Trump rape accuser gets day in court April 25, while Georgia prosecutor has yet to reveal next steps
Could Trump really get arrested?
Former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Saland shares insight on the likelihood of Donald Trump being indicted, what’s happening behind the scenes and how the arrest of a former U.S. president could unfold.
A New York grand jury is believed to be wrapping up deliberations on a case that could result in a first-ever indictment of a U.S. president.
Former president Donald Trump has said he expects to be arrested in the case, which involves a $130,000 US payment his former lawyer Michael Cohen made in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.
Cohen and porn performer Stormy Daniels have said the payment was to buy her silence about an affair she had with Trump in 2006. Trump has denied the affair, and at first denied reimbursing Cohen until that stance became untenable when his former lawyer Rudy Giuliani divulged in a television interview Trump did make the payment.
Cohen served prison time in a federal case surrounding the affair, but in an interesting twist, Trump is facing possible indictment here at the state level.
WATCH l Hush-money case could be difficult to prove, says Washington Post reporter:
Hush-money prosecution complicated and 'novel,' says journalist
Senior Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake spoke to CBC News about the legal and political implications of a potential Donald Trump indictment.
Trump could be the first U.S. president to be indicted. Richard Nixon was pardoned in 1974 shortly after resigning, by his successor Gerald Ford, while in 2000 departing president Bill Clinton struck a deal with prosecutors involving a fine and an admission he gave false testimony under oath about his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky in order to avoid a very possible indictment.
Were Trump to be indicted, a trial would not be likely anytime soon, assuming attempts by his legal team to have the charges tossed will be unsuccessful. As an example, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon was charged with defrauding donors in a New York state case last September. Bannon's trial is not scheduled to begin until November.
So it's certain there will be developments in other criminal and civil probes involving Trump in the meantime, which could complicate his bid to secure the Republican nomination for president a third consecutive time.
Here's a refresher on the status of the major cases:
Twin federal probes
Special counsel Jack Smith, appointed by the Justice Department in late 2022, is overseeing at least two probes involving Trump.
The efforts by Trump and his allies to allege unsubstantiated electoral fraud and overturn the 2020 election results, events that influenced the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot, represent an investigation that predates Smith's appointment.
Vice-president Mike Pence, who enraged Trump by not unilaterally declaring him the winner of the 2020 election in a congressional proceeding, has confirmed he has been summoned in the case and is challenging some aspects of his subpoena. Pence said he's prepared to take that challenge all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, but that he will ultimately abide by the court's decision.
The Justice Department through Smith's oversight is also investigating whether Trump or anyone in his orbit obstructed efforts by federal agencies to recover classified documents, which included top-secret material, from his Florida estate.
A judge ruled that prosecutors can bring back Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran for more questioning before a grand jury in that case, the Associated Press reported last week.
Corcoran last year drafted a statement to the Justice Department in response to a subpoena that asserted a "diligent search" for classified documents had been conducted at Mar-a-Lago. Months later, FBI agents searched the home with a warrant and found roughly 100 additional documents with classified markings.
Georgia election interference
A special grand jury in Georgia heard from 75 witnesses last year on attempts by Trump and his allies to overturn a Joe Biden win in that state in the 2020 election. They wrapped in December, producing a report with recommendations for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, as they did not have the authority to indict.
The jury heard the publicly released January 2021 phone call in which the former president pressed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" enough Trump votes to reverse Biden's victory. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last week that five jurors who spoke to the newspaper said they also heard a separate recording which had not previously been reported, in which Trump allegedly pressures a top state legislator.
WATCH | Trump's phone call with Raffensperger raises legal questions (From 2021):
Trump asked Georgia’s secretary of state to ‘find’ more votes
U.S. President Donald Trump called on Georgia's secretary of state to 'find' more votes so he could win that state. The recording of the phone call emerges as the new Congress is sworn in, and with some Republican senators days away from mounting their own challenge to the election results.
The ball is now in Willis's court whether to empanel a more traditional grand jury that could conceivably issue indictments against Trump or some of his allies. Two months ago, Willis said decisions on proceeding were "imminent."
One thing to watch: The Republican-led state legislature is considering measures to give them more authority to recall locally elected district attorneys for "willful misconduct." While district attorneys have been removed in similar fashion in Florida and California, critics of the legislation can't help notice the timing of the bills, believing it could politicize or possibly torpedo the Trump-related probe before it's completed.
Trump Organization allegations
New York Attorney General Letitia James sued the Trump Organization and several of its principals last September over an alleged decade-long scheme to manipulate asset valuations and Trump's net worth, in order to gain favourable terms from lenders and insurers.
That trial is "written in stone" for Oct. 2, the judge in the case said this week, after a failed bid by the Trump team to postpone the proceedings.
The defendants include Trump, his children Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka, and former Trump Organization chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, recently sentenced to a short prison term in a separate case stemming from company practices.
Meanwhile, the Manhattan District Attorney overseeing the hush-money case, Alvin Bragg, has said the book hasn't been closed on a criminal case into similar Trump Organization allegations.
Defamation case related to rape allegation
E. Jean Carroll has filed defamation suits against Trump in both federal and state courts over disparaging comments he made about her after she publicly accused him of raping her in the mid-1990s.
The federal case is still caught up in appeals, but on April 25 the state trial will begin.
Last month, advice columnist E. Jean Carroll accused U.S. President Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her in the mid 1990s. While he denies the allegation, she tells us why she waited so long to make it.
Trump sat for a combative deposition related to Carroll's accusations in October.
Kaplan has ruled that the Carroll team can call as witnesses Jessica Leeds and Natasha Stoynoff, two other women who accuse Trump of committing sexual assault. As well, the judge said the infamous 2005 Access Hollywood tape in which Trump bragged in general terms of committing sexual assault can be brought into evidence.
With files from Reuters and the Associated Press
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