Trump investigations: What you need to know about 4 criminal investigations in New York, Georgia and a special counsel
As former President Donald Trump moves forward with his 2024 campaignincidents before, during and after his tenure are the subject of intense legal scrutiny – threatening to make Trump the first ex-president in American history to be charged with a crime.
Here’s the status of four investigations, led by two state attorneys and a federal special advocate:
Manhattan’s “hush money” survey
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office invited Trump to testify before the grand jury investigating an alleged “silent money” payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign – a move that could suggest Trump could soon face indictment in the case.
In New York, the offer to testify often precedes an indictment.
Over the past few weeks, a steady stream of former Trump employees and White House staffers have been seen entering the district attorney’s offices, including Trump’s former adviser and campaign manager at the White House. Kellyanne Conwayformer director of strategic communications Hope Hicks, and her former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen.
Cohen, who went to prison on federal charges related to the $130,000 payment to Daniels, has met with prosecutors multiple times this year — more than half a dozen times since mid-January.
Cohen is appear before the grand jury Monday, according to two people familiar with the matter.
In her memoir “Disloyal,” Cohen described an intense effort in October 2016 — just before the presidential election — to stop the actress from speaking publicly about an alleged affair with Trump. Ultimately, Cohen funneled the money through a newly formed limited liability company, and Cohen and Daniels claimed she and Trump signed a nondisclosure agreement using the aliases David Dennison and Peggy Peterson.
Trump has repeatedly denied allegations of wrongdoing related to the payment and in recent days has denounced the Manhattan investigation, led by A.D. Alvin Braggcalling it “a political witch hunt” and an “old and reprimanded case, which has been dismissed by every prosecutor’s office”.
Election interference investigation in Fulton County, Georgia
The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office investigation into Trump’s conduct after the 2020 election began in February 2021 – spurred by a infamous recorded on January 2, 2021, phone call to the Secretary of State of Georgia Brad Raffensperger in which Trump urged him “to find 11,780 votes”.
The investigation grew in size and scope over the next two years, eventually leading to the creation of a special grand jury – tasked with investigating not just Trump, but the alleged efforts of dozens of his allies to thwart Georgia’s election, which President Joe Biden won. .
The special grand jury had the power to subpoena, but could not issue indictments. The panel of 23 Georgians interviewed 75 witnesses in 2022 and compiled a report in January, which was provided to Fulton County DA Fani Willis — who has not said publicly whether she plans to press charges in the case.
In February, a judge ordered a small part of the report be made public. In the introduction, the grand jurors wrote that they had rebuked a claim often made by Trump and his allies.
“We find by unanimous vote that no widespread fraud occurred in the 2020 Georgia presidential election that could result in the cancellation of this election,” the report said.
The report also states that a “majority of the Grand Jury finds that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it” and recommends that the district attorney seek “appropriate indictments” for the crimes for which “the evidence is compelling”.
Lawyers close to several Republican witnesses in the investigation are preparing to move to undo possible indictments in the case, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Jan. 6 Special Counsel and Investigations Documents
In Washington, D.C., a the special advocate examines Trump’s handling of sensitive government documents found at his Mar-a-Lago home and possible obstruction of efforts to retrieve them.
Special Counsel Jack Smith was appointed in November to oversee the Justice Department’s criminal investigations of Trump, including efforts to interfere with the legal transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election and the certification of the electoral college vote held at the Capitol on Jan. 6. 2021.
Former Vice President Mike Pence is challenging a subpoena issued by the special counsel in February. Special advocates have broad subpoena power, and it is unclear what information the special advocate is seeking in the subpoena.
Smith is also investigating allegations that Trump mishandled national defense information at his residence in Mar-a-Lago. Trump’s handling of documents has come under scrutiny after the discovery in August 2022 of White House documents – some marked top secret – in his home office. Federal prosecutors said in a filing in August that documents were “likely concealed and removed” from Mar-a-Lago as part of an effort to “hinder” the FBI’s investigation.
Trump slammed Smith on his social media site, Truth Social, calling Smith “radical.”
Trump has not been charged and has denied wrongdoing in each of the investigations.