MICHAEL R. SISAK, KATE BRUMBACK and JILL COLVIN / Associated Press
As Donald Trump’s attorneys try to prevent the White House from releasing records to the Congressional Committee investigating the January 6th Capitol Rising, the former president faces a spate of further investigations over the coming weeks and into the new year could come to a climax.
That includes two major state criminal investigations – one in New York and one in Georgia – as well as sexual assault charges, an inheritance dispute, and whether he should be personally held responsible for inciting the riot.
Trump has long dismissed the investigation as nothing more than a politically motivated “witch hunt” that began with an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections. But while Trump has spent most of his life avoiding legal ramifications, he’s no longer protected from charges that incumbent presidents enjoy. And any charges – which would be the first against a former president in the nation’s history – could affect both his business and future political prospects while he ponders a second term.
Here’s the latest on the state of the art:
New York prosecutors are investigating the former president’s business dealings and recently convened a new grand jury to hear evidence after the previous panel’s term expired.
Manhattan prosecutors are considering whether to bring further charges, leading to tax fraud charges against Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, and longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg in July. They are accused of defrauding the tax authorities through lucrative, untaxed fringe benefits.
Weißelberg will have to be tried again in court in July 2022.
Trump himself continues to be investigated after year-end prosecutor Cyrus Vance Jr. fought for years to gain access to the former president’s tax records. Prosecutors have also considered bringing charges against the company’s chief operating officer, Matthew Calamari Sr.
Investigators working for Vance and New York attorney general Letitia James have spent more than two years investigating whether the Trump organization is misleading banks or tax officials about the value of the company’s assets, inflating them to cheap Maintain loan terms or minimize them for tax savings.
“I think it’s pretty clear that our investigation is active and ongoing,” Vance said on Tuesday.
James’ office is involved in Vance’s criminal investigation and is conducting its own civil investigation.
Regardless, Trump is facing a review of his real estate in the suburbs of New York City. Westchester County District Attorney Mimi E. Rocah has cited documents from the city of Ossining while investigating whether Trump’s company tricked officials into lowering taxes on a golf course there, two people familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity with the fact that they were not entitled to speak publicly on the subject.
In Atlanta, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis opened an investigation in January into possible attempts to meddle in the administration of the 2020 state election, which Trump narrowly lost.
In letters sent in February to top state elected officials – including Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger – Willis instructed them to keep all election-related records, particularly those that might contain evidence of attempts to assign election officials influence.
The investigation includes a Jan. 2 phone call between Trump and Raffensperger in which Trump repeatedly and falsely alleged that the Republican Secretary of State could alter the confirmed presidential election results. Several news outlets, including The Associated Press, received a replay of the call the next day.
“I only want to find 11,780 votes, one more than us,” said Trump. “Because we won the state.”
Willis has been relatively silent about the investigation, but her office has confirmed it is ongoing.
“All available evidence will be analyzed, regardless of whether it was collected by this office, another investigative agency, or published by the witnesses themselves. A decision as to whether a criminal charge against a person is appropriate will be made when that process is complete, ”spokesman Jeff DiSantis said in an email.
One of the sources Willis’ team is sure to investigate is a book by Raffensperger, published November 2, threatening him in several places.
Willis said earlier this year she was also interested in the circumstances surrounding the sudden resignation of Bjay Pak, the U.S. attorney in Atlanta, on Jan. 4. Pak told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had originally planned to stay in office until Inauguration Day, January 20, but had resigned weeks earlier under pressure from Trump.
District of Columbia attorney general Karl Racine said earlier this year that district attorneys are investigating Trump’s role in the January 6 riot and are considering indicting him under a local law criminalizing statements motivating people to engage in violence.
However, there was no indication that it was likely. If Trump were indicted, it would be a minor offense with a maximum sentence of six months in prison.
In addition to the ongoing criminal investigation, Trump also faces a range of civil lawsuits, from scorned business investors to his estranged niece to Democratic lawmakers and Capitol cops who accuse him of instigating the January 6 violence.
This includes a lawsuit by House Homeland Security Chairman, Democratic MP Bennie Thompson, under a reconstruction-era law called the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which prohibits violence or intimidation to prevent members of Congress or other federal officials from doing that Carry out their constitutional obligations.
In October, Trump was questioned under oath behind closed doors on a statement about a lawsuit by protesters who alleged his security team attacked them outside Trump Tower in the early days of his 2015 presidential campaign.
Trump also faces a defamation case from columnist E. Jean Carroll, who says Trump raped her in an upscale Manhattan department store in the mid-1990s. Trump has said that Carroll is “completely lying” and that she is “not my type”. Attorneys at the US Department of Justice argued earlier this year that Trump could not be held personally liable for “crude and disrespectful” statements made about a woman who accused him of rape for making those statements during his tenure. The second US appeals court will hear oral arguments on the case on Friday.
Trump had faced a similar defamation lawsuit from Summer Zervos, a former “apprentice” candidate who accused Trump of kissing and groping her against her will in 2007, but she unexpectedly dropped the lawsuit last month.
Regardless, Trump’s estranged niece, Mary Trump, has sued him and other family members on charges of defrauding them of millions of dollars in inheritance funds. Trump has filed his own lawsuit against Mary Trump and the New York Times over a 2018 story about his family’s finances, based in part on confidential documents she provided to the newspaper. He accuses her of violating a settlement agreement that prohibited her from disclosing the documents.
Mary Trump’s lawyers filed papers Thursday to dismiss her uncle’s lawsuit against her.
Brumback reported from Atlanta. Associate press writers Bernard Condon in New York and Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.