As debate continues over the possible criminal indictment of former President Donald Trump regarding a $130,000 hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels, several other cases are poised to further complicate his 2024 presidential bid.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg appears set to make history by handing down the first-ever criminal indictment of a former president, potentially for falsifying business records to hide an alleged extramarital affair so as not to hurt his chances in the 2016 presidential election. Trump denies having had an affair with Daniels, and his legal team has brushed off the payments to her made via former lawyer Michael Cohen as a private matter. But that controversial felony charge, which carries a possible four-year prison sentence upon conviction, is unlikely to be the last legal hurdle for Trump.
Here's a rundown of the most prominent prospective legal actions facing the former president as well as the civil cases that are already underway.
Jan. 6 federal grand jury
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed special counsel Jack Smith to investigate Trump's actions to remain in power following his loss in the 2020 election. Trump's efforts culminated in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, where thousands of Trump's supporters sought to block the Electoral College certification of Joe Biden's victory. Trump continues to insist that fraud accounted for his election defeat. A federal grand jury has been listening to a mountain of evidence in the case and could soon decide wether to indict Trump for a range of charges that include obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States and insurrection.
Mar-a-Lago classified documents
Smith has also been tasked to investigate whether Trump should be charged with the unauthorized retention of national security documents, obstruction, contempt of court and mishandling official documents stemming from his removal of classified materials from the White House following his 2020 defeat. While Trump contends that his removal of the documents was not any different than cases involving Biden, and that he declassified all of the documents found at his Mar-a-Lago estate, another federal grand jury has been hearing evidence undercutting those claims.
Fulton County special grand jury
In Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has wrapped up her presentation of evidence to a special grand jury regarding whether Trump should be charged with election code violations and racketeering in connection to his efforts to pressure the state's top election official to produce votes that would overturn his loss to Biden there in 2020. The special grand jury also heard testimony regarding a plot by Trump allies to try to fraudulently appoint an alternate slate of Georgia electors. A decision over whether to indict Trump in this case could come as early as May, Yahoo News' Michael Isikoff reported.
$250 million business fraud lawsuit
On Tuesday, a Manhattan Supreme Court judge refused a request made by Trump's lawyers to postpone the Oct. 2 start of a trail brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James that accuses Trump and his adult children of committing business fraud. James alleges that the Trumps have long misrepresented their wealth on financial statements given to banks and insurance companies in order to improperly obtain favorable loan rates and other deals. In response to the lawsuit, Trump claimed in a social media post that it represented "another Witch Hunt by a racist Attorney General."
E. Jean Carroll rape trial
On Monday, Trump's lawyers suffered another defeat when a Manhattan judge overseeing the civil rape trial brought against Trump by E. Jean Carroll ruled key evidence would be allowed. That will include testimony from witnesses Trump's lawyers had sought to block from appearing as well as recordings of misogynistic remarks Trump made about women in 2005. Carroll alleges that Trump raped her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan in the mid-1990s. Trump has claimed he never met Carroll. The trial is scheduled to begin on April 25. Carroll is also suing Trump for defamation, but the start of that trial has been delayed.