Donald Trump wept Monday after FBI agents searched his residence at the Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, while his fellow Republicans rushed to defend him as a victim of judicial harassment.
The execution of a search warrant at the former president’s home has exposed the extent of legal troubles that have plagued Trump since leaving office in January 2021, casting a cloud over his ambitions to run for the White House again in 2024. is surrounded.
The raid on Trump’s residence was particularly significant because it indicated that federal prosecutors and the US Department of Justice, led by Attorney-General Merrick Garland, and the FBI, led by Trump-appointed Christopher Wray, had the former president in their sights. Despite the controversy it has raised.
Law professor Michael Gerhart said, “I think the fact that they went to the trouble of doing this, knowing that there would be a Trumpian response, shows that what they’re looking for is probably relatively important.” ” at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “It strikes me as inevitable that this was going to happen sooner or later.”
It is still unclear whether the DoJ has the intent or the political will to go a step further and accuse Trump of illegal conduct. Meanwhile, prosecutors locally in Georgia and New York are also moving forward with investigations into the former president.
Here are some of Trump’s biggest legal risks.
According to an FBI warrant not sealed Friday, the Mar-a-Lago search was part of an investigation into possible violations of the Espionage Act related to Trump’s handling of classified information from his days at the White House.
Items listed as being removed from the Florida estate included top-secret documents, an “executive grant for pardon” for Roger Stone, a former Trump adviser, and information related to the French president.
If Trump is found to have tampered with, destroyed, concealed, or obstructed access to such presidential records, he could face charges.
“If a president or former official has documents that don’t really belong to them, I don’t think we should be too surprised by a government investigation,” Gerhard said.
“The important thing to understand is that those documents are not the property of the person to whom they are held. They are the property of the US government,” he said.
6 January check
Trump has already been impeached by the House of Representatives for his actions in relation to the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, as he incited a mob trying to overturn the 2020 election result. But he was not convicted by the Senate, which could have prevented him from running for office again.
Trump appeared for some time to avoid any legal consequences from the rebellion. But when a bipartisan congressional panel this year delved deeper into the former president’s conduct in the days before and during the riots, including public testimony pointing to his intention to join the mob that stormed the Capitol, While doing so, it once again landed them in trouble.
Liz Cheney, the Republican vice president of the January 6 committee, has suggested there is enough evidence to prosecute Trump. The panel can refer its findings in the case to Justice Department prosecutors.
Georgia’s 2020 Election Result Certification
Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis in Georgia is investigating the actions of Trump and his aides after the 2020 election. The former president pressured senior Georgia election officials, including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, to withhold certification of Joe Biden’s victory, which gave him the state’s 15 Electoral College votes. Trump infamously denounced Raffensperger during a phone call in early January 2021 for “finding” the more than 10,000 votes that separated Biden from the election.
A grand jury has been convened to weigh the case and whether there is sufficient evidence to charge. Willis has sought to interview several high-profile witnesses and Trump aides, including former New York mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
New York Property
The most serious of the legal woes Trump faced for several months was coming from prosecutors in New York, where former District Attorney Cyrus Vance secured the indictment of the Trump Organization and its longtime chief financial officer Alan Weiselberg on tax fraud charges. did.
Although new District Attorney Alvin Bragg has said the investigation is ongoing, the case suffered a major setback after two lead prosecutors, Kerry Dunne and Mark Pomerantz, abruptly resigned this year.
Letitia James, New York State’s attorney-general, is proceeding separately with a civil case alleging that Trump inflated the value of her real estate. Trump has confirmed that James’ office will question him on Wednesday in connection with the investigation.
“Tonight in New York City. Seeing the racist NYS Attorney General tomorrow for the continuation of the biggest witch hunt in American history,” he wrote on his Truth social platform, referring to James, who is black. “My great company, and I am being attacked from all sides. Banana Republic!”
As he faced questions about alleged financial irregularities, Trump suffered a distinct setback on Tuesday when a federal appeals court ruled that his tax returns, which he has long sought to protect from public scrutiny, were can be turned into Congress.