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Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty to his charges “This is just a way of hurting me in the election,” Trump said. 

By Kristi Greenwood, BA Japanese

Former US president Donald Trump is facing four separate court cases encompassing 91 charges, denying all. In January, Trump was found responsible for $83 million in damages for defamation of author E. Jean Caroll from last year, when he was found liable in a separate trial for sexually abusing the author. In February, he received a $355 million judgement with a $100 million interest for fraudulent business practices. 

Here, will be a rundown of his upcoming court cases as the November 2024 US presidential election is approaching, with Trump being the frontrunner for the Republican candidate. 

2020 Election and Capital Riot

Special counsel Jack Smith charged Mr Trump with conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election loss to Joe Biden. Prosecutors alleged that Trump and his allies knowingly pushed fraudulent election lies to pressure state officials to overturn Biden’s win. The charges he is facing are obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the US, and conspiracy to prevent others from carrying out their constitutional rights. The case was scheduled for March 4th. The most serious charges carry up to 20 years of jail time. The decision will ultimately lie with the judge. 

On February 12th 2024, Trump filed an emergency appeal with the US Supreme Court for immunity. Trump’s lawyers say he has immunity from criminal charges tied to his official duties during his presential term. The Supreme Court will ultimately decide on the outcome and determine whether the case will go to trial, potentially until after the election.

Manhattan Hush Money

Trump was being accused of falsifying his business records by saying that the payment of ‘hush money’ to adult actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election was legal fees. 

He is facing 34 counts of fraud and falsifying business records under campaign finance laws. Trump has pleaded not guilty, claiming it is politically motivated. “This is just a way of hurting me in the election.” He said. 

The former president’s lawyers responded that Trump “did not commit any crime.” They stated they would “vigorously fight this political prosecution in court.” Each charge carries a maximum of four years of jail time. Legal experts say a fine is more likely to be the outcome. The trial is scheduled for March 25th and will be the first-ever criminal trial against a US president. 

Classified documents in Florida

Trump faces charges from special counsel Jack Smith for mishandling classified documents. This includes allegations of removing them from the White House and taking them to his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida after he departed office. Trump is facing 40 felony counts related to both the possession of the documents and crimes under the Espionage Act. The charges include willful retention of national defence information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and false statements and representations. All the charges are felonies; Trump could potentially face prison time. The trial is set to begin on May 20th. 

Georgia election interference case

Trump, along with 18 other co-defendants, was accused of criminally conspiring to overturn his very narrow defeat in the state of Georgia in the 2020 presidential election. All 19 defendants are being charged under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisation Act, known as RICO. This follows on from a leaked phone call where Trump allegedly told the Georgia top election official to “find 11,780 votes.”

Trump is also being charged for 12 other accounts, including false statements, and solicitation of violation of the public oath of a public officer. 

This case is Trump’s biggest legal threat, as there is no prospect of a preemptive pardon and a potential 20-year sentence on the RICO charges. Trump’s lawyers responded that he “should have never been indicted,” and is “innocent of all charges brought against him.” 

The court date has not been finalised because of its complicated nature, but it will most likely be the last case to go to trial. 

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