You are not alone if your head is spinning trying to keep up with the latest legal battles facing former President Donald Trump. Despite being out of office for well over a year, the former president is still making news headlines daily.
Trump’s legal battles encompass activity at the federal, state, city, and county level. All of these levels of government are represented in the lawsuits currently aimed at the former president and reality television star. At issue are a number of issues, including the alleged efforts of Trump and his team to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, how he treated classified data after departing the White House, and his personal business.Read More »
Mar-a-Lago Search Developments
The latest flurry of activity began two weeks ago when Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was searched by FBI officials on the hunt for classified documents. As a result of the search, the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) took 11 sets of classified documents from the private residence. According to court documents that were unsealed and released to the public last week, the department is investigating possible violations of the Espionage Act.
The official property receipt released last Friday demonstrated that some of the documents received by the FBI were marked as “top secret/SCI.” This designation marks one of the highest levels of classification.
Late Monday, Trump’s legal team requested a federal judge appoint what is known as a “special master” to ensure that the DOJ returns any potential pieces of private information taken during the search at Mar-a-Lago. A special master is essentially a third-party attorney appointed to oversee the review process. This request is the first legal filing by Trump since the August 8 search at his Florida home.
Business and Financial Dealings
Trump’s business dealings and personal finances have also been in the news over the last several weeks. Most recently, the Trump Organization’s former CFO, Allen Weisselberg, pleaded guilty to a tax fraud scheme that lasted for 15 years. Weisselberg will spend about 100 days in prison and be subject to a fine of nearly $2 million in back taxes and interest. As part of the deal, Weisselberg also agreed to testify against the Trump Organization at an upcoming trial.
The former president was also recently sworn in during a civil investigation launched by the New York attorney general regarding the issue of if his business intentionally misled insurers, lenders, and tax officials. Trump did not testify, instead choosing to invoke the Fifth Amendment and remain silent. Two of Trump’s children have also testified in this investigation.
It is important to note that this investigation at the state level in New York is different from the inquiry surrounding potential criminal activity at the Trump Organization brought by the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
Also still grabbing the headlines is the potential involvement of Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. At the state level, a grand jury in Georgia is investigating how Trump and his allies may have tried to influence the election results. Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani appeared in front of the grand jury last Wednesday.
In addition to the Fulton County grand jury investigation, the DOJ is also allegedly looking into Trump’s role in the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol. As the work of the special House committee investigating this day in history continues, more and more Trump allies are being called upon to report their side of the story. Also last week, former White House attorney Eric Herschmann was subpoenaed to appear in front of a federal grand jury.
How is All of This Legal Activity Impacting Trump’s Standing in His Party?
It would stand to reason that all of this controversy would be a hindrance to Trump’s goals of being re-elected in November of 2024. However, recent primary election results demonstrate that the power of Trump is still strong throughout the Republican Party. Most notably, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney lost her race in the Wyoming GOP primary last Tuesday. Cheney’s loss is being blamed on her efforts to call out Trump for his actions surrounding the 2020 election and his role in the January 6 Capitol riots. Cheney has widely been considered to be Trump’s biggest critic over the last few years within the Republican Party.
There were 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in 2021. How did these 10 detractors fare during the primary election season? Of those 10, four are retiring from their offices after this term. Another four lost their primary battle, including Cheney. The remaining two advanced in their primary elections in Washington and California.
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