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Trump's legal woes: 6 ongoing cases against the former president

Former President Donald Trump faces a number of legal cases and investigations in various jurisdictions. Photo by John Nacion/UPI
1 of 6 | Former President Donald Trump faces a number of legal cases and investigations in various jurisdictions. Photo by John Nacion/UPI | License Photo

April 4 (UPI) -- Former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 counts in a federal case accusing him of mishandling classified national security documents, but the high-profile federal case is but one of several legal battles he faces as he campaigns for the 2024 Republican nomination.

In the course of three months, Trump became the first and only former president to be criminally indicted, federally indicted and arrested. He also was found liable of battery and defamation in a civil case.

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Several other cases against Trump also has progressed heading into 2024, as he intends to make another run for president.

Here is a rundown of where the investigations stand.

Classified documents

Trump pleaded not guilty on all charges in a 37-count federal indictment on June 13, facing accusations that he mishandled classified documents related to national security secrets. He was charged under the Espionage Act for obstruction of justice and refusing to turn over classified documents that he was not allowed to possess after leaving the White House.

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The former president has maintained his innocence in the case, accusing the Justice Department of being politically motivated. Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed special counsel Jack Smith to lead the investigation.

On Aug. 8, the FBI served a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Fla., and seized more than 11,000 documents, including hundreds that were marked with some form of classification.

The Justice Department released an affidavit, saying that it had received a tip from the National Archives and Records Administration in February that it had received 15 boxes of records from Trump's office but that he refused to return other missing records.

In March, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court's decision to force an attorney for Trump to testify on whether Trump misled him about the classified documents.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell had ordered Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran to testify in the case. Trump had argued that communications between him and Corcoran are protected by attorney-client privilege, but federal prosecutors believe some of those communications may show evidence of a crime.

Though the case has been expedited, it still could be months before it begins.

Hush money payments

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New York State Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan set a date of March 25, 2024, for Trump to stand trial on a 34-count indictment related to efforts to hide $130,000 in payments in the final days of his 2016 presidential campaign to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to keep silent about an alleged 2006 affair.

The timing would place the trial during the Republican Party presidential primaries.

Trump appeared via video call for a hearing where he was warned not to violate a protective order barring Trump from sharing any documents or other evidence Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg will turn over to Trump's attorneys that are not already public.

In April, Trump pleaded not guilty to the charges in the case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg centered on the alleged falsification of records over payments to his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to buy Daniels' silence.

Trump has denied the affair and said the payment to Cohen was for legal services and he had no knowledge of the arrangement between Cohen and Daniels. Cohen has served prison time for his role in the payments.

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Another legal battle is playing out between Bragg and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan. Jordan had subpoenaed Bragg to testify before the House Judiciary Committee regarding his investigation into Trump.

Bragg's lawsuit, filed in federal court for the Southern District of New York, calls Jordan's attempt to derail an investigation into Trump a "transparent campaign to intimidate and attack District Attorney Bragg," and an "unprecedently brazen and unconstitutional attack by members of Congress."

Following Trump's arraignment, Daniels told Piers Morgan that she would "absolutely" testify at his trial but said the potential jail time Trump could face for the charges is unwarranted.

Rape lawsuit

After winning a civil case accusing Trump of sexual battery and defamation, E. Jean Carroll, a former columnist at Elle magazine, filed an amended complaint alleging he made more damaging comments against her during a CNN town hall event.

Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled on June 13 that the amended complaint will be allowed.

The suit seeks $10 million after Trump called Carroll a "whack job" in the May 10 program stating that the "defamatory statements post-verdict show the depth of his malice toward Carroll since it is hard to imagine defamatory conduct that could possibly be more motivated by hatred, ill will, or spite."

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Earlier in May a jury awarded Carrol $5 million after finding that Trump sexually abused her in a New York City department store and defamed her by publicly accusing her of lying about the alleged incident. The court, however, did not reach a unanimous verdict that he raped the writer.

Under the decision, the jury ruled that Trump must pay $2 million in compensation and $20,000 in punitive damages for battery. For defamation, the jury awarded Carroll $1.7 million for reputational repair, $1 million in compensatory damages and $280,000 in punitive damages.

Trump's attorneys then filed a notice that they planned to appeal the ruling.

Carroll initially sued Trump for defamation in November 2019 over his denial of her claims that he sexually assaulted her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman in the 1990s.

On Sept. 27, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned an earlier district court decision that said the U.S. government could not substitute for Trump as a defendant.

On Oct. 19, Trump answered questions under oath, although details of his testimony were not immediately disclosed.

In November, 2022, Carroll filed a second lawsuit to include a claim of battery centered under a recent New York state law, the Adult Survivors Act, which allows sexual assault victims to file a civil lawsuit even when the statute of limitations has passed.

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"Dearest friends, tonight, a few minutes after midnight, we filed the rape suit against the former president," Carroll wrote in a message to her readers on her Substack newsletter website.

"The new suit may ruin the former president's Thanksgiving, but it will be nourishing to every woman who's ever been grabbed, groped, harassed, pinched, prodded, assaulted, smeared or dragged through the mud by a powerful man."

New York

New York Attorney General Letitia James brought a civil suit against Trump in September, alleging the Trump Organization had fraudulently inflated the value of certain assets.

The lawsuit alleges Trump and senior executives at the company falsely inflated Trump's net worth by billions in an effort to secure bank loans with more favorable terms.

James is seeking to permanently bar the former president from serving as an officer or director in New York corporations and businesses. She also seeks $250 million in fines.

Trump's legal team has requested a six-month delay in the case.

"Defendants cannot possibly review the staggering volume of material, serve subpoenas, review subpoenaed materials, prepare for and conduct depositions -- all within a 3 1/2-month period from the date on which plaintiff produced its investigative file -- and then prepare and present expert reports one month later," Trump argued in a court filing.

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Earlier this month Trump had his second deposition in the case, although it's unclear if he took the Fifth Amendment, as he did in his first deposition in August.

Jan. 6 Capitol riot

The Justice Department has been investigating Trump's efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election since July.

In September, the department issued more than 40 subpoenas in one week for witnesses to testify before a grand jury.

In February, The New York Times reported that Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have been subpoenaed by special counsel Jack Smith.

Former Vice President Mike Pence was also subpoenaed and had attempted to fight it. However, a federal judge ruled March 29 that Pence must testify in front of the grand jury.

Lawyers for Trump had cited executive privilege and lawyers for Pence argued he was protected by the separation of powers. However, those arguments were rejected.

Georgia election

In Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has launched a criminal investigation into Trump's actions during the 2020 election.

A partially released grand jury report from February shows jurors voted unanimously, declaring there was no election interference that would result in overturning the results of the election.

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The panel also recommended criminal perjury charges against any witnesses who lied to them.

"A majority of the witnesses believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it. The grand jury recommends that the district attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling," the report reads.

Trump's lawyers have argued that the grand jury investigation should be quashed, citing comments made by five unnamed jurors and grand jury forewoman Emily Kohrs to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Their comments suggested the indictments contacted "multiple" names.

They have also sought to have Willis removed from the case, alleging that she is politically biased.

Willis rebutted those claims in a filing arguing that Trump's statements lacked merit and were procedurally flawed.

Willis has notified the Fulton County Sheriff's Office that it should prepare for a decision on a potential indictment to come in the summer.

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