What you need to know
- Former President Trump faces 91 felony counts after being indicted four times within the last year
- He is accused in Georgia and D.C. of plotting to overturn his 2020 election loss
- He is accused in Florida of hoarding classified documents, and in Manhattan of falsifying business records stemming from hush money payments made during his 2016 campaign
- Here’s where all of the cases against Trump stand
From allegations of plotting to overturn a lost election to illegally stowing classified documents at his Florida estate, former President Donald Trump faces four criminal indictments in four different cities as he vies to reclaim the White House.
The cases, totaling 91 felony counts, are winding through the courts at different speeds. Some might not reach trial this year, while one is set to begin in a matter of weeks.
A look at each case:
Classified documents case
Special counsel Jack Smith has been leading two federal probes related to Trump, both of which have resulted in charges against the former president.
The first charges to result from those investigations came in June when Trump was indicted for mishandling top secret documents at his Florida estate. The indictment alleges that Trump repeatedly enlisted aides and lawyers to help him hide records demanded by investigators and cavalierly showed off a Pentagon “plan of attack” and classified map.
A superseding indictment issued in July added charges accusing Trump of asking for surveillance footage at his Mar-a-Lago estate to be deleted after FBI and Justice Department investigators visited in June 2022 to collect classified documents he took with him after leaving the White House. The new indictment also charges him with illegally holding onto a document he’s alleged to have shown off to visitors in New Jersey.
In all, Trump faces 40 felony charges in the classified documents case. The most serious charge carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
Walt Nauta, a valet for Trump, and Carlos De Oliveira, the property manager at Trump’s Florida estate, have been charged in the case with scheming to conceal surveillance footage from federal investigators and lying about it.
Trump, Nauta and De Oliveira have pleaded not guilty.
U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon set a trial date of May 20, 2024, though she has signaled that it may be pushed back.
Smith’s second case against Trump was unveiled in August when the former president was indicted in Washington on felony charges for working to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the run-up to the violent riot by his supporters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
The four-count indictment includes charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States government and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding: the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s victory. It says that Trump repeatedly told supporters and others that he had won the election, despite knowing that was false, and how he tried to persuade state officials, then-Vice President Mike Pence and finally Congress to overturn the legitimate results.
After a weekslong campaign of lies about the election results, prosecutors allege, Trump sought to exploit the violence at the Capitol by pointing to it as a reason to further delay the counting of votes that sealed his defeat.
In their charging documents, prosecutors referenced a half-dozen unindicted co-conspirators, including lawyers inside and outside of government who they said had worked with Trump to undo the election results and advanced legally dubious schemes to enlist slates of fake electors in battleground states won by Biden.
The Trump campaign called the charges “fake” and asked why it took two and a half years to bring them. He has pleaded not guilty.
The case had been set for trial on March 4 in federal court in Washington. But that date was canceled amid an appeal by Trump on the legally untested question of whether a former president is immune from prosecution for official acts taken in the White House. Trump’s lawyers have asked the Supreme Court to intervene, but it’s not clear if the justices will.
Hush money scheme
Trump became the first former U.S. president in history to face criminal charges when he was indicted in New York in March on state charges stemming from hush money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to bury allegations of extramarital sexual encounters.
That case is set to be first to proceed to trial, with a judge setting jury selection for March 25.
Trump has already pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. Each count is punishable by up to four years in prison, though it’s not clear if a judge would impose any prison time if Trump were convicted.
The counts are linked to a series of checks that were written to his lawyer Michael Cohen to reimburse him for his role in paying off porn actor Stormy Daniels, who alleged a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, not long after Melania Trump gave birth to son Barron. Those payments were recorded in various internal company documents as being for a legal retainer that prosecutors say didn’t exist.
Trump is charged alongside 18 other people — including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows — with violating the state’s anti-racketeering law by scheming to illegally overturn his 2020 election loss.
The indictment, handed up in August, accuses Trump or his allies of suggesting Georgia’s Republican secretary of state could “find” enough votes for him to win the battleground state; of harassing an election worker who faced false claims of fraud; an, attempting to persuade Georgia lawmakers to ignore the will of voters and appoint a new slate of Electoral College electors favorable to Trump.
A trial date for Trump and the others has not yet been set, and the case in recent weeks has been consumed by revelations of a personal relationship between Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, whose office brought the case, and an outside prosecutor she hired.