(CNN) — Former President Donald Trump has created a unique gravitational pull for lawsuits and investigations that often impact the people in his orbit but have not yet reached him.
There is now intense activity by authorities around him — federal, state, county and city prosecutors — who are considering ways to hold him accountable for:
- your personal business
- His handling of classified information when he left the White House
- His anti-democratic efforts to nullify the 2020 election
Unless you’ve been to Mars over the summer, you know the FBI searched his home in Florida for possible mishandling of classified documents.
But there are many more cases involving Trump.
Consider recent developments regarding their businesses:
- Trump’s business: CNN reported Wednesday that former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg is expected to plead guilty to a 15-year tax fraud scheme and serve time in jail. But Weisselberg will not cooperate with authorities against Trump, though he could testify if Trump or his adult children are ever charged. Read the full CNN report.
The same week the FBI searched Trump’s home in Florida, the former president was under oath in New York.
- Trump’s finances: he and two of his adult children testified as part of a civil investigation by the New York attorney general into whether the Trump Organization misled lenders, insurers and tax authorities. Trump invoked the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination. This investigation is separate from the Trump Organization criminal investigation promoted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
Trump’s efforts to nullify the 2020 election have sparked their own subset of legal issues, one of which was on display Wednesday in Atlanta.
- 2020 Georgia Election Results: his former attorney, Rudy Giuliani, stood before a grand jury Wednesday investigating Trump’s effort to find votes and overturn the results of the 2020 Georgia election. Giuliani was described by the CNN reporter as defiant and exuding confidence. This investigation is being led by the Fulton County District Attorney. Read more.
Those developments add to what we learned earlier this month.
- 2020 Elections: While the Fulton County investigation focuses only on Georgia, the US Department of Justice appears to be conducting a broader investigation into January 6, 2021, and the events surrounding the Capitol uprising. CNN reported earlier this week that former White House counsel Eric Herschmann, who appeared at the House committee hearings on January 6, is just the latest White House official under Trump to be subpoenaed. by a federal grand jury.
Just hoping to stay out of jail
Trump is charting a path to re-election in 2024, while Giuliani hopes to stay out of prison, according to a former Giuliani spokesman.
Giuliani’s exposure to legal trouble as a henchman in Trump’s election conspiracy theories and efforts to overturn the 2020 results weighs heavily on the former New York mayor and federal prosecutor, who knows a thing or two about prosecutions, according to Ken Frydman, Giuliani’s former press secretary.
“He knows he lied for his client, and he knows we all know that,” Frydman said on CNN’s “New Day” on Tuesday, suggesting Giuliani’s tactic will be to delay legal proceedings as long as possible. “I think, you know, at this point in his life, his goal is to die a free man.”
Giuliani is among a number of Trump supporters, including Sen. Lindsey Graham and most of the list of false voters, who have been ordered to appear. Both Graham and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp have asked the judges to reconsider.
We continue to learn more about how Trump’s allies continued their effort to nullify the election. Washington Post reported this week that lawyers working on Trump’s behalf attempted to access data from Dominion voting machines in several states Trump lost, including Michigan, Georgia and Nevada. State authorities have opened investigations into the relevance of the violations in Michigan and Georgia.
- 2020 Conspiracy Theories Libel: Dominion is in the midst of suing Giuliani and another Trump-related attorney, Sidney Powell, for defamation after they and other Trump allies claimed, without evidence, that Dominion’s election systems were somehow involved in rigging elections. elections.
They are not political persecutions
When he refused to answer questions from the New York attorney general, Trump called the investigation a “witch hunt,” as he does with all such investigations.
“When your family, your business and everyone in your orbit have become the target of a baseless and politically motivated witch hunt supported by fake lawyers, prosecutors and the media, you have no choice,” he said in a statement. .
He has also portrayed these various investigations as the kind of persecution that can be found in an autocracy or a dictatorship. Russia’s opposition leaders are routinely jailed, for example.
However, that is a flawed and dangerous comparison, as Trump and his legal troubles are the anomaly among all previous presidents, and he has yet to be charged with any crime. If anything, the US judicial system seems biased against putting him on trial, at least not without mountains of evidence.
CNN’s Dan Berman has an up-to-date list of all the major Trump-related legal issues, including a libel case against the former president. See the list.
Trump’s power in the Republican Party remains strong
With Rep. Liz Cheney’s loss in the Wyoming Republican primary on Tuesday night, “Impeachment 10,” as this CNN interactive to House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in 2021.
- Four retire.
- Four lost a primary.
- Two will be on the ballot in November, after advancing in primaries in Washington and California.
Meanwhile, another key Trump opponent, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who voted to convict him in his impeachment trial, advanced in her state’s four main primaries, along with a Trump-backed challenger.
And if Trump does run in 2024, he has not ruled out a candidacy of his own to give Republicans an option other than Trump.
Trump’s twisted 2020 election mindset has been channeled by most Republican gubernatorial candidates, according to CNN’s Daniel Dale.
He wrote: The Republican nominee in at least 21 of the 36 gubernatorial races this year is someone who rejected, refused to affirm, cast doubt on, or tried to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. And the list almost certainly it will get longer when the latest batch of Republican primaries are completed in the coming weeks.
Who beat Cheney?
CNN’s Jeff Zeleny was in Wyoming covering Cheney’s run and profiled Harriet Hageman, Cheney’s former friend and Trump opponent who later hugged Trump while campaigning against Cheney.
While Hageman played up his opposition to the Jan. 6 commission at rallies, Zeleny found Republican voters more interested in moving on from 2020 and said they wanted a more Wyoming-focused representative. Read his report.
While it doesn’t look like the 2020 results are what’s motivating most Republican voters (that would be the economy), it does look like there will be a fair amount of electoral denial on the ballot for the November midterms.