Updated May 8, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump's hush money trial progresses as three others hang in limbo

Table showing the current status of Trump's criminal cases, including Jan. 6, election interference, classified documents and hush money.
Table: Axios Visuals

Former President Trump's New York hush money trial is in its fourth week, and prosecutors have indicated they are more than halfway through their witness list.

Why it matters: The hush money case is widely seen as the weakest of the four criminal cases Trump is facing, but it appears increasingly likely that it will be the only one to take place before the November election.

The big picture: Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges in his four criminal cases, and with his lawyers, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee has employed various strategies to delay the cases.

Trump's New York hush money case

The trial began in April after being delayed from its previous start date of March 25. Trump is facing 34 felony counts for allegedly falsifying business records to cover up a payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

The latest: Judge Juan Merchan on Tuesday rejected Trump's bid for a mistrial after Daniels testified in the case.

  • Merchan found Trump in contempt of court for a 10th time this week for violating his gag order in the case, fining him $1,000.
  • The judge warned that continued violations could land him in jail.

Trump's classified documents case

Judge Aileen Cannon on Tuesday indefinitely postponed the case's trial date, pending resolution of a number of pre-trial motions.

Catch up quick: Trump was indicted in June 2023 and charged with 37 felony counts as part of the Justice Department's probe into his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House.

  • Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges. Special counsel Jack Smith's office filed a superseding indictment in July 2023 levying new charges against Trump, bringing the number of counts he faces up to 40.
  • He pled not guilty to the added charges in August and tried multiple times to delay proceedings.
  • Smith had proposed a July 8 start to the trial, which had originally been scheduled to begin in May.

Trump's Georgia 2020 election interference case

An Atlanta grand jury indicted Trump and 18 of his allies last August in an expansive case over alleged efforts to subvert Georgia's 2020 election results. Trump pleaded not guilty that same month.

Zoom out: McAfee in March also dismissed several counts against Trump in the case, which was set to go to trial on Aug. 5. The case is in limbo as the proceedings concerning Willis continue.

Trump's Jan. 6 election interference case

Trump was indicted on four counts last August as part of the special counsel's criminal investigation into alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

  • In his second federal indictment, Trump was charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.
  • That same week Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges in the case.

Zoom in: Trump's trial in the federal election subversion case was meant to begin in early March but was postponed indefinitely in February amid an appeal by Trump over his legally untested claims to immunity.

  • The Supreme Court agreed in late February to weigh in on whether Trump is immune from prosecution.
  • In a March filing to the Supreme Court, Trump's lawyers argued he should be granted immunity in the case because his actions surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol riot were within the "outer perimeter" of the president's official duties.
  • Oral arguments before the Supreme Court began on April 25. Currently, Trump seems poised to win at least a partial victory from the court.
  • As such, a trial over Trump's involvement on Jan. 6 is unlikely to begin — let alone end — before the November election.

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Editor's note: This story was updated with new developments.

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