The Seven Trials Of Donald Trump Before Election Day – Without stating the obvious, Donald Trump must face a lot of trials before next year’s presidential election.
Seven in total; four criminal, three civil, all in the lead-up to what is likely to be his last shot at the presidency – a fact Trump has repeatedly used to justify his claim that he’s the subject of a politically motivated “witch hunt.”
Some cases are potentially more damaging than others. Retaining documents concerning national security are more likely to impact a politician’s credibility than whether he paid “hush money” to an adult entertainer. Likewise, a ruling which could end his New York business empire is more likely to damage Trump than a $ 10 million defamation lawsuit financially.
Either way, the seemingly never-ending cases against the former president are likely to take up a lot of his time – not ideal when you’re simultaneously running for the highest office in the land. As it may be hard to keep track at this point, let’s break each case down in chronological order.
The Civil Fraud Trial
Trump’s courtroom dramas formally began this week in New York, where he’s facing a civil fraud trial brought on by state Attorney General Letitia James. From 2014 to 2021, James alleged that Trump overvalued his properties by as much as 2,300% while stating his penthouse in Trump Tower was three times its size – allegations which Judge Arthur Engoron agreed with last month.
James is seeking $ 250 million in penalties, and Trump faces the prospect of losing his business certificates, effectively forcing him to relinquish control of certain entities owned by the Trump Organization. Given how he made his fortune and shot to prominence, it’s likely to be a case with a lot of personal pride on the line for the former president. It will also be decided by Judge Engoron himself, rather than a jury.
Fulton County and Donald Trump
A date is yet to be set for this trial, but given that two of his 18 co-defendants will be appearing in court on October 23, we’ll include it here.
Trump is one of many people charged with interference in Georgia’s presidential election in 2020. Evidence of his phone call to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which he told him to “find” the votes needed to overturn the state, is damning.
The trial will expectedly take around four months, meaning it’s likely to extend into a crucial primary season for the GOP.
Jean Carroll Defamation
This is a somewhat bizarre one. A resentful Trump made defamatory comments following the verdict in a previous defamation case against the prominent writer, causing her to amend her original suit seeking $ 10 million. Carroll does not need to prove that Trump defamed her following a ruling by a New York judge last month, so it’s damage limitation mode for the Republican frontrunner and his attorneys.
A start date of January 15 has been penned for this case – the same day as the Iowa Caucus marking the beginning of primary season.
Get Rich Quick
Arguably the least discussed of Trump’s legal battles, Trump has been accused of running a phony get-rich-quick scheme.
One complainant paid $499 to register with a multi-level marketing company called American Communications Network (ACN), spending thousands more to attend events and motivational rallies. She earned $38 for her troubles.
There’s a chance Trump could settle this case out of court, much like the $ 25 million he agreed to pay in order to settle lawsuits against Trump University in November 2016.
Trump’s trial for his alleged involvement in the Capitol riots on January 6, 2021, will be closely watched by the American public, given how the events of that fateful day unfolded in front of millions. It’s one of two indictments brought against the 77-year-old by Special Counsel Jack Smith (the other being the classified documents case).
Trump and his attorneys have tried to delay the trial until 2026, while also exploring moving it away from the Democrat stronghold of Washington D.C. Perhaps an indication of a lack of confidence in their defense. Again, the events are widely well known, so Trump may not see too much political damage if found guilty. That said, there’s a potential 250 witnesses to go through, so more facts could emerge during the proceedings.
Trump’s first indictment of 2023 was perhaps the weakest against him and less likely to see much political damage compared to other criminal cases. Allegations of hush money payments to the adult entertainer have been known since 2018, and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg must prove to the jury that Trump paid Daniels with the purpose of influencing the election.
This trial will begin on March 25, three weeks after Smith’s Capitol riots indictment.
The arguably most damning case, involving matters of national security, is the last scheduled to be faced by the former president. The allegations were relatively unknown until the high-profile raid on his Mar-a-Lago home in August 2022, meaning volumes of evidence could emerge and damage Trump’s political ambitions.
A key advantage is that it’s taking place in his home state of Florida, where a jury may be more lenient; then again, national security matters are important to Republicans, and it’s one of the few cases we know less about. Evidence presented in court could prove damning, and given that it’s the last case Trump is scheduled to face in late May, it could leave a lasting legacy over the presidential hopeful.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
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