Former US President Donald Trump faces a growing number of legal challenges as state and federal prosecutors level or consider historic charges against the one-time commander-in-chief.
The cases against Trump run the gamut from allegations that he concealed hush money payments to an adult film star to heftier claims of illegally possessing classified government documents after he left office, and attempting to illicitly steer the outcome of the 2020 election.
With a Florida court set to begin the first pretrial conference in the classified documents case on Tuesday, here’s a rundown of all the legal obstacles in Trump’s way as he eyes a return to the White House:
Two indictments, third in the offing
Trump has so far faced indictments in two cases – the hush money payments to Stormy Daniels that New York state prosecutors say were falsely disclosed as legal fees to ex-attorney Michael Cohen, and in the federal case brought by the Justice Department concerning his alleged mishandling of classified documents.
Trump, who remains the leading Republican candidate for next year’s polls, has denied wrongdoing in both cases, maintaining they are part of an orchestrated political campaign against him. The suggestions have been roundly rejected by prosecutors.
Trump’s attorneys in the classified documents case requested last week that proceedings be delayed until after the 2024 election, a significant postponement from the Dec. 11 start date requested by the Justice Department.
US District Court Judge Aileen Cannon will have the final say on the matter.
She already agreed to delay from last Friday until Tuesday the pretrial hearing to discuss how to handle the over 100 classified documents recovered from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
The hearing was delayed after both prosecutors and the ex-president’s attorneys asked for a postponement.
The New York case over the alleged hush money payments is slated to go on trial in March, when the Republican primary season will be in full swing.
A third indictment could be in the offing as Georgia state prosecutors are expected to announce a decision on whether or not charges will be brought against the ex-president for his attempt to overturn the state’s 2020 election results.
The grand jury that will ultimately make the decision on whether or not to bring charges was sworn in last week in Atlanta. Prosecutors have indicated that a decision could come in August.
That case comes from an investigation centered on Trump and his allies’ alleged effort to overturn the election results, including Trump’s call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he appealed to the top state law enforcement official to “find 11,780 votes,” the number he would have needed to win the battleground state.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation has grown substantially since it was first launched in early 2021, and now includes an alleged scheme to send fake electors to the Georgia State Capitol in another effort to sway the polls in Trump’s favor.
A special grand jury has interviewed dozens of witnesses, including close Trump allies and state officials, and issued a report that has remained out of the public eye for now.
However, the grand jury impaneled last week will decide whether to formally bring a criminal case against Trump, and potentially over a dozen other defendants.
Special counsel probes behind closed doors
Special Counsel Jack Smith – the man who led the inquiry into the classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago – is also carrying out separate federal investigations into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, as well as his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riots.
Hundreds of Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol that day, overrunning barricades and breaching the federal legislature as lawmakers scrambled for safety.
Over 1,069 individuals have been arrested across every US state in connection with crimes that took place that day.
Nearly 600 people have pleaded guilty to various federal charges, while roughly 100 others have been convicted of offenses at trial, according to the US attorney’s office leading the investigations.
Smith has continued his probes in tandem with the ongoing investigations. Several senior Trump administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, have provided testimony.
It is unclear what stages Smith’s investigations have reached, and if criminal charges will come about as a result of the inquiries.
Lawsuits add to legal jeopardy
Beyond Trump’s mound of criminal cases, he faces a lawsuit in New York state brought by Attorney General Leticia James over an alleged pattern of inflating the value of his properties to secure loans, while simultaneously devaluing their worth when reporting to tax authorities.
Multiple other lawsuits have been brought against the ex-president in a wide variety of cases that include legal fees, music use, and a second defamation lawsuit by a writer who alleged Trump raped her in the 1990s.