more about Trump’s sweeping steps to void the election, so it can determine if you have committed crimes in connection with the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. The investigation – one of two inherited by Special Counsel Jack Smith in November – used a variety of methods and gathered a huge amount of information.

federal agents seized cellphones and other devices from Trump-supporting lawyerssuch as John Eastman and Jeffrey Clark, as well as one of Trump’s top allies in Congress, Rep. Scott Perry, a Republican from Pennsylvania.

Prosecutors issued grand jury subpoenas for several Republican state officials and dozens of Trump administration lawyers and officials. Some of them are Mark Meadows, a former Trump chief of staff, and former Vice President Mike Pence, who is believed to know what the former president thought and did in the weeks leading up to Jan. 6. The latest sign that the investigation is moving fast was that Smith issued subpoenas to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

The investigators also reviewed thousands of pages of interviews conducted by the House committee selected to investigate the events of Jan. 6, which recommended indicting Trump on charges including inciting an insurrection, conspiring to deceive the nation, and obstructing proceedings before the Congress.

It is not yet known for certain whether Smith will decide to file a formal complaint against Trump. Naturally, several legal experts (including Timothy J. Heaphy, a former federal prosecutor who led the House of Representatives investigation on Jan. 6) believed that the key to filing charges is obtaining reliable evidence that Trump intended to break the law. . .

“When we start to see intentional behavior, specific steps that appear to be designed to disrupt the joint meeting of Congress, then it starts to look like a crime,” Heaphy told the Times this week. “The key element for the special prosecutor is premeditation.”

Special Prosecutor: Confidential Documents

The investigation into Trump’s handling of confidential documents got off to a flying start last May with a subpoena. The objective was to obtain the return of the classified material left in his possession, after having voluntarily handed over several documents, including almost 200 classified documents.

Within a month, M. Evan Corcoran, Trump’s attorney, provided investigators with more than 30 additional documents in response to the subpoena. Around this time, another attorney, Christina Bobb, said a “careful search” had been conducted at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private club and residence in Florida, and assured prosecutors no further information was available. documents marked as classified.

Unfortunately for him, a moment of great tension in the investigation occurred in August, when the FBI, during the execution of a search warrant, entered Mar-a-Lago and discovered more than 100 other classified documents. The document filed by the Justice Department requesting the search warrant explained that investigators had “sufficient evidence to believe” that “evidence of obstruction” could be found.

Pence and Biden have also come under scrutiny for classifying material in their possession. Another investigation led by a special prosecutor is underway in Biden’s case. In the Trump case, prosecutors have focused on a few key issues: Did Trump intentionally remove records with sensitive White House information? and intended to keep them in violation of the Espionage Act? To be more specific, did you try to prevent the prosecutors from finding out where you kept them or why?

To answer these questions, prosecutors interviewed several of Trump’s junior aides and requested grand jury testimony from senior aides including Kash Patel.

They also tried to force Corcoran to testify in full before the grand jury. Corcoran tried to avoid the situation and not answer questions based on attorney-client confidentiality on Trump’s behalf. But prosecutors have sought to eliminate that privilege with the so-called criminal fraud exception, which can be invoked when there is evidence that legal services or counsel were used to commit a crime.

It is not known for certain whether Smith will press charges for this investigation. While there is currently no evidence that Biden or Pence intended to obstruct the investigation due to the way they handled the documents (both have reported to the Justice Department that they have those documents in their possession), the parallel investigations have complicated the political landscape. and they could give Trump a reason to grieve if charges are brought against him and not the other two officials.

Manhattan District Attorney: Stormy Daniels

The investigation into Trump’s involvement in paying bribes to pornographic actress Stormy Daniels has been going on for five years, has passed through the hands of two Manhattan district attorneys and has been before a grand jury on multiple occasions.

FILE - Adult film actress Stormy Daniels.  (AP/Markus Schreiber)

FILE – Adult film actress Stormy Daniels. (AP/Markus Schreiber)

The recent change is that some prosecutors under orders from the current district attorney, Alvin Bragg, they appear to be closer than ever to filing formal charges against the former president. Last month, they began presenting evidence before a newly selected grand jury, which heard testimony from several witnesses as part of the prosecution brief in preparation for a possible indictment against Trump.

The case may be based on the fact that Trump and his firm falsified company documents to hide payments made to Daniels in the days leading up to the 2016 election.

But there is no guarantee that formal charges will be brought… much less that he will be found guilty.

The trial would rely on testimony from Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, who made the payment to Daniels and pleaded guilty in 2018 to the respective federal charges. Trump reimbursed Cohen for the $130,000 he paid, and according to court documents in Cohen’s case, Trump’s company misrepresented the reimbursements as attorney fees.

In New York, forging corporate documents is a crime. To be considered serious, Prosecutors must prove that Trump forged documents to commit or cover up a second offense (in this case, violating New York State election laws, a legal theory that has not been tested).

Trump has denied wrongdoing and criticized prosecutors for conducting what he called a partisan witch hunt against him. He also denied the relationship with Daniels.

c.2023 The New York Times Society

Source: Clarin

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