What is the current status of the Trump criminal investigations?
Washington, D.C. (CNN) Former President Donald Trump left the White House four months ago, but he did not leave his legal problems behind, and there have been new indications in recent weeks that some of the criminal investigations involving Trump are intensifying. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that state prosecutors in New York City had convened a special grand jury in the years-long investigation into possible financial wrongdoing by the Trump Organization, the former President, and his family. There’s also the Atlanta-based investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn Georgia election results, as well as the broad investigation into the US Capitol insurgency.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and claims the investigations are political in nature. Some of the investigations are overseen by Democratic officials, who claim to be acting in accordance with the law. Here’s a rundown of where things stand in the Trump probes. Financial investigations in New York State What’s going on? Since 2018, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has been investigating potential financial crimes committed by the Trump Organization. After a protracted legal battle, prosecutors obtained millions of pages of documents, including Trump’s tax returns and bank records, earlier this year. According to reports, a grand jury has been formed, and investigators are pressuring some Trump associates to cooperate.
What could happen next? Witnesses may be presented to the grand jury, and they may be asked to approve criminal charges against Trump, his company, top executives, and his family. Grand juries are secretive, and the process may take some time. However, the investigation is clearly expanding. Last week, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that her office’s civil investigation into the Trump Organization has been expanded into a criminal investigation, and that she is collaborating with Vance. Attempts to overturn Georgia’s election results What’s going on? Prosecutors in Atlanta have opened a criminal investigation into Trump’s clumsy attempt to persuade Georgia officials to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The state investigation is being led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who convened a grand jury in March. She also wrote to potential witnesses, asking them to save documents and cooperate with the investigation. What could happen next? Subpoenas are most likely the next step, and they’ll be issued to some of the GOP state officials Trump tried to pressure. But Willis’ office is swamped, and the investigation has been moving slowly so far. When these subpoenas will be issued is unknown.
In Washington, DC, on January 6, there was a Capitol insurgency. What’s going on? The Justice Department is in charge of the federal investigation into the insurgency, and nearly 450 alleged rioters have already been charged. Separately, DC Attorney General Karl Racine stated that he is investigating whether they can charge Trump with inciting violence under DC law, though this would only be a misdemeanor and legal experts are skeptical.
What could happen next? Early in the Justice Department investigation, senior officials refused to rule out looking into Trump’s role in inciting the riot. However, there has been no public indication that the ex-President is being investigated seriously since then. Similarly, Racine has taken no steps to advance the local case, which would necessitate buy-in from his federal counterparts.