A court in Georgia has now officially charged Donald Trump with attempting to illegally overturn the democratic result of the 2020 election – but it isn’t the only charge he’s facing.
Here’s a quick explainer of the investigations the former President is now up against.
34 COUNTS OF FALSIFYING BUSINESS RECORDS
In New York, Trump has been charged with – among other things – falsifying business records as part of a scheme to reimburse former Trump attorney Michael Cohen for hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels. Trump fraudulently recorded $130,000 in expenses as the cost of legal services for Cohen, the indictment alleges.
In Miami Trump has been charged with 31 Espionage Act violations. One of the charges accuses him of illegally holding on to hundreds of pages of sensitive information one year after losing the election, at two of his resorts – after he was asked repeatedly to hand everything over to the National Archives.
CONSPIRING TO DEFRAUD THE UNITED STATES
A special counsel in Washington D.C. has charged Trump with leading a conspiracy, with special counsel Jack Smith’s office saying in the indictment that the former president intended “to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election by using knowingly false claims of election fraud to obstruct the government function by which those results are collected, counted and certified.”
TRYING TO ILLEGALLY OVERTURN THE RESULT OF A DEMOCRATIC ELECTION
Trump and 18 other people have been indicted by a court in Fulton County, in the US state of Georgia on charges including racketeering (often used to target people involved in organised crime).
Among the incidents cited in the new indictment was Trump’s infamous phone call to Georgia’s most senior election official, secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, in which he seemed to urge him to interfere in that state’s result, saying “I just want to find 11,70 votes”.
This, among other acts and statements made by Trump when rejecting Joe Biden’s win, has been described by the prosecutor as a “criminal conspiracy to try to overturn the 2020 presidential election”.
WHEN ARE THE TRIALS?
Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him. A federal judge ordered Friday that the trial in the classified documents case that special counsel Jack Smith brought against former President Donald Trump will begin in May 2024.
In the case relating to ‘hush money’ paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels, the next hearing is set for Dec. 4, when the judge, Juan Merchan, will rule on motions. The trial has been scheduled for March 25, three weeks after Super Tuesday, one of the most important days on the Republican presidential primary calendar.
The Trial relating to espionage charges is set for May 20, 2024, taking a middle position between the government’s request to go to trial in December and Trump’s desire to push the proceeding until after the 2024 election.
A trial date based on the indictment from Georgia is yet to be announced.
WHAT HAPPENS IF HE’S FOUND GUILTY?
Donald Trump could become the first American president in history to be sent to prison.
The charges against Mr. Trump in relation to the Stormy Daniels affair and allegedly filing bogus business records are all Class E felonies, which are the lowest category of felony offense in New York and carry a maximum prison sentence of four years per count, though if he were convicted a judge could sentence him to probation.
If found guilty of espionage charges Trump could face up to 20 years behind bars.
Regarding charges that he tried to overturn the election result and thus ‘defraud the United States’, the law states: “Whoever enters into any agreement, combination, or conspiracy to defraud the United States, or any department or agency thereof, by obtaining or aiding to obtain the payment or allowance of any false, fictitious or fraudulent claim, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”
CAN TRUMP STILL STAND AS A CANDIDATE IN THE 2024 PRESIDENTIAL RACE?
Yes. The US constitution does not prohibit anyone charged with a crime, nor anyone convicted of one, from holding office.