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Donald Trump Is Headed for Legal Hell

Donald Trump. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
President of the United States Donald Trump speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.

The Sword of Justice Is Ready to Strike Against Donald Trump: Donald Trump has entered triple jeopardy.

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There are three criminal probes being conducted against the former president.

One is in Fulton County, Georgia to examine whether he may be indicted for alleged illegal efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in that state.

The second is for the findings of the January 6 House Select Committee that determined the president incited the insurrection at the Capitol Complex that day in 2021.

And the third is for accusations that Trump mishandled at least 300 classified documents that were stored at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

What will happen to the Donald? 

Donald Trump: Alleged Election Crimes in Georgia

On January 24, a judge in Fulton County is hearing arguments on whether a report written by a special grand jury will be made public. The special grand jury does not have indictment authority, but it could recommend that criminal charges be instigated against Trump for his actions in Georgia after the 2020 election. The special grand jury interviewed several people in Trump’s orbit who may have been instrumental in trying to change the results of the election. A public release of the report could put pressure on district attorney Fani Willis to convene a regular grand jury that could decide to indict Trump.

Pressuring Officials in Georgia to Overturn Election

Trump lost Georgia by 12,000 votes. The votes were re-counted three times. A future regular grand jury would look at whether Trump orchestrated an unlawful pressure campaign on Georgian officials such as Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to change the results. Second, the grand jury would look into whether the Trump legal team tried to illegally send “alternate” slates of Republican presidential electors to overturn the vote.

Accusations for January 6

The House of Representatives select committee interviewed 1,000 witnesses who delivered testimony about the January 6 riots. The panel voted unanimously to recommend criminal charges against Trump for his “Stop the Steal” speech and his initial reticence to stop the mob from storming the Capitol. The rioters engaged in various acts of violence against Capitol Police along with interrupting an official proceeding and vandalism.

The committee believes Trump should be criminally liable for obstructing an official proceeding; conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to knowingly make a false statement; and assisting, aiding, or comforting an insurrection.

Now With a DOJ Special Counsel

The report was turned over to the Department of Justice for further investigation and to supplement the DOJ’s ongoing probe into Trump malfeasance on January 6. Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a special counsel named Jack Smith to lead the DOJ investigation and decide whether to act on Congress’ criminal referrals.

It’s Those Classified Documents Again

Finally, Trump is also under legal scrutiny for the classified documents that were found at his home during a raid by the FBI last August. Smith will be leading this investigation as well as to whether Trump was grossly negligent with the handling of the Top Secret material of if he obstructed justice when the government tried to reclaim the documents.

Trump’s Legal Team Is Ready to Fight

It is difficult to predict whether Trump is indicted for any of these investigations and accusations. Trump has a stable full of lawyers who use the principle of due process to fight for Trump at every step. Politically, Trump is being hurt by the legal woes, but he is expert at using grievances and “witch hunts” to show there is a two-tiered justice system that persecutes him unfairly.

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Three Strikes Against Donald Trump?

Which of the three legal situations is most serious and liable to end with indictments? Each case appears to have merit. The January 6 committee likely found the most evidence. The Georgia case is further along in the criminal proceedings. And there is no question that Trump had classified folders in his home in Florida, but this is the least serious matter in front of him.

A Presidential Campaign Full of Legal Woes

What is clear is that there will be the mother of all legal battles that is likely to stretch into the election year of 2024. Trump could be under a criminal indictment while he runs for office. But it is important to not count the former president dead and buried.

Ex-federal prosecutor Paul Rosenzweig told The Atlantic that Trump is prepared for the fight of his life. “He has learned that due process is the Achilles’ heel of liberal democracy. He’s weaponized the court systems all of his life.”

Trump no longer has immunity from prosecution as a former president. He faces Democrats who hate him and will cheer on the legal threats against him. The liberal media takes glee in every legal liability that Trump faces. Even some Republicans are wary of the constant threats of indictment and are looking at others to support for the former president.

Above all, Trump should be assumed innocent until found guilty, but with all the negative publicity associated with these accusations, it will be difficult to find a potential juror who has no opinion or who does not exhibit bias for or against Trump regarding his legal quandaries.

Author Expertise and Experience: Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.

Written By

Now serving as 1945s New Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.