How Trump’s DOJ case compares to Georgia and New York probes

Tribune Content Agency

There are three separate criminal investigations into former President Donald Trump — one in Georgia, a second in New York and the third led by the U.S. Department of Justice.

On Thursday, Trump announced that he had been indicted by a federal grand jury in Miami in the DOJ probe on charges that he mishandled classified documents.

Here’s how the three compare.

What they allegedly involve:

Georgia: Election meddling by Trump and his allies in the aftermath of the 2020 election

DOJ: Mishandling of classified documents he took with him from the White House to Mar-a-Lago, his Florida estate.

New York: Hush money paid to former porn star Stormy Daniels as well as other business irregularities.

Who’s investigating:

Georgia: A special purpose grand jury was impaneled in May 2022 and spent eight months investigating the election interference claims. They authored a final report for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis with recommendations on who they thought should be indicted. Those recommendation have not been made public.

DOJ: Justice Department prosecutors presented evidence to a grand jury in Miami.

New York: Soon after he was elected, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg shelved an ongoing probe into whether Trump fraudulently inflated the value of his business properties. Bragg said he was not persuaded the evidence was strong enough. In recent months, the charges involving Daniels resurfaced in front of a grand jury in Manhattan.

What’s the timing?

Georgia: In a letter to local law enforcement officials, Willis said she expected to announce her decision on indictments between July 31 and Sept. 1. She narrowed down that window even further in a memo to Fulton County judges, suggesting her decisions would most likely come between Aug. 8-18.

DOJ: Trump said on his social media platform, Truth Social, that he is due in federal court in Miami on Tuesday.

New York: In April, the Manhattan DA’s office charged Trump with 34 felony counts for falsifying business records in order to conceal his relationship with porn star Stormy Daniels. A judge has set his trial date for March 2024.

Who are the witnesses?

Georgia: About 75 witnesses appeared before the special grand jury in Fulton County. They included Rudy Giuliani, Michael Flynn, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, former U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler and the late House Speaker David Ralston. Some appeared voluntarily and others had to be subpoenaed.

DOJ: A who’s who of the Trump administration has testified in the Trump probe, including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former Vice President Mike Pence.

New York: A grand jury in Manhattan heard from Trump’s former fixer and lawyer, Michael Cohen, and Robert Costello, another Trump lawyer. Costello briefly represented Cohen, but the two had a falling out. Cohen went on to plead guilty in connection to the hush money payments and was sentenced to three years in prison.

What are the potential charges?

Georgia: Some of the state laws believed to be under consideration are racketeering, conspiracy, criminal solicitation to commit election fraud and making false statements.

DOJ: It was not immediately clear Thursday what specific charges Trump is facing. Prosecutors were said to be considering wide-ranging charges, including allegations that he violated the Espionage Act as well as charges of obstruction of justice.

New York: Trump was charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. Prosecutors allege Trump was creating fictitious records to pay off Daniels $130,000 in October 2016 after she threatened to expose their alleged affair in advance of the 2016 presidential election.

What has Trump said?

Georgia: The former president has lambasted Willis as the “Racist D.A. from Atlanta, whose city is among the most violent and dangerous places per capita in the country.” He has endorsed a bill from state Republicans that Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law, which could rein in the power of local prosecutors.

DOJ: Ahead of the indictment, Trump’s campaign claimed he was being attacked by “rabid wolves.” His campaign recently released a video stating that the “radical left” hates the former president because of his role in appointing justices to the Supreme Court who were key votes in overturning Roe v. Wade, exposing the “deep state” and draining “their precious swamp.”

New York: Trump has attacked Bragg, calling him a “racist” and accusing him of leading a politically motivated prosecution. Republicans have piled on. U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy accused Bragg of “abusing his office to target President Trump.”

Who are the prosecutors?

Georgia: Willis took office in 2021 after an upset win over her former boss, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard. She was the lead prosecutor in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal, in which educators in the city were convicted in a scheme to illegally boosting student test scores. She is the first woman to hold the DA’s seat in Fulton County.

DOJ: In November, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Jack Smith as special counsel to oversee the probes involving Trump. Smith worked in various positions within the Justice Department, including as an assistant U.S. attorney in New York and leading the vaunted Public Integrity Section. Smith also worked as vice president of litigation for the Hospital Corporation of America before becoming chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

New York: Bragg was elected in 2022, becoming Manhattan’s first Black district attorney. In his role as an assistant attorney general in New York, he frequently clashed with Trump over civil matters. He was also assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Does Trump face any other legal exposure?

In a word, yes.

In May, a jury found Trump liable for sexually abusing advice columnist E. Jean Carroll in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in Manhattan in the mid-1990s. They awarded her $5 million in damages. Soon after the verdict in the civil case, Trump made additional disparaging remarks about Carroll in a CNN town hall and on social media. Carroll has asked the judge for additional damages from Trump.

In addition to the classified document investigation, the Justice Department is said to be scrutinizing the role Trump played in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a $250 million civil lawsuit against Trump, his three adult children, the Trump organization and others alleging a widespread fraud scheme involving false financial statements and improper valuation of real estate assets.