- ASSOCIATED PRESS
For Trump, tax fraud case just one of several legal problems
11:59 JST, December 7, 2022
NEW YORK (AP) — A New York jury convicted Donald Trump’s company of tax fraud Tuesday, a verdict that could damage the Republican politically and adds to an already long list of legal headaches as he mounts another run for president.
While Trump was not personally charged in the Manhattan district attorney’s tax case, he faces other inquiries. They include a criminal investigation over top secret documents found at his Florida estate, probes in Georgia and Washington into his efforts to undo the results of the 2020 presidential election, and more probes in New York.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and says he is being targeted by Democrats trying to keep him from reclaiming the White House.
Here’s a look at the probes underway in different states and venues:
The Justice Department is investigating the retention of top secret government documents at Trump’s Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, and potential efforts to obstruct that probe.
As part of that inquiry, agents and prosecutors have spent months interviewing multiple people close to Trump, including an aide who was seen on surveillance video moving boxes of documents at the property.
A grand jury in Washington has been hearing evidence in the investigation. Prosecutors last month granted limited immunity to one close Trump ally to secure his testimony.
Attorney General Merrick Garland last month named Jack Smith, a veteran war crimes prosecutor who previously led the Justice Department’s public integrity section, to serve as special counsel over the Mar-a-Lago investigation and key aspects of a separate probe into efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
2020 ELECTION AND CAPITOL RIOT
The Justice Department is investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and efforts to overturn the election Trump falsely claimed was stolen.
Federal prosecutors have been especially focused on a scheme by Trump allies to elevate fake presidential electors in key battleground states won by President Joe Biden as a way to subvert the vote, issuing subpoenas to multiple state Republican party chairmen.
Federal prosecutors have brought multiple Trump administration officials before the grand jury for questioning, including the former Trump White House counsel and a top aide to Vice President Mike Pence.
In a sign of the expanding nature of the investigation, election officials in multiple states whose results were disputed by Trump have received subpoenas asking for communications with or involving Trump and his campaign aides.
The Justice Department investigation is running parallel to a probe by a U.S. House committee which held several public hearings about efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn his 2020 election loss. That House committee doesn’t have the power to file criminal charges.
Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
After his 2020 election loss, Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and urged him to “find” the votes needed to overturn his narrow loss in the state.
That Jan. 2 phone call is part of an investigation by a prosecutor in Atlanta. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has said she is contemplating subpoenaing Trump for his testimony.
Among those who have been questioned by the special grand jury are former New York mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. The special grand jury is expected to wrap up its investigation soon and to provide recommendations to Willis.
Prosecutors have also advised Georgia Republicans who served as fake electors that they are at risk of being indicted. They signed a certificate asserting Trump had won the election and declaring themselves the state’s electors, even though Biden had won the state and a slate of Democratic electors had already been certified.
Trump and his allies have denied any wrongdoing, and he has repeatedly described his phone call to Raffensperger as “perfect.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James has sued Trump and the Trump Organization, saying it misled banks and tax authorities about the value of assets like golf courses and skyscrapers to get loans and tax benefits.
That lawsuit, which is pending, could lead to civil penalties against the company if the Democratic attorney general prevails. She wants $250 million and a ban on Trump doing business in New York.
In the meantime, a judge has appointed an independent monitor to watch the company.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office says it is also still pursing a parallel criminal investigation into Trump’s business dealings.
District Attorney Alvin Bragg recently named a new senior prosecutor to oversee that probe, which had appeared to be heading toward a possible indictment when the Democrat slowed things down after taking office in January.
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