Where the Different Donald Trump Investigations Stand: Georgia, Manhattan, and the Special Counsel
Donald Trump: How Much Trouble Is He In?
Donald Trump, throughout his presidency, faced quite a few different investigations, including the long Robert Mueller probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and a pair of impeachment inquiries that led to him becoming the only president in history to be impeached twice.
But two years after Donald Trump left office, even as he seeks to make his return to the presidency, Trump is facing criminal probes on several fronts.
Here is a look at where each investigation currently stands:
A special grand jury in Atlanta, for much of the last two years, was investigating Trump’s possible interference in the counting and certifying of Georgia’s electoral votes in the 2020 election.
There is also an investigation that has included both the “fake electors” scheme in that state and Trump’s call to the Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, in which the then-president asked Raffensperger to “find” a certain amount of votes in the state to allow him to win it.
Other phone calls from that period are also reportedly part of the probe.
According to the AP, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has argued in court that a decision is “imminent” on whether she will pursue charges in the matter and also asked a court to delay releasing the grand jury report in the case because it could possibly impact the rights of future defendants.
“I expect to see indictments in Fulton County before I see any federal indictments,” Clark Cunningham, a Georgia State University law professor, told the Associated Press last week. “[Willis] wouldn’t be talking about the release of the report creating prejudice to potential future defendants unless she saw in the report peoples’ names who she saw as potential future defendants,” he added.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office
A year ago, when two prominent prosecutors left the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, it looked like a decision had been made not to go forward with charges against the former president in that jurisdiction.
But now, it appears that has changed, especially after that office secured a conviction against the Trump Organization last year.
The New York Times reported last week that the prosecutors in New York have begun presenting evidence to a grand jury in Manhattan in what appears to be a case involving Trump’s payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
One potential witness, longtime National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, was seen entering the building where the grand jury is located.
“The prosecutors have also begun contacting officials from Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign, one of the people said. And in a sign that they want to corroborate these witness accounts, the prosecutors recently subpoenaed phone records and other documents that might shed light on the episode,” the Times added.
So that case has reached a grand jury, even if the grand jury hasn’t wrapped up its work yet, as in the Georgia matter.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, said this week that he handed over his phones in connection with the Manhattan probe.
The Special Counsel
Normally, when a current or former president faces a Special Counsel investigation, that’s their most significant source of legal worry.
But while Donald Trump indeed has a Special Counsel, Jack Smith, looking into both his role in the January 6 attack and the Mar-a-Lago documents affair, it doesn’t appear that investigation is as far along as the Georgia and New York cases.
In the tradition of the Mueller investigation, there have been few leaks from the Smith probe so far.
However, CNN reported about a month ago that Smith received a “trove” of documents from local election officials.
There’s been little public indication at this point of where Smith’s investigations stand, although it would appear that the case of the documents has Trump in more jeopardy than the January 6 matters.
Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.