Georgia Trump Investigation: Grand Jury in Atlanta Is Hearing Election Interference Case

Former President Donald J. Trump faces a host of investigations, at both the state and federal levels, into matters related to his business and political careers.

Those investigations have now led to Mr. Trump’s being indicted in three cases, including two brought by the special counsel Jack Smith and one by the Manhattan district attorney.

The indictments began in March, when the district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, filed 34 felony charges against Mr. Trump related to what prosecutors described as a hush-money scheme to cover up a potential sex scandal and clear his path to the presidency in 2016.

The first federal case came in June as part of the special counsel’s investigation into Mr. Trump’s handling of classified documents and whether he obstructed the government’s efforts to recover them after he left office. Mr. Trump faces 40 criminal counts in that case: 32 related to withholding national defense information, five related to concealing the possession of classified documents, one related to making false statements and two related to an effort to delete security camera footage at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, where he stored the documents.

On Aug. 1, the special counsel filed another case against him, this time stemming from an investigation into Mr. Trump’s efforts to reverse his defeat in the 2020 election.

Here is where the notable inquiries involving the former president stand:

2020 Election and Jan. 6 Inquiries

Jack Smith, the special counsel who took over the Justice Department’s inquiries into Mr. Trump last year, brought four charges related to the former president’s efforts to remain in office after his election loss in 2020 and his role in the events that led to the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The indictment, handed up in Federal District Court on Aug. 1, charged Mr. Trump with three conspiracy charges in connection with his effort to stay in power: one to defraud the United States, a second to obstruct an official government proceeding and a third to deprive people of civil rights provided by federal law or the Constitution. Mr. Trump was also charged with attempting to obstruct an official proceeding — the certification of the election results by Congress.

The efforts played out largely in the two months between Election Day in 2020 and the attack on the Capitol. During that period, Mr. Trump took part in a range of efforts to retain power despite having lost the presidential race to Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The indictment said Mr. Trump and six unnamed co-conspirators had pushed state legislators and election officials to change electoral votes won by Mr. Biden to votes for Mr. Trump. Among other things, the effort involved convening fake slates of electors who supported Mr. Trump and sending those illegitimate tallies to Congress to muddy the waters.

“That is, on the pretext of baseless fraud claims, the defendant pushed officials in certain states to ignore the popular vote; disenfranchise millions of voters; dismiss legitimate electors; and ultimately, cause the ascertainment of and voting by illegitimate electors in favor of the defendant,” the indictment said.

Prosecutors also accused the former president of recruiting fake electors in swing states won by Mr. Biden, trying to use the power of the Justice Department to fuel election conspiracy theories, and pressuring Vice President Mike Pence to delay the certification of the election or reject legitimate electors.

Finally, the indictment accused Mr. Trump and others of exploiting the Jan. 6 riot to redouble his “efforts to levy false claims of election fraud and convince members of Congress to further delay the certification based on those claims.”

Classified Documents Inquiry

Mr. Smith also led the investigation into Mr. Trump’s handling of sensitive government documents he took with him when he left office and whether he obstructed efforts to recover them.

For more than a year, Mr. Trump repeatedly resisted the federal government’s efforts, including a subpoena, to retrieve classified and sensitive material still in his possession, according to government documents.

In August 2022, acting on a court-approved search warrant, the F.B.I. descended on his Mar-a-Lago residence and club in Palm Beach, Fla., and discovered about 100 documents bearing classification markings.

The 49-page indictment unsealed in June said the documents held onto by Mr. Trump included some involving sensitive nuclear programs and others that detailed the country’s potential vulnerabilities to military attack.

In some cases, prosecutors said, he displayed them to people without security clearances and stored them in a haphazard manner at Mar-a-Lago, even keeping a pile of boxes in a bathroom.

The indictment included evidence vividly illustrating what prosecutors said was Mr. Trump’s effort to hide the material from prosecutors and obstruct their investigation.

In one of the most problematic pieces of evidence for the former president, the indictment recounted how at one point during the effort by the government to retrieve the documents, Mr. Trump, according to an account by one of his lawyers, made a “plucking motion” that implied, “Why don’t you take them with you to your hotel room, and if there’s anything really bad in there, like, you know, pluck it out.”

Mr. Trump was initially charged with 37 criminal counts covering seven different violations of federal law, alone or in conjunction with one of his personal aides, Walt Nauta, who was also named in the indictment. In late July, Mr. Smith’s office filed an updated indictment adding three new charges against Mr. Trump and for the first time naming the property manager of Mar-a-Lago, Carlos De Oliveira, as a defendant in the case.

The July indictment accused Mr. Trump, Mr. De Oliveira and Mr. Nauta of trying to delete Mar-a-Lago security footage. It describes how in June 2022, just days after prosecutors issued a subpoena for footage from the cameras, Mr. De Oliveira approached an employee in Mar-a-Lago’s I.T. department to say that the “‘boss’ wanted the server deleted” — a reference to the computer server housing the footage. When the employee refused, Mr. De Oliveira repeated the orders from “the boss,” according to the indictment. “What are we going to do?” Mr. De Oliveira asked.

Mr. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges. The judge overseeing the case has indicated that a trial will begin in May 2024. The government had requested a trial date in December, while Mr. Trump’s lawyers have asked for an indefinite postponement.

Manhattan Criminal Case

The Manhattan district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, brought the case over Mr. Trump’s role in a hush-money payment to a porn star, Stormy Daniels, who was poised during the campaign to go public with her story of a sexual encounter with him.

Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s fixer at the time, paid Ms. Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet. Once he was sworn in as president, Mr. Trump reimbursed Mr. Cohen.

While paying hush money is not inherently criminal, Mr. Bragg accused Mr. Trump of falsifying records related to the payments and the reimbursement of Mr. Cohen, who is expected to serve as the prosecution’s star witness.

In court papers, prosecutors also cited the account of another woman, Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model. Ms. McDougal had tried to sell her story of an affair with Mr. Trump during the campaign and reached a $150,000 agreement with The National Enquirer.

Rather than publish her account, the tabloid suppressed it in cooperation with Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen, prosecutors say. (Mr. Trump has denied having affairs with either Ms. Daniels or Ms. McDougal.)

The court papers also referred to a payment to a former Trump Tower doorman who claimed that Mr. Trump had fathered a child out of wedlock. The National Enquirer paid $30,000 for the rights to his story, although it eventually concluded that his claim was false.

The case is scheduled to go to trial in March, when the campaign will be in full swing.

Mr. Trump has referred to Mr. Bragg, who is Black and a Democrat, as a “racist” who is carrying out a politically motivated “witch hunt.” Before the indictment, he made threatening statements reminiscent of his posts in the days before the attack on the U.S. Capitol in 2021.

Hours after his arraignment, Mr. Trump delivered a meandering, rally-style speech at Mar-a-Lago during which he lashed out at Mr. Bragg and Mr. Bragg’s wife as well as the judge overseeing the case, Juan M. Merchan, whom he called “Trump-hating.”

Mr. Trump’s lawyers failed in an attempt to move the case out of Justice Merchan’s courtroom, with a federal judge saying that its proper home was state court.

Mr. Trump faced a second criminal investigation in New York related to financial dealings at a Trump Organization golf course in Westchester County. As part of the inquiry, the Westchester County district attorney’s office subpoenaed records from the course, Trump National Golf Club Westchester, in 2021.

The district attorney, Mimi E. Rocah, announced in June that she was closing the investigation. No charges were brought against Mr. Trump or his company.

New York State Civil Inquiry

In a September lawsuit, the New York attorney general, Letitia James, accused Mr. Trump of lying to lenders and insurers by fraudulently overvaluing his assets by billions of dollars.

Ms. James is seeking to bar the Trumps, including Mr. Trump’s older sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, from running a business in New York again. Mr. Trump’s older daughter, Ivanka Trump, was also one of the targets of the suit, but she was dropped from it in June after an appeals court found that the attorney general had missed a legal deadline for bringing claims against her.

Ms. James successfully prompted the appointment of an independent monitor to oversee the Trump Organization’s use of its annual financial statements — in which, the attorney general says in her suit, the company overvalued its assets.

In January, a New York judge declined to dismiss the attorney general’s suit against Mr. Trump, increasing the likelihood that he would face a trial in the matter this fall.

Because Ms. James’s investigation is civil, she cannot file criminal charges. She could opt to pursue settlement negotiations in hopes of obtaining a swifter financial payout. But if she were to prevail at trial, a judge could impose steep financial penalties on Mr. Trump and restrict his business operations in New York.

Ms. James’s investigators recently questioned Mr. Trump under oath. A trial is scheduled for October.

Reporting was contributed by Maggie Haberman, Glenn Thrush, Jonah E. Bromwich, Rebecca Davis O’Brien, Michael Gold, Michael Rothfeld, Ed Shanahan, Richard Fausset and Ashley Wong.


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