Home World Former US President Donald Trump’s legal problems explained | SBS News

Former US President Donald Trump’s legal problems explained | SBS News

New York State Attorney General Letitia James filed a civil lawsuit against Donald Trump and his three children on Wednesday, accusing them of fraud.
It was the latest development in multiple civil, criminal and congressional investigations of the former US president.

The 76-year-old is also being investigated for his role in last year’s attack on the US Capitol, his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and the hiding of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence.

Here are some of the key investigations weighing on the one-term president as he plans to run for the White House again in 2024:

Attack on the Capitol

A series of explosive House hearings into the January 6, 2021 attack by Trump supporters on the Capitol offered a road map for the former president’s potential criminal charges.

Politicians at the hearing offered their view that Mr Trump knew he had lost the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden but persisted in his claims of fraud and ended up bringing his supporters to Washington for a rally that ended violently. an attack on Congress.

Rioters clash with police as they try to enter the Capitol building through the front doors, January 6, 2021. Rioters broke windows and entered the Capitol building in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election results. Source: Getty / (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

A special House committee also uncovered evidence of alleged misconduct by Mr. Trump that led to the insurgency, including his attempt to implicate government agencies in his bid to overturn the election.

The work of the politicians is separate from the criminal investigation of the riots and the events that led to them, initiated by the Ministry of Justice.

Beyond the legal ramifications, the unprecedented prosecution of a former chief executive is likely to cause a political earthquake in a country already deeply divided along Democratic and Republican lines.

“Find” votes

Mr Trump is under investigation for pressuring officials in the southern state of Georgia to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s 2020 victory – including a now infamous recorded phone call in which he asked the secretary of state to “find” enough votes to overturn the result.

Fulton County Chief State’s Attorney Fannie Willis has convened a special grand jury that could indict Mr. Trump on conspiracy charges related to election fraud and interference.

Ms. Willis has already gathered important testimony from members of Trump’s inner circle, including his former personal attorney, ex-Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani.

The Trump Organization

A civil lawsuit filed by Letitia James, the New York state attorney general, against Mr. Trump and his three children, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump, accuses them of overstating multiple assets to secure the loans and then understating their value. to minimize taxes. .

Ms. James is seeking a fine of $250 million, as well as a ban on Mr. Trump and his children from holding positions of company executives in New York.

The attorney general is also seeking to bar Mr. Trump and his company, The Trump Organization, from buying real estate in the state for five years.
She also said her office is referring the criminal case to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service.

Mr Trump denounced the lawsuit as “another witch hunt by a racist attorney general”.


Local law enforcement officers are seen outside former President Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida on August 9, 2022. Source: AFP / (Photo by GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images)

A raid on a residence in Florida

An FBI search of Trump’s lavish home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, in August uncovered classified documents that were moved to his estate when he left office in January 2021.
The raid, which was personally approved by US Attorney General Merrick Garland, was prompted by a review of classified documents that Mr Trump finally turned over to authorities in January this year after months of working with the National Archives.

The Justice Department launched an investigation after 15 boxes were found to contain national defense information, including 184 documents marked as confidential, classified or top secret.

In an affidavit used to justify the raid, the FBI said it was conducting a criminal investigation into the “improper removal and storage of classified information” and the “unlawful concealment of government documents.”
The search warrant said the investigation also involved “intentional withholding of national defense information,” a crime under the Espionage Act, and potential “obstructing a federal investigation.”

Mr Trump tried to block a criminal investigation into his possession of the documents, but the case began to unravel after courtroom setbacks, including doubts expressed by judges about the former US president’s claim that he had declassified records seized from his Florida home.

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Atlanta, ruled Wednesday that federal investigators can immediately resume examining the classified documents, overturning a ruling by Florida-based U.S. District Judge Eileen Cannon that the documents remain sealed until an independent arbitrator evaluates whether something should be held as privileged.
Mr. Trump could appeal the 11th Circuit ruling to the Supreme Court, but experts doubt the justices will agree to hear it. The panel of the 11th Circuit included two judges appointed by the former president.
Mr. Trump has not been charged with any crime, and just because there is an investigation doesn’t mean there will be one.
As part of his counterattack against the investigation, he publicly stated that he had personally declassified the seized records.

“If you’re the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying it’s declassified, without even thinking about it,” Trump told Fox News on Wednesday.


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