Trump's summer of legal troubles heats up
As more Republicans have stepped forward to challenge the frontrunner, Donald Trump, for the party's 2024 presidential nomination, a slew of ominous legal developments have continued to complicate his reelection bid.
At present, Trump is facing one criminal indictment and two high-profile civil cases. By summer's end, however, he could see further charges filed against him in far more serious matters.
Here are the latest details from Yahoo News, its partners and other news organizations.
Mar-a-Lago documents investigation
On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the special counsel on the case, Jack Smith, was wrapping up his investigation into Trump's handling of classified documents after leaving the White House and that many of Trump's "close associates" are preparing for him to be indicted.
"Nearly every employee at Trump’s Florida home, from top political aides to maids and maintenance staff," has now testified before the Washington grand jury, sources told the Journal.
Among those who have testified is Trump's lawyer Evan Corcoran. In March, a federal appeals court ruled that Corcoran must testify and produce notes he took during meetings with the former president about the handling of the classified documents. The notes showed that Trump was seeking to contest a federal subpoena ordering the return of the documents, a revelation that contradicts his assertion that he was "cooperating fully" with the FBI in the matter.
Georgia election interference
Fulton County, Ga., District Attorney Fani Willis offered a clue this week that she might indict the former president in August in connection with his efforts to convince Georgia election officials to overturn his 2020 loss in the state.
Willis sent a letter Thursday to county Superior Court Chief Judge Ural Glanville, the Associated Press reported, asking judges not to schedule trials during the first three weeks of August.
Earlier this month, Willis appeared obtained immunity deals with eight people accused in the scheme to present "fake electors" who would falsely claim that Trump had defeated Joe Biden in the state, Reuters reported.
Probe of Jan. 6, 2021
Smith is also pressing ahead with his investigation of Trump on a host of potential crimes, including obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States and insurrection — all stemming from his efforts to try to overturn the 2020 presidential election that led to the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
In late April, when former Vice President Mike Pence was compelled to testify before the grand jury, he was questioned for more than five hours about his dealings with Trump leading up to the riot. Smith, according to CNN, was in attendance.
Indictment in Manhattan
On Tuesday, Judge Juan Merchan set a March 25 start date for Trump's Manhattan criminal trail on charges that he falsified business records, ABC News reported. The judge also laid out the terms of a protective order, warning Trump not to share evidence put forth by the prosecutors office during discovery on social media.
Trump responded to Tuesday's proceedings in a post on social media, saying "I believe my First Amendment Rights,“Freedom of Speech,” have been violated."
In a court filing last week, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg laid out the underlying crimes he alleges Trump committed as part of his hush money payment to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels. The allegations include felony violations of New York election, tax and penal law, as well as violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act.
FILING: @ManhattanDA says Trump's underlying crimes (boosting 34 falsifying records counts to felony) *may* include:
NY Election Law 17-152
NY Tax Law 1801(a)(3) & 1802
NY Penal Law 175.05 & 175.10
Federal Election Campaign Act 52 USC 30101
*No big surprises & DA could add more pic.twitter.com/qr18JptSS5
— Frank G. Runyeon (@frankrunyeon) May 16, 2023
New York civil lawsuit
In March, Judge Arthur Engoron, the judge overseeing the $250 million civil case brought against Trump by New York Attorney General Letitia James, rejected attempts by the former president's lawyers to delay the start of the trial. It is scheduled to begin Oct. 2.
E. Jean Carroll
One day after a New York jury awarded writer E. Jean Carroll a $5 million judgment in her sexual abuse and defamation lawsuit against Trump, the former president participated in a CNN town hall where he repeatedly attacked her credibility.
On Monday, Carroll cited his remarks when she amended her complaint in a pending defamation lawsuit against Trump, seeking at least $10 million in additional damages.
On his Truth Social platform, meanwhile, Trump continued to insist that Carroll had made up the story that he sexually abused her in a changing room at Bergdorf Goodman department store in the 1990s.
"I don’t know E. Jean Carroll, I never met her or touched her," Trump wrote, adding, "IT NEVER HAPPENED, IS A TOTAL SCAM, UNFAIR TRIAL!"