You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Donald Trump's docket: All the legal cases and investigations Trump faces as he runs for reelection in 2024

Business Insider logo Business Insider 2/27/2023 litaliano@insider.com (Laura Italiano,Jacob Shamsian)
Former President Donald Trump is facing legal battles across the country. Drew Angerer/Getty Images © Provided by Business Insider Former President Donald Trump is facing legal battles across the country. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • Trump and his businesses are tangled in an array of state and federal investigations and lawsuits.
  • Under inquiry are alleged mishandling of documents, efforts to overturn the election, and more.
  • Trump will have to navigate these legal hurdles as runs for president in 2024.

It's hard to keep track of Donald Trump's very busy legal docket. 

The former president — who has officially launched his 2024 presidential bid — is the subject of at least four major investigations into wrongdoing relating to his handling of White House documents, the election, the insurrection, and his finances.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office is presenting evidence to a grand jury in connection with Trump's possible role in a hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels in 2016, while a state prosecutor in Georgia is weighing if Trump tried to overturn the 2020 election results in that state. The Justice Department is also looking into the 2020 election as well as Trump's possible mishandling of classified documents.

Meanwhile, a rape claim against the former president is headed for trial in April, and Trump is fighting a grab-bag of other lawsuits that could financially harm his international real estate and golf resort empire.

Some of his legal battles are already over. In December, Trump's real estate company was convicted in state court in Manhattan for a C-Suite-wide payroll tax-dodge scheme, a dishonor that came with felony status and a $1.6 million fine. 

Keep up to date on the latest of Trump's legal travails with this guide to the ever-evolving Trump docket.

Indictments 

Trump with his former CFO Allen Weisselberg at Trump Tower. Evan Vucci/AP © Evan Vucci/AP Trump with his former CFO Allen Weisselberg at Trump Tower. Evan Vucci/AP

The Trump Organization Payroll Case 

The Parties: The Trump Organization was found guilty of 17 tax fraud counts on December 6, 2022 in a speedy, slam-dunk conviction in New York state court.

The Issues: A four-woman, eight-man, mostly working-class jury held Trump's real estate and golf resort business criminally liable for a 2005-2018 tax-dodge scheme admittedly run by the company's two top financial executives.

The two, former CFO Allen Weisselberg and top payroll executive Jeffrey McConney, helped themselves and a half-dozen other company execs cheat on their income taxes by paying them in part with pricey perks and benefits — including free use of luxury cars and apartments — that were never reported to tax authorities.

What's next: Potential repercussions include a heightened hesitancy among banks to lend to a company with felony status and an energized Trump probe in the Manhattan district attorney's office. Government corruption watchdogs also have renewed reason to urge the federal government to cease doing business with the former president.

Criminal investigations

Fulton County Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis is investigating whether Trump interfered with the 2020 election. AP Photo/Ben Gray, File © AP Photo/Ben Gray, File Fulton County Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis is investigating whether Trump interfered with the 2020 election. AP Photo/Ben Gray, File

The Fulton County election interference probe

The parties: Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, Trump, and his Republican associates 

The issues: Willis is investigating whether Trump and his associates tried to interfere in the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Her probe has expanded to also include investigating an alleged scheme to send a fake slate of electors to Georgia's state Capitol in an attempt to overturn the elections.

A special grand jury has recommended multiple indictments, according to the jury's forewoman. A redacted report shows the special grand jury also believed several witnesses lied under oath.

What's next: Willis will now decide whether to refer the report to an ordinary grand jury to bring criminal charges.

Former President Donald Trump, left. adult film star Stormy Daniels, center. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, right. Alex Brandon/AP, left. Markus Schreiber/AP, center. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AP, right. © Provided by Business Insider Former President Donald Trump, left. adult film star Stormy Daniels, center. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, right. Alex Brandon/AP, left. Markus Schreiber/AP, center. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AP, right.

The Manhattan DA's investigation into the hush-money settlement to Stormy Daniels

The parties: District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg and Donald Trump

The issues: Bragg is investigating whether Trump violated campaign finance laws in connection to hush money payments made to Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

Michael Cohen, Trump's former fixer and personal lawyer, is a key witness. He has testified under oath that he made the payments to Daniels at Trump's direction, and pleaded guilty to federal campaign finance violations in connection with the payments in 2018. 

In January, Bragg formed a grand jury to consider charges against Trump.

What's next: Trump risks anywhere between no jail time and four years in state prison if convicted of what former Manhattan financial crimes prosecutors say is the most likely charge against him: felony falsifying of business records.

Trump has been investigated for his role in the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. Jon Cherry/Getty Images © Jon Cherry/Getty Images Trump has been investigated for his role in the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. Jon Cherry/Getty Images

The Justice Department's investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election

The parties: Federal investigators are scrutinizing the role Trump and his allies played in the effort to overturn the 2020 election.

The issues: The Justice Department is facing pressure to prosecute following a string of congressional hearings that connected the former president to the violence of January 6, 2021, and to efforts to prevent the peaceful transfer of power.

