Updated Apr 4, 2023 - Politics & Policy

The legal woes surrounding Trump and his indictment

Known criminal investigations of Trump
Data: Axios research; Table: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Former President Trump's indictment in New York is just one of several legal challenges bearing down on the leading 2024 Republican presidential candidate.

Why it matters: The indictment is historic — no U.S. president has ever before faced criminal charges — but the legal woes swirling around Trump don't stop with the Manhattan district attorney.

  • Trump faces several other high-stakes cases — including probes into his efforts to subvert 2020 election results, handling of presidential records, and business fraud — launching the Republican frontrunner into uncharted territory.

Driving the news: On June 8, Trump said on Truth Social that he was indicted in the criminal investigation into his handling of classified documents after leaving office.

  • Attorney General Merrick Garland tapped veteran prosecutor Jack Smith to lead the Department of Justice's probe into Trump's efforts to interfere with the lawful transfer of power after the 2020 election.
  • It would be the first time a former U.S. president was indicted on federal charges.

The big picture: A grand jury in Manhattan indicted the former president as part of the years-long investigation into Trump's role in hush money paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016.

Zoom out: The indictment comes amid several other legal inquiries into the ex-president.

In another case in New York, Attorney General Letitia James filed a civil lawsuit accusing Trump and his family of financial fraud.

  • James, who is seeking to permanently bar Trump and members of his family from running a business in New York, alleged the former president "falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars."
  • In January, a judge declined to throw out James' lawsuit against Trump, increasing the odds that the former president will face trial later this year.
  • Since it's a civil case, James can't file criminal charges against Trump, but he could still face heavy fines and restrictions if he loses at trial.

Go deeper: Timeline: The probe into Trump's alleged hush money payment to Stormy Daniels

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect Trump's arrest and the release of the indictment. It has also been updated to reflect that Trump said he was indicted on federal charges.

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