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The lawsuits, investigations and legal troubles a 2024 Trump candidacy faces, explained

As Trump gets closer to announcing whether he'll run for president again, lawsuits, official inquiries, and legal problems continue to persist

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As former President Donald Trump hints that he'll run for president in 2024, he faces more than a dozen investigations and lawsuits from a number of federal and state agencies and private litigants.

An early declaration for the presidency could shield Trump from some of these investigations, including those scrutinizing his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol building or efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Trump said in July that he's made up his mind whether he'll run again but is undecided whether to announce before or after the midterm elections in November.

A USA TODAY review of pending actions against Trump found six lawsuits related to Jan. 6, three investigations into alleged tax fraud by Trump businesses and a Justice Department probe into the removal of classified documents from the White House after Trump's presidency ended.

Lawsuits range from protester claims of assault to Jan. 6 riot

Where litigation, probes are taking place

Jan. 6 suits lead litigation against Trump

Investigations, litigation and court filings against Trump or his businesses include these accusations:

– Overturning 2020 election –

Fani Willis, district attorney for Fulton County, opened an investigation in 2021 into any potential attempts to improperly influence the 2020 general election in Georgia by then President Donald Trump and his associates.
Fani Willis, district attorney for Fulton County, opened an investigation in 2021 into any potential attempts to improperly influence the 2020 general election in Georgia by then President Donald Trump and his associates. Dustin Chambers, Dustin Chambers-USA TODAY

Feb. 9, 2021 | Criminal investigation: Fani T. Willis, district attorney of Fulton County, Georgia, opens an investigation into whether Trump and associates tried to overturn the Georgia results of the 2020 presidential election. A special grand jury, which could be in place as long as a year, was chosen on May 2.

Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani appeared before the grand jury for six hours on Wednesday. A federal judge ruled on Aug. 15 that Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a Trump supporter, must also testify before the grand jury.

Graham appealed. A federal appeals court temporarily blocked the subpoena on Sunday, ruling that prosecutors must determine if Graham, as a senator, is exempt from giving testifying under the Constitution’s speech and debate clause. The clause prevents lawmakers from being questioned about their legislative duties.

July 1, 2021 | Congressional hearings: The House Select Committee to Investigate January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol is formed. The committee holds eight hearings in which presidential aides testify that Trump did nothing to stop the riot. The committee will resume hearings in September.

– Inciting Jan. 6 Capitol riot –

Feb. 16, 2021 | Lawsuit: NAACP sues Trump and Giuliani for violating the Ku Klux Klan Act and conspiring with white supremacists to incite the riot. On Feb. 18, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that Trump could not claim immunity from the suit, allowing it to proceed.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., filed suit against Trump and his associates in 2021 for inciting the Jan. 6 riot.
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., filed suit against Trump and his associates in 2021 for inciting the Jan. 6 riot. Alex Brandon, AP

March 5, 2021 | Lawsuit: Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., one of the House prosecutors in Trump's second impeachment trial, files a civil lawsuit against Trump, Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr., and Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., for inciting the Jan. 6 riot.

Aug. 26, 2021 | Lawsuit: Seven Capitol Police officers sue Trump and others in U.S. District Court in Washington for injuries sustained in the riot.

Jan. 4, 2022 | Lawsuit: An eighth Capitol Police officer sues Trump in U.S. District Court in Washington for physical and emotional injuries sustained in the riot.

Jan. 5, 2022 | Lawsuit: Two more Capitol Police officers sue Trump for injuries in the riot.

Jan. 6, 2022 | Lawsuit: An 11th Capitol Police officer sues Trump for injuries in the riot.

– Classified documents –

Aug. 8, 2022 | Search conducted: FBI agents search Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida, and remove 11 sets of classified documents. The operation, conducted with a search warrant, is part of an investigation of possible violations of the Espionage Act.

The Justice Department is investigating Trump for removing presidential records from the White House and storing them at Mar-a-Lago for up to a year, a potentially serious violation if the records were classified.

– Financial dealings –

July 2, 2019 | Lawsuit: Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, sues Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., to obtain six years of Trump's tax returns.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Aug. 9, that the committee can obtain the records from the IRS. Trump will appeal the ruling.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is investigating the Trump Organization's financial operation.
New York Attorney General Letitia James is investigating the Trump Organization's financial operation. Mary Altaffer, AP

Aug. 24, 2020 | Investigation: New York Attorney General Letitia James opens an investigation into the Trump Organization's financial operation. The focus is on whether financial statements inflated asset values for better loans and insurance while also deflating the value of other assets to reduce real estate taxes. In a deposition on Aug. 10, 2022, Trump invokes the Fifth Amendment 400 times in refusing to answer questions.

July 1, 2021 | Criminal charges: Prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney's office charge the Trump Organization with a 15-year scheme in which executives avoided taxes by being compensated with undisclosed benefits.

Trump Organization's former Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, center, leaves court on Aug. 18 after pleading guilty to tax violations.
Trump Organization's former Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, center, leaves court on Aug. 18 after pleading guilty to tax violations. John Minchillo, AP

CFO Allen Weisselberg, 75, pleaded guilty on Thursday to 15 charges of evading taxes. A plea bargain means Weisselberg will spend three to five months in jail but he'll also be required to testify as a prosecution witness in October when the Trump Organization goes on trial.

Oct. 20, 2021 | Investigation: The district attorney of Westchester County, New York, subpoenas records from the Trump National Golf Club Westchester. The investigation appears to focus on whether the Trump Organization misrepresented property values for lower tax rates, the New York Times reported.

– Other litigation –

Sept. 9, 2015 | Civil suit: Five activists file a civil suit in September accusing Trump of ordering Trump Tower security guards to assault them during a protest. Trump was deposed under oath for more than four hours on Oct. 19, 2021. Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen testified on May 9 that Trump directed the assault.

Jury selection for Galicia v. Trump is set for Sept. 6 in Bronx Supreme Court, 12th Judicial District.

Oct. 29, 2018 | Class action suit: Four individuals sue Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, and Trump companies in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York with a claim of investment fraud. Trump family members agree on June 3, 2022, to give depositions. The case, Catherine McKoy v. Trump Corp. is ongoing.

E. Jean Carroll's defamation lawsuit against Donald Trump is scheduled for trial next year.
E. Jean Carroll's defamation lawsuit against Donald Trump is scheduled for trial next year. Craig Ruttle, AP

Nov. 4, 2019 | Lawsuit: Author E. Jean Carroll sues Trump for defamation when he denied her accusation of rape in the 1990s. Trump said Carroll was lying and that the accusation was politically motivated. The trial is set for Feb. 6, 2023, in federal court in New York.

Michael Cohen, former personal attorney to President Donald Trump, speaks to the media before departing his Manhattan apartment for prison on May 6, 2019, in New York.
Michael Cohen, former personal attorney to President Donald Trump, speaks to the media before departing his Manhattan apartment for prison on May 6, 2019, in New York. Spencer Platt, Getty Images

Dec. 16, 2019 | Lawsuit: Cohen sues Trump in Manhattan federal court, saying Trump retaliated against him for writing a memoir critical of Trump. Cohen said Trump had him returned to prison after he was released to home confinement following a COVID-19 outbreak in federal prisons.

Oct. 2, 2020 | Class action suit: Tenants who lived in apartment buildings once owned by Trump's father Fred sue Trump and family members in New York State Supreme Court in Brooklyn with an accusation of fraudulently increasing rents. The suit was amended in March 2022.

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SOURCE USA TODAY Network reporting and research; Associated Press

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