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The Downfall of Donald Trump Has Arrived

1945 logo 1945 1/26/2023 Stephen Silver
Donald Trump © Provided by 1945 Donald Trump

Which prosecutor is most likely to indict Donald Trump first?: Former President Donald Trump is facing legal jeopardy on several fronts.

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Donald Trump: How Many Legal Problems? 

 He’s got a special counsel looking into both his role in the January 6 insurrection and his Mar-a-Lago documents case.

In addition, a special grand jury in Georgia recently completed its work in relation to the former president’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election results in that state.

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And the Manhattan District Attorney’s office is also said to be looking, once again, into Trump’s hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, following the recent conviction of a Trump Organization executive. 

What Happens Next? 

Which charges is he possibly facing, and if the former president is indicted, who is likely to indict him first? MSNBC recently looked into those questions. 

According to the news channel’s legal blog, Trump faces possible charges of “retention of national defense information under Title 18 of the United States Code, section 793(e) — part of the Espionage Act,” in relation to the Mar-a-Lago case. As for January 6, Trump was the subject of four separate criminal referrals from the January 6 Committee, including for “obstructing an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiring to make false statements and insurrection.” 

In the Georgia case, Trump could end up indicted on state charges, related to election interference. In New York, the Trump Organization was convicted last year of tax fraud and falsifying business records. 

It’s not clear who would bring charges first, although reports last week stated that in the Georgia case, a decision was “imminent” on charging, so that is probably likely to see a resolution first. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has said that his office is moving on to the “next chapter” now that the Trump Organization prosecution is done, even as Bragg’s office declined to move forward with charges around the time the new DA took office early last year. 

As for the Special Counsel’s office, there have been few leaks from it so far, so we don’t know much about the progress of the investigation or any timeline for a decision on whether or not Trump or anyone else will be charged in either part of the investigation. 

It’s also not clear whether the revelations about classified documents found in the possession of President Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence will affect Trump’s case in any way. The answer would appear to be that the Counsel in Trump’s case is different than the one in Biden’s, and won’t be bound by anything going on in another, unrelated case. 

And, of course, there are significant differences between the Trump and Biden cases, and the amount of legal jeopardy they’re both in. 

FiveThirtyEight discussed that this week

“These are fundamentally the same genre of scandal, but the degree of seriousness is different,” Nathaniel Rakich said in the discussion on that site. “Biden and Trump have responded very differently: Biden contacted the National Archives right away and invited the Justice Department to search his home. For Trump, it was actually the National Archives that contacted him, and a grand jury had to issue a subpoena to get the documents back. And even after Trump’s team said he complied with the subpoena, it turned out he still hadn’t handed over everything, prompting the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago — which Trump very much did not consent to.” 

The site also noted recent polling from YouGov, which found that “Americans said that Biden took the classified documents intentionally 39 percent to 28 percent. They said the same thing about Trump 50 percent to 24 percent.” 

Rakich also noted that there’s a difference of opinion between the parties. 

“The official Republican Party line on this — among elites as well as voters — seems to be, ‘See, Biden did it too! They are just as bad!’ Whereas the Democratic position is, ‘what Biden did is bad, but what Trump did is worse.,’” he said. 

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Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

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