All the evidence is piling up

  • Investigations into Donald Trump’s finances and conduct may soon result in criminal charges.
  • New York prosecutors are investigating his taxes and Georgia prosecutors are investigating his electoral influence.
  • Trump also faces legal risks related to the Jan.6 Capitol riot and Rudy Giuliani’s interference in Ukraine.
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Criminal investigations into former President Donald Trump are escalating. The signs are everywhere.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has assembled a grand jury that is believed to be used for an investigation into whether Trump rigged his personal and corporate finances. Charges could be laid as early as Monday, according to the Washington Post.

New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office recently said his own investigation was now criminal in nature and that he was joining forces with Vance.

Prosecutors from New York to Georgia are reviewing Trump’s conduct before he took office, as well as the actions he took as president.

Trump is said to face two more grand jury inquiries into whether he illegally pressured Georgian officials to rig the 2020 election results.

In addition, criminal investigations are underway into the insurgency on the U.S. Capitol and Rudy Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine to dig up dirt on Trump’s 2020 presidential rival Joe Biden. Both present potential legal risks to Trump, although there is no evidence prosecutors are currently targeting him.

Trump has dismissed all allegations against him – in criminal investigations as well as in a litany of civil investigations – as politically motivated.

Here’s a look at the evidence that has been made public in each case so far, along with clues as to where the prosecution is headed.

Refine finances

What did Trump do?

According to former Trump Organization executive Michael Cohen, the Trump Organization has kept two sets of books regarding company finances. One paints a rosy financial picture, with inflated real estate valuations, for favorable loan and insurance rates; another shows large debts and low property valuations, Cohen said, in order to pay little or nothing in taxes.

Prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the New York State Attorney General’s Office appear to be investigating whether Trump, the Trump Organization, or company executives violated the tax, banking, or insurance laws of the state by distorting the finances of the company. The offices are working with each other, and the precise scope of each investigation remains unclear – for example, Vance could also examine whether Trump broke campaign finance laws when he asked Cohen to pay the porn star Stormy Daniels with funds from the Trump Organization to remain silent. their alleged affair.

Jennifer Weisselberg, a co-operative witness in both investigations, told Insider that Trump maintains control over the lives of his leaders by offering them elaborate perks, such as paying for apartments and their children’s school fees, to ensure their loyalty. . These benefits may also have violated tax laws.

What have prosecutors done so far?

On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that Vance’s office had appointed a grand jury that will hear evidence and assess the charges for its investigation. The news follows an announcement from James’ office that his own investigation was criminal in nature.

Vance’s office has also had historic victories in the Supreme Court that gave him access to tons of financial documents, including tax returns.

Other recent actions by New York prosecutors appear to focus on the “turnaround” of Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of the Trump Organization and personal accountant for the Trump family. Weisselberg and her family members are under scrutiny as part of the investigation, Jennifer Weisselberg, who is her former daughter-in-law, told Insider.

As the person most knowledgeable about Trump’s finances, Allen Weisselberg could guide prosecutors and a jury through the documents in Vance’s possession if he cooperates.

Pressure officials to manipulate election results

What did Trump do?

On January 2, two months after Trump already lost the 2020 presidential election, including electoral college votes in Georgia, Trump called Brad Raffensperger, the state’s top election official.

In the appeal, Trump falsely stated that he was the real winner of the election, that thousands of deceased people voted and spouted various other conspiracy theories about how the election went. Trump told Raffensperger to “look very carefully” at the shredded ballots, which did not happen, said he wanted “to find 11,780 votes” and that Raffensperger should “work on those numbers” and ” come to a resolution “.

Brad Raffensperger

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

AP Photo / Brynn Anderson

In a separate phone call in December with Frances Watson, the chief election investigator in Raffensperger’s office, Trump also made false accusations about Georgia’s electoral process and told him that “When is the right answer will be given, you will be congratulated ”.

What have prosecutors done so far?

Fanni Willis, the Fulton County District Attorney, who includes Atlanta, is examining whether Trump’s calls constituted an illegal attempt to manipulate election results.

In a letter to state election officials, Willis said his investigation would assess “potential violations of Georgia’s electoral law prohibiting the solicitation of electoral fraud, misrepresentation to state and local government bodies, conspiracy , racketeering, violation of the oath of office, and any implication in the violence of threats related to the administration of the election. ”

In April, a local Fox affiliate reported that Willis was seeking subpoenas for his investigation through a grand jury.

Raffensperger is also conducting a separate administrative inquiry into Trump’s attempts to influence election results in his state.

Tell supporters to “fight like hell” before the Capitol riot

What did Trump do?

Ahead of the uprising on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, Trump held a rally where he urged his supporters to “fight like hell” and “show strength” in reaction to members of Congress certifying the results of the 2020 elections.

He told his supporters they were “allowed to follow very different rules” based on the false premise that the elections were rigged.

GettyImages Donald Trump

President Donald Trump waves to the crowd at the “Stop The Steal” rally on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

Trump’s speech led to his second impeachment in the House of Representatives, but 57 U.S. senators voted to condemn him, below the required two-thirds majority threshold.

What have prosecutors done so far?

Federal prosecutors have already arrested and charged more than 400 people who they said were involved in the riot.

Washington, DC Attorney General Karl Racine said his office was examining whether Trump could be charged with an offense for allegedly promoting violence.

Legal experts say, however, that the chances of success for such charges are unlikely.

Federal prosecutors in DC have not ruled out prosecuting Trump for his speech, but there has been no evidence of an active investigation into his conduct.

Seeking to influence US policy from Ukraine

What did Trump do?

In 2018, Rudy Giuliani, then Trump’s personal lawyer, scoured Ukraine in an unsuccessful attempt to dig up the dirt on current President Joe Biden.

Part of his efforts involved the ousting of Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine, who Giuliani said was preventing Ukraine from launching an investigation into Biden ahead of the 2020 election.

Trump’s related efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Biden ahead of 2020 election including an appeal to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – led to his first impeachment, where the Republican-controlled Senate acquitted him.

At the time, Trump denied any wrongdoing regarding his attempts to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden.

Giuliani trump

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump in September.

Joshua Roberts / Getty Images

Manhattan federal prosecutors are investigating Giuliani’s conduct and seized his email communications. They may be examining whether his interference in Ukraine was done at Trump’s request, although there is no public indication that Trump himself is a subject of the investigation.

What have prosecutors done so far?

Giuliani’s investigation stems from a separate case involving two of his associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who prosecutors say were involved in illegal election financing schemes and attempted to influence US-Ukraine relations.

In April, FBI agents raided Giuliani’s apartment and office and served a search warrant at the home of Victoria Toensing, another lawyer and Trump ally.

The exact scope of the investigation remains unclear, but prosecutors appear to be investigating whether Giuliani’s interference in Ukraine violates foreign lobbying laws.

Mark M. Gagnon