Trump’s criminal investigations: where do things stand?

The biggest clue came on Tuesday, when the Washington Post reported that New York state prosecutors convened a special grand jury in the years-long investigation into possible financial wrongdoing by the Trump Organization, the former president himself and his family.

There’s also the Atlanta-based probe into Trump’s efforts to overturn Georgia’s election results, and the wide-ranging probe into the US Capitol insurrection, which could trap Trump and his allies.

Trump denies any wrongdoing and says the investigations are politically motivated. Some of the investigations are overseen by Democratic officials, although they claim to follow the law.

Here’s a breakdown of the state of affairs in the Trump investigations.

New York State Financial Investigations

What is happening? Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance was investigating potential financial crimes by the Trump Organization since 2018. Prosecutors got millions of pages of documents, including Trump’s tax returns and bank statements, earlier this year after a massive legal battle. There would now be a grand jury, and investigators are lobby certain Trump allies to cooperate.
What could be next? The grand jury may be presented with witnesses and could be asked to approve criminal charges against Trump, his company, his top executives and his family. Grand juries are secret and the process can take time. But the probe is clearly growing. Last week, New York Attorney General Letitia James announcement that her office’s civil investigation into the Trump Organization has turned into a criminal investigation — and that she’s working with Vance.

Attempts to cancel the elections in Georgia

What is happening? Attorneys in Atlanta open a criminal investigation into Trump’s clumsiness effort pressure Georgia officials to overturn the 2020 election results. The state investigation is being led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who seated a grand jury in March. She also sent a letter to potential witnesses asking them to save documents and cooperate with the investigation.
What could be next? Subpoenas are probably the next phase, and they will probably be sent to some of the GOP state officials that Trump tried to lobby. But Willis’s office is behind schedule and the investigation has moved slowly so far. It is unclear when these subpoenas will be issued. And this would only be a first step towards the constitution of a file.

DC’s January 6 Capitol Uprising

What is happening? The Justice Department is overseeing the federal investigation into the insurgency and has already charged nearly 450 of the suspected rioters. Separately, DC Attorney General Karl Racine said he was exploring whether they can charge Trump under DC law with inciting violence, though that’s only a misdemeanor and legal experts are skeptical.
What could be next? Early in the Justice Department investigation, senior officials declined to rule out investigating Trump’s role in fomenting the riot. But since then, there has been no public indication that they are seriously investigating the ex-president. Similarly, Racine took no action to advance the local case, which would require the buy-in of his federal partners.

Mark M. Gagnon