In December, the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol recommended four charges be brought against Trump: conspiracy to defraud the US, conspiracy to make false statements obstruction of an official proceeding, and inciting an insurrection.

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Jack Smith as a special counsel to take over the probe. Smith's prosecutors have subpoenaed Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and former vice president Mike Pence.

What's next: The Justice Department has remained largely silent about how and whether it will consider charges against Trump.

FBI agents descended on Mar-a-Lago with a search warrant last summer. Darren Samuelsohn © Darren Samuelsohn FBI agents descended on Mar-a-Lago with a search warrant last summer. Darren Samuelsohn

The Justice Department's investigation into the handling of classified documents

The parties: The FBI searched Trump's estate in South Florida, Mar-a-Lago, on August 8 as part of an investigation into the possible mishandling of government records, including classified documents. Trump and his lawyers alleged prosecutorial misconduct and condemned the search as politically motivated.

The issues: Early in 2022, Trump turned over 15 boxes of documents — including some marked as classified and "top secret" — to the National Archives. But federal investigators scrutinizing the former president's handling of records reportedly grew suspicious that Trump or people close to him still retained some key records. The FBI seized about a dozen boxes of additional documents during the raid of Mar-a-Lago, in a search that immediately demonstrated how Trump's handling of records from his administration remains an area of legal jeopardy.

The investigation for the Mar-a-Lago case and the January 6 case are both being overseen by special prosecutor Jack Smith, whom US Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed in November.

What's next: Smith has remained tight-lipped about the investigation's next moves.

Lawsuits against Trump

The front page of the lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James accusing former President Donald Trump, his family and his business of a decade of padding his net worth to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in bank loans and tax breaks. Jon Elswick/AP © Jon Elswick/AP The front page of the lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James accusing former President Donald Trump, his family and his business of a decade of padding his net worth to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in bank loans and tax breaks. Jon Elswick/AP

The NY AG's civil filing against the Trump family and Trump Organization

The parties: New York Attorney General Letitia James has sued Trump, his family, and the Trump Organization.

The issues: James says she has uncovered a decade-long pattern of financial wrongdoing at Trump's multi-billion-dollar real-estate and golf resort empire.

She alleges Trump inflated the values of his properties by billions of dollars in financial filings used to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in bank loans. She also alleges he low-balled his properties' worth for tax breaks. Trump has derided the AG's efforts as a politically motivated witch hunt.

The 220-page lawsuit arose from a three-year investigation and seeks multiple, corporation-crippling demands that will be decided by a Manhattan judge in October.

James wants the company to pay back the $250 million Trump allegedly pocketed through misleading banks. She also seeks to ban Trump and his three eldest children — Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump, who have all served as Trump Organization executives — from ever running a company in New York state again.

Perhaps most extremely, her lawsuit seeks to pull the Trump Organization's New York papers of incorporation. That charter lets Trump draw revenue from his New York properties, including the lucrative commercial rents at his Manhattan skyscrapers. 

These measures would run Trump's corporate headquarters out of New York and could put the Trump Organization out of business entirely

What's next: New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron has warned Trump's side that the trial will start on time — on Monday, October 2, 2023 — "come hell or high water." 

Supporters of then-President Donald Trump protest inside the US Capitol. Brent Stirton/Getty Images © Brent Stirton/Getty Images Supporters of then-President Donald Trump protest inside the US Capitol. Brent Stirton/Getty Images

Lawsuits alleging 'incitement' on January 6

The Parties: House Democrats and two Capitol police officers accused Trump of inciting the violent mob on January 6.

The Issues: Trump's lawyers have argued that his time as president grants him immunity that shields him from civil liability in connection with his January 6 address at the Ellipse, where he urged supporters to "fight like hell."

A federal judge rejected Trump's bid to dismiss the civil lawsuits, ruling that his rhetoric on January 6 was "akin to telling an excited mob that corn-dealers starve the poor in front of the corn-dealer's home."

US District Judge Amit Mehta said Trump later displayed a tacit agreement with the mob minutes after rioters breached the Capitol when he sent a tweet admonishing then-Vice President Mike Pence for lacking the "courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country."

What's Next: Trump has appealed Mehta's ruling to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and requested an oral argument. In a late July court filing, Trump's lawyers said the immunity afforded to the former president cannot be "undercut if the presidential act in question is unpopular among the judiciary. The appeals court heard arguments in December but hasn't yet issued a decision.

Advice columnist E. Jean Carroll is suing Trump for rape and defamation. Seth Wenig/AP © Seth Wenig/AP Advice columnist E. Jean Carroll is suing Trump for rape and defamation. Seth Wenig/AP

E. Jean Carroll's rape and defamation case against Trump

The Parties: Advice columnist E. Jean Carroll is suing Trump for defamation, battery, and emotional distress in federal court in Manhattan.  

The Issues: Carroll alleges Trump defamed her after she publicly accused him of raping her in a Bergdorf-Goodman dressing room in Manhattan in the mid-90s. Trump responded to Carroll's rape claim by saying it was untrue and that she was "not my type." Trump also denied ever meeting Carroll, despite a photo to the contrary.

Carroll filed a second lawsuit last fall with an added rape allegation following the passage of a New York law that gave sex assault victims a new window to file civil cases regardless of when the alleged incident occurred.

What's next: The second lawsuit is headed to trial in April. 

Donald Trump, right, sits with his children, from left, Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump during a groundbreaking ceremony for the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Evan Vucci/AP © Evan Vucci/AP Donald Trump, right, sits with his children, from left, Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump during a groundbreaking ceremony for the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Evan Vucci/AP

The 'multi-level marketing' pyramid scheme case

The Parties: Lead plaintiff Catherine McKoy and three others sued Trump, his business, and his three eldest children, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump, in 2018 in federal court in Manhattan.

The Issues: Donald Trump is accused of promoting a scam multi-level marketing scheme on "The Celebrity Apprentice." The lawsuit alleges Trump pocketed $8.8 million from the scheme — but that they lost thousands of dollars. Trump's side has complained that the lawsuit is a politically motivated attack. 

What's Next: The parties are figuring out a trial date for the case, which is expected to land in early 2024. 

Michael Cohen, Trump's former attorney, has claimed Trump sent him to prison to silence him. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Michael Cohen, Trump's former attorney, has claimed Trump sent him to prison to silence him. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Michael Cohen's 'imprisonment' case

The Parties: Trump fixer-turned-critic Michael Cohen sued Donald Trump, former Attorney General Bill Barr, and more than a dozen federal prison officials and employees, in federal court in Manhattan in 2021.

The Issues: The president's former personal attorney is seeking $20 million in damages relating to the time he spent in prison for financial crimes and lying to Congress about Trump's dealings in Congress. 

Cohen claimed he had been moved to home confinement for three months in the spring of 2020 due to the pandemic but was then vindictively thrown into solitary confinement when he refused to stop speaking to the press and writing a tell-all book about his former boss. A judge ordered him released after 16 days.

What's Next: The case was dismissed in November, but Cohen filed an appeal.

Singer Eddy Grant sued Trump for copyright infringement. Andrew Winning/Reuters © Provided by Business Insider Singer Eddy Grant sued Trump for copyright infringement. Andrew Winning/Reuters

The Electric Avenue copyright case

The Parties: Eddy Grant, the composer/performer behind the 80s disco-reggae mega-hit "Electric Avenue," sued Donald Trump and his campaign in federal court in Manhattan in 2020.

The Issues: Grant is seeking $300,000 for copyright infringement. He claims Trump made unauthorized use of the 1983 dance floor staple during the 2020 campaign. About 40 seconds of the song played in the background of a Biden-bashing animation that Trump posted to his Twitter account. The animation was viewed 13 million times before being taken down a month later. 

Trump has countered that the animation was political satire and so is exempt from copyright infringement claims. He's also said that the campaign merely reposted the animation and that he has no idea where it came from.

Trump was deposed last year, but it's unclear where or when exactly. Lawyers for Trump and Grant have agreed to a strict gag order in the case and have repeatedly declined to comment. 

What's Next: The case is slowly winding its way toward trial; an April 24 deadline has been set for the sides to exchange evidence.

Lawsuits brought by Trump 

Donald Trump's niece Mary Trump. MSNBC © MSNBC Donald Trump's niece Mary Trump. MSNBC

Donald Trump v. Mary Trump 

The Parties: The former president counter-sued his niece Mary Trump — and the New York Times — in 2021 in New York State Supreme Court in Dutchess County.

The Issues: Mary Trump, the Times, and three of its reporters "maliciously conspired" against him, Trump alleges, by collaborating with the Times on its expose of and breaching the confidentiality of the family's 2001 settlement of the estate of Mary Trump's father, Fred Trump Sr. 

What's Next: Motions from Mary Trump and the New York Times to dismiss the lawsuit are pending in the state Supreme Court in Manhattan, where the case has since been transferred.

A judge called Trump's lawsuit against Hillary Clinton "frivolous." Photo by: Mike Smith/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images © Provided by Business Insider A judge called Trump's lawsuit against Hillary Clinton "frivolous." Photo by: Mike Smith/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Donald Trump v. Hillary Clinton

The Parties: Trump sued Hillary Clinton, her campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and prominent Democrats including former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and former Clinton campaign chair John Podesta in a federal court in southern Florida in March 2022.

The Issues:  Trump alleged that Clinton and her campaign staff conspired to harm his 2016 run for president by promoting a "contrived Trump-Russia link." 

A judge tossed the massive lawsuit in September, calling it "a two-hundred-page political manifesto" in which Trump detailed "his grievances against those that have opposed him." He ordered Trump and his attorney to pay nearly $1 million in sanctions in January.

What's Next: Trump promised to appeal the dismissal, but it's unlikely he'll be successful given the sanctions he's faced in this case. 

Camila DeChalus and C. Ryan Barber contributed to a previous version of this story.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Business Insider

Business Insider
Business Insider
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon