Donald Trump's judicial present and future: from classified documents and Jan. 6, to another possible indictment in Georgia

In the midst of his third presidential campaign, the former president will have to deal with more court cases that threaten to complicate his return to the White House.

Donald Trump is running his third presidential campaign and seems to have a few more worries apart from winning the Republican nomination and facing Joe Biden for the second time. The Justice Department formally charged the former president for classified documents found in his Florida home. That case was added to the array of court cases that burden the former president, which could become even heavier for him in the future.

“I am an innocent man. The Biden Administration is totally corrupt. This is election interference and a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time. Make America great again!!!” the mogul responded via his Truth Social account.

John Rowley, who until Friday, June 9th, was Trump’s outside counsel but has since resigned, confirmed that his client was indicted on 37 counts in connection with classified documents that were at Mar-a-Lago. He has been summoned to appear before the Federal Court of Miami at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 13. However, the former president has other current and potential reasons to worry.

January 6th

The DOJ launched an investigation into what happened on January 6, 2021, when Trump supporters invaded the Capitol and delayed certification of the 2020 presidential election. So far, more than 950 defendants have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the riot,s and more than 500 were convicted. The case is under the tutelage of special counsel Jack Smith, who recently added Raymond Hulser and David Harbach, attorneys with experience in public corruption cases, to his team.

Smith has not yet determined the tycoon's role in the riots. The parade of witnesses could complicate the former president in the future, specifically after Mike Pence’s deposition, which took place at the end of April. He spent at least seven hours in court and is considered by many to be a key figure in the investigation.

Truth Social

Previous testimony collected by the House committee investigating the event suggests that Trump had a tense and heated exchange with Pence that morning. Greg Jacob, general counsel to the then-vice president, testified that Trump called his boss on the morning of Jan. 6. Once it was over, Pence came out looking “steely, determined [and] grim.”

Although Smith has not yet announced a tentative date for finalizing the investigation, most of the key witnesses have already testified, suggesting that he may be able to confirm the allegations sooner rather than later.

Fulton County, Georgia

In the days after November 3, 2020, Joe Biden managed to outperform Trump in Georgia. When the count ended, the Democrat was up 11,779 votes out of more than 5 million. The Republican’s legal team tried unsuccessfully to prove election interference and fraud cases sufficient to skew the numbers. Now, the situation could turn against them, especially in Fulton County.

U.S. Attorney Fani Willis has been at the forefront of the investigation from the beginning. She is trying to determine whether Trump violated state laws in trying to reverse President Biden’s victory in Georgia. On the other side, the former president accuses Willis of being biased against him, something he already presented before Judge Robert C.I. McBurney of the Fulton County Superior Court. The magistrate has already ruled against Willis, particularly when he ordered that she could not bring a criminal case against Georgia Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones, one of 16 Trump supporters who filed false documents claiming to be the state’s presidential electors.

According to McBurney, the prosecutor had a conflict of interest because she had spearheaded a fundraiser for Jones’ Democratic rival in the lieutenant governor’s race.

The New York Times reported that “Ms. Willis wrote in a letter to law enforcement officials that a decision on any charges against Mr. Trump or others would come between July 11 and Sept. 1.”

Special counsel Jack Smith is leading the case for what happened on January 6, 2021, when Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol. Wikimedia Commons

E. Jean Carroll’s defamation accusation

On May 9, a Federal District Court in Manhattan found Donald Trump guilty of sexually abusing journalist E. Jean Carroll in the fitting room of a store in New York. The incident occurred in 1996, and the initial lawsuit was time-barred. Still, Carroll was able to reinstate it thanks to a New York State law that allows individuals to revive their claims against alleged sex offenders for a period of one year beginning in November 2022.

In the same case, the former president was also indicted on defamation charges. According to Shawn Crowley, Carroll’s attorney, after his client confessed to what happened in a book published in 2019, then-President Trump “used the most powerful platform on earth to lie about what he had done, attack Ms. Carroll’s integrity and insult her appearance.”

The lawsuit is a civil case, so Trump, who referred to the whole case as a “witch hunt,” faces no possible jail time.

Lewis Kaplan, the district judge, admonished the tycoon’s legal team and suggested that his defendant attend the court hearing, at the risk of being cited for contempt.

Alvin Bragg and the falsification of business records

Perhaps one of the most media-acclaimed cases in history, this case marked the first time a former president has been indicted on federal charges in the United States. Prosecutor Alvin Bragg charged him with 34 counts of financial fraud, while Trump claims his innocence and political motivations on the prosecutor's part.

Some updates on the case show that Bragg is seeking to bar Trump from accessing classified documents. While he stated that he does not want to gag Trump, he proposed that Trump could only review these sensitive materials while accompanied by his lawyers and that he should not be allowed to copy or transcribe the information.

The trial is expected to begin in January 2024, just one month before the start of the Republican primaries and 10 months before the general election, which, for now, according to polls, will again pit Trump and Biden against each other.