Former President Donald Trump was indicted by the Georgia Court for trying to reverse the result of the 2020 elections in that state. This is the fourth criminal charge against him in less than six months. France 24 takes a look at the main cases involving the tycoon who hopes to regain the White House in 2024.
It has become almost a routine. On Monday, August 14, Donald Trump was indicted for the fourth time in less than six months. Accused by the Justice of having pressured the electoral officials of Georgia in order to “find” votes in his favor to annul the results in this key state during the 2020 presidential elections, the former president once again denounced a “witch hunt” on its Truth Social platform.
Despite mounting lawsuits against him, Trump remains the favorite in the Republican primaries for the 2024 presidential election. In the polls, he is well ahead of his rivals, now accredited with 52.7% of voting intentions, compared to 14.8% for the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, according to the FiveThirtyEight website, which offers a summary from national surveys.
Attempted electoral fraud, assault on the Capitol, classified documents found at his home… France 24 takes stock of the main cases involving the 77-year-old former president.
The attempt to manipulate the vote in Georgia
On January 3, 2021, the ‘Washington Post’ published a recording of a phone call between Donald Trump and Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state. During the call, Trump asked the official to “find” the nearly 12,000 ballots in his name that he required to win this key state for the presidential elections. Faced with Raffensperger’s refusal, the former president threatened him with legal action if he did not find the votes he needed.
The dissemination of this phone call led to the opening of an investigation. On August 14, 2023, courts in Georgia indicted Trump and 18 others for their alleged illegal attempts to reverse the result of the 2020 election in that state. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis announced that she was giving them until August 25 to “turn themselves in” to Georgia courts.
Even if he is elected president in 2024, he will not be able to pardon himself or have the charges dropped for crimes committed in the state, which has its own criminal justice system separate from the federal one.
The role of the former president in the attack on the Capitol
On January 6, 2021, a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the United States House of Congress. The scenes of violence and chaos shocked the country and the world. At least five people were killed in the attack and 140 police officers were injured.
More than two and a half years after the events, on July 18, 2023, Trump announced that he had received a letter from special counsel Jack Smith informing him that he was the subject of a federal investigation into attempts to reverse the results of the presidential election of 2020, including the assault on the Capitol.
On August 1, 2023, Trump was charged with “conspiring against the United States,” obstructing official process, and interfering with voting rights.. According to the indictment, the Republican “was determined to remain in power despite his defeat.” He is accused of making false statements about the election, inciting his supporters to go to the Capitol and helping to organize the raid.
The indictment is the most serious ever brought against a former US head of state. The billionaire could be forced to appear in court in the midst of next year’s election campaign.
Irregular handling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago
On August 8, 2022, the former president’s luxurious residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, was searched by the federal police (FBI), where they found about thirty boxes with documents ranging from “confidential to top secret”. By law, all presidents are required to transfer all classified documents in their possession to the National Archives when they leave office.
On June 8, 2023, the former president was accused by federal justice of endangering the security of the United States. He was charged with 37 charges, including “concealment of information relating to national security” and “obstruction of justice.”
Indicted at the end of July on additional charges, he denies all the accusations. The trial is scheduled for May 2024, when the Republican primary will be in full swing.
The Stormy Daniels Case
On January 12, 2018, the ‘Wall Street Journal’ revealed that Donald Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid $130,000 to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to buy her silence about an alleged affair with the candidate just before the 2016 presidential election.
Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims she had an extramarital affair with the real estate mogul ten years earlier, a claim he denies.
On March 31, 2023, Trump was criminally indicted for his role in the affair. He admitted to reimbursing Cohen. While these payments are not illegal in and of themselves, the Stormy Daniels settlement could be a campaign expense. However, the sum does not appear in the candidate’s accounts and, instead, has been recorded as “legal expenses” in his company’s documents.
Sexual assault, tax fraud… Other convictions
In 2019, E. Jean Carroll, a former journalist, accused the former president of the United States in a book of having raped her 30 years earlier. She filed a civil lawsuit against him in November, accusing him of defaming her by calling her rape allegations “a complete lie.”
Three years later, in November 2022, the woman filed a rape lawsuit against Donald Trump, an action made possible by a new New York state law that allowed victims of sexual assault to file a civil lawsuit, even if the statute of limitations had expired. criminal action.
On May 9, 2023, Trump was found responsible for sexual assault – not rape – and ordered to pay five million dollars in damages to the plaintiff. The victim filed another complaint at the end of June for defamation. The trial is scheduled for January 15, 2024.
On January 13, the Trump Organization, the former president’s family business, was fined a “maximum” of $1.6 million for financial and tax fraud, in particular with the aim of hiding from the tax authorities the financial compensation of some high-ranking executives. A civil trial is expected in the fall.
This article was adapted from its original in French
Source: France 24