The “developer-in-chief’s” legal troubles

Latest indictment adds to a growing list of criminal counts

Donald Trump (Getty)
Donald Trump (Getty)

Former president Donald Trump will have his days in court.

His legal woes are now dominating the news cycle as federal prosecutors hit the developer with a 37-count indictment connected to the mishandling of classified documents.

The news surrounding the latest indictment is still unfolding. Special Counsel Jack Smith is expected to make a statement on Friday. Trump has loudly denied wrongdoing, while two members of his council resigned on the heels of the indictment being unsealed. 

Still, this is only the latest legal drama connected to the twice-impeached former president and Republican frontrunner. Here’s a rundown of everything he and his legal team are currently battling.

Classified documents

On Thursday, the Special Counsel’s office filed its indictment and his aide, Walt Nauta, regarding the mishandling of classified documents, ABC News reported. Trump allegedly willfully retained secret government documents after leaving office. He’s also accused of showing them at least twice and obstructing the investigation into their handling. All 38 counts are felony charges, with 31 falling under the Espionage Act. 

January 6

Smith is also investigating Trump’s actions following the 2020 presidential election that led to the January 6 attack on the capitol. A special congressional committee has called upon Trump to be charged for inciting or aiding an insurrection.

The status of the probe is unclear, but the Special Counsel has interviewed several significant figures from that day, including then-Vice President Mike Pence and then-White House chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Hush money criminal case

A few months ago, Trump became the first president in U.S. history to face criminal charges, indicted in New York for allegedly falsifying business records in regards to hush money payment made to Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

Trump’s payment violated federal campaign contribution law, according to prosecutors. The 45th president has denied wrongdoing, though admits to reimbursing former attorney Michael Cohen for a payment he made to the porn star.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to the 34 counts against him. A trial is scheduled for late March.

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New York civil lawsuit

In September, New York attorney general Letitia James sued Trump and the Trump Organization for fraud, claiming her office found at least 200 examples of fraudulent asset valuations. Trump and his company allegedly manipulated the valuations to land better loans.

The lawsuit seeks $250 million in damages and a ban for Trump and three of his children from running businesses in the state. A trial in the civil case is scheduled for October.

Georgia election tampering

Four days before the events of January 6, Trump placed a phone call to Georgia’s secretary of state, asking him to “find” enough votes to overturn his defeat in the state. That call is part of Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis’ investigation into election tampering.

Trump’s call and the actions of his allies may have violated several state election laws. A charging decision in the case is expected to come by the first day of September, according to Reuters.

Sexual abuse, defamation

A federal grand jury recently awarded writer E. Jean Carroll with a $5 million judgment after finding the former president liable for sexually abusing her and defaming her. Directly after the judgment, Trump took to the airwaves to mock the verdict and accuse her of lying.

As a result, Carroll has sought to amend a separate lawsuit to demand more damages.

Risk to real estate empire

The indictment, not to mention a conviction, could throw a wrench into the Trump Organization’s dealings, including bank financing (the indictment could put Trump in violation of a loan); and pose problems for government contracts, licensing agreements or LLC partnerships.

“Depending upon the structure of the loan, the loan documents may contain certain covenants and provisions that pertain to felonies and federal crimes,” Romer Debbas’ Pierre Debbas told The Real Deal. “Say, for instance, he’s a guarantor on these loans. … There could very well be provisions stating that if he takes part in any federal crime activity, [the lender] can call the loan.”

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