Former US president Trump faces four criminal indictments

Tuesday August 15 2023

Former US President Donald Trump looks on during Round 3 at the LIV Golf-Bedminster 2023 at the Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey, US on August 13, 2023. PHOTO | AFP


Former US president Donald Trump is now facing four criminal indictments, all filed since March -- raising the prospect that the Republican frontrunner in the 2024 White House race could end up navigating a series of trials as he campaigns.

On Monday, he was indicted on 13 counts in the southern state of Georgia in connection with his alleged efforts to interfere with the results of the 2020 election, which he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

Trump has already been indicted in federal court in connection with election interference in multiple states, and over his handling of classified documents, making him the first former US president to face federal criminal charges.

The twice-impeached Trump has also been charged in New York with making election-eve hush money payments to an adult film actress.

Read: Trump indicted over hush money payments

Here are the key cases involving the 77-year-old one-term president -- and others that could materialize:


Georgia election meddling

The latest case targeting Trump was unveiled on Monday in Georgia, where he stands accused of pressuring officials there to overturn Biden's 2020 election victory -- incidents that were also referred to in a federal indictment.

Evidence includes a taped phone call in which he asked Georgia's then-secretary of state to "find" enough votes to reverse the result.

Fulton County's top prosecutor Fani Willis has charged Trump with 13 felony counts including violating Georgia's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, as well as six conspiracy counts over alleged efforts to commit forgery, impersonate a public official and submit false statements and documents.

Eighteen co-defendants also were indicted, including Trump's former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, for pressuring local legislators over the result after the election, and Trump's White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows.

Read: Trump: Charges an 'insult to our country'

2020 election interference 

Special Counsel Jack Smith meanwhile had already slapped Trump with four federal charges related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

Trump is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, as well as conspiracy to obstruct and obstruction of an official proceeding -- the January 6, 2021, meeting of a joint session of Congress held to certify Biden's election victory.

He is also charged with conspiracy to deny Americans the right to vote and to have one's vote counted.

The indictment mentions six co-conspirators, but none are identified -- Trump, currently the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is the only named defendant.

Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, as Congress met to certify the presidential election results.

Before what was ultimately a deadly attack, Trump delivered a fiery speech urging the crowd to "fight like hell".

Read: Trump to appear in court, accused of endangering US democracy

Classified documents 

Trump, in another indictment brought by Smith, is accused of endangering national security by holding onto top secret nuclear and defence documents after leaving the White House.

Trump kept the files -- which included records from the Pentagon, CIA and National Security Agency -- unsecured at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida and thwarted official efforts to retrieve them, according to the indictment.

Trump was initially charged with 31 counts of "willful retention of national defense information," each punishable by up to 10 years in prison. A count was added related to a classified document "concerning military activity in a foreign country."

He also faces charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice, making false statements and other offenses.

The federal judge in the case has set a trial date of May 20, 2024, at the height of the presidential campaign.

Read: Trump indicted in classified documents probe

Stormy hush money 

A New York grand jury indicted Trump in March over hush money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Prosecutors say the money was paid prior to the 2016 election to silence Daniels over claims she had a tryst with Trump in 2006 -- a year after he married Melania Trump.

Late in the campaign, Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen arranged a payment of $130,000 to Daniels in exchange for her pledge of confidentiality.

That case, in which he faces 34 felony counts, is due to go to trial next March, in the middle of the Republican primary election season.

Other probes 

Trump was found liable recently in a civil case for sexually abusing and defaming a former magazine columnist, E. Jean Carroll, in 1996, and ordered to pay her $5 million in damages.

In New York, the state attorney general Letitia James has filed a civil suit against Trump and three of his children, accusing them of fraud by over-valuing assets to secure loans and then under-valuing them to minimize taxes.

James is seeking $250 million in penalties as well as banning Trump and his children from serving as executives at companies in the city.

Trump has denied all wrongdoing.