The New York hush-money case that has led to criminal charges is among several legal woes former President Donald Trump is facing.
In fact, New York was until recently seen as an unlikely contender to be the first place to prosecute Trump, who continues to face long-running investigations in Atlanta and Washington that could also result in charges. Unlike those inquiries, the Manhattan case concerns conduct by Trump that occurred before he became president and is unrelated to his much-publicized efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Trump faces investigations regarding his businesses, his time in office (including his efforts to stay in office) as well as his time since leaving the White House. Trump, a Republican, has denied any wrongdoing and says he is being targeted by Democrats trying to keep him from reclaiming the White House.
Some Democrats say the case in Manhattan pales in comparison to the more-serious potential charges Trump could face.
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"If I were the grand wizard, I would have said to wait on this one. With all the crimes he has likely committed, and for this to go first, gives him the ability to be the martyr that he wants to be," said political analyst Dan Gerstein.
Here's a breakdown of some of his legal battles elsewhere, and a couple others in New York.
Of all the inquiries Trump faces, a Justice Department probe into the retention of top secret government documents at his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, could present the most significant legal jeopardy, with investigators saying in court filings last year that they were examining potential violations of multiple felony statutes.
As part of that inquiry, agents and prosecutors have spent months interviewing multiple people close to Trump, including an aide who was seen on surveillance video moving boxes of documents at the property, as they examine whether Trump or his representatives sought to obstruct the classified documents probe.
Federal officials obtained a search warrant last year to search his home, convincing a Florida judge there was probable cause of criminal activity there, including the willful retention of national defense information – a statute that by itself carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
A grand jury in Washington has been hearing evidence in the investigation. Prosecutors last year granted limited immunity to one close Trump ally to secure his testimony and more recently were able to compel the testimony of a Trump lawyer said to have drafted a document stating that a diligent search for classified records had been conducted.
Attorney General Merrick Garland in November named Jack Smith, a veteran war crimes prosecutor who previously led the Justice Department’s public integrity section, to serve as special counsel for the Mar-a-Lago investigation and key aspects of a separate probe into efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
2020 ELECTION AND JAN. 6 INSURRECTION
Smith has also been leading a team of feds investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection as well as efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the election that Trump falsely claimed was stolen.
Federal prosecutors have been especially focused on a scheme by Trump allies to put forth a slate of fake presidential electors in key battleground states who falsely declared that Trump, not Democrat Joe Biden, had won the 2020 election. They have issued subpoenas to a number of state Republican Party chairs.
Federal prosecutors have brought multiple Trump administration officials before that grand jury for questioning, including the former Trump White House counsel and a top aide to Vice President Mike Pence. A federal judge recently ruled that Pence would have to testify before the grand jury, though his team was still deciding Thursday whether to appeal.
In a sign of the expanding nature of the investigation, election officials in multiple states whose results were disputed by Trump have received subpoenas asking for past communications with or involving Trump and his campaign aides.
A House committee that investigated the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has recommended that the Justice Department bring criminal charges against Trump and associates who helped him launch a wide-ranging pressure campaign to try to overturn his 2020 election loss.
The DOJ is looking into the events of that day after having received the report from a congressional committee that stated Trump should be held responsible.
After his 2020 election loss, Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and urged him to “find 11,780 votes” — just enough to overtake Biden and overturn Trump’s narrow loss in the state.
That Jan. 2 phone call was part of a monthslong effort by a special grand jury in Atlanta investigating whether crimes were committed as part of the pressure campaign to overturn Trump’s defeat.
Portions of a report from a special grand jury in Georgia that investigated whether Trump and his allies illegally interfered in the 2020 election in Georgia shows jurors believed “one or more witnesses” committed perjury and urged local prosecutors to bring charges. The former president never testified, but the report didn't foreclose the possibility of other charges.
Among those questioned by the special grand jury were Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor and Trump lawyer; Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.
Prosecutors have advised Giuliani and Georgia Republicans who served as fake electors that they are at risk of being indicted. The fake electors signed a certificate asserting Trump had won the election and declaring themselves the state’s electors, even though Biden had won the state and a slate of Democratic electors had already been certified.
Trump and his allies have denied wrongdoing, and he has repeatedly described his phone call to Raffensperger as “perfect.” The former president's attorneys filed a motion earlier this month asking that the special grand jury report looking into the 2020 election be "quashed and expunged."
The 51-page filing asks that all evidence stemming from the special grand jury be deemed unconstitutional. It also requests that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis be disqualified from further investigation of the matter.
It’s up to Willis, a Democrat, to decide whether to convene a regular grand jury and pursue criminal charges in the case. The foreperson on the special grand jury that investigated the case at Willis’ request indicated publicly in February that the panel had recommended multiple indictments.
Among the incidents Willis reviewed was Trump's Jan. 2021 phone call with Raffensperger.
ELSEWHERE IN NEW YORK
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 like golf courses and skyscrapers to get loans and tax benefits.
That lawsuit could lead to civil penalties against the company if the Democratic attorney general prevails. She is seeking a $250 million 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 the meantime, a judge has appointed an independent monitor to watch the company.
In a separate civil case in federal court in New York, Trump has been accused of raping a former magazine columnist in a dressing room in the mid-1990s. That case is scheduled to go to trial on April 25.
Trump has repeatedly insisted he never met the columnist, E. Jean Carroll, at the store and has dismissed her rape claims, saying, “Physically she’s not my type.” During an October deposition, he misidentified a decades-old photograph of her as one of his ex-wives.
In a case that has already been resolved, the Trump Organization was convicted of tax fraud in December for helping executives dodge taxes on extravagant perks such as Manhattan apartments and luxury cars. Trump himself was not on trial. The company was fined $1.6 million.