Home WORLD AMERICA The long list of investigations targeting Donald Trump

The long list of investigations targeting Donald Trump

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The seizure of classified documents that Donald Trump would have kept in his Mar-a-Lago residence could cause him serious headaches if it is shown that he wanted to hide or destroy official documents. Section 2071, Section 18 of the United States Code provides penalties for anyone who willfully conceals or destroys official documents.

The result is fines, years in prison and, potentially, ineligibility for an official position… like the presidency of the United States, for example. So, farewell 2024, for Mr. Trump?

A few supporters of former President Donald Trump gathered near his home in Mar-a-Lago.

Diehard Trump supporters defend him, even amid legal turmoil.

Photo: Getty Images/Eva Marie Uzcategui

Not so fast: this kind of process is often long and laborious, and the chances of it succeeding are difficult to assess. Add a hint of constitutional debate and you have a real headache for those who want to sue.

Stepping back in time, Hillary Clinton faced the same Section 18 barrage for destroying emails she sent as Secretary of State in the Obama administration. Except that, in fact, there is nothing in the Constitution which mentions the need, in order to run for the presidency, to be white as snow and therefore not to have, for example, destroyed a classified document.

Investigations on January 6, 2021

This is probably the survey that has been talked about the most in recent weeks. Set up by Congress, it aims to establish the responsibility of those who fomented the assault on Capitol Hill in an attempt to prevent the certification of the election of Joe Biden by members of Congress.

Led among others by Liz Cheney, a Republican, this commission says it has rather convincing evidence that Donald Trump is at the center of an electoral fraud plot which ultimately led to the events of January 6, 2021. He knew that this could turn into violence, but did nothing, think the members of the commission.

The limit of this commission: it cannot file federal felony charges against Donald Trump. But she can send her recommendations to the Department of Justice and to the Attorney General of the United States, Merrick Garland, who is also investigating the same events.

By his actions, Mr. Trump would likely have violated federal law by attempting to block or obstructing the certification of the official election results. The use of trickery or deception in this regard is a criminal act.

There are currently no lawsuits filed against the ex-president by Merrick Garland’s team. The department has a policy of not indicting a serving president, but nothing prevents it from doing so against a former president.

Investigation in Georgia

Brad Raffensperger at the microphone during a press conference.

Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, was pressured by Donald Trump to tamper with the results of the presidential election in the southern state.

Photo: Getty Images/Jessica McGowan

Did Donald Trump try to falsify Georgia election results? He called Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, on January 2, 2021, to ask him to780voice”,”text”:”find 11780voice”}}”>find 11,780 votes. A request which, if granted, would have allowed him to win this pivotal state.

In this case, Mr. Trump may have violated several laws: conspiracy to commit voter fraud, criminal solicitation and, of course, intentional interference in the state’s election process.

New York investigations

In these cases, investigators within the Manhattan district attorney’s office suspect malfeasance within the inner circle of law enforcement officials. Trump Organization, which manages luxury real estate. Misleading valuation of assets to reduce property taxes or to obtain bank loans at preferential rates… suspicions are mounting, but have still not led to concrete formal charges.

For her part, a New York State prosecutor is keeping an eye on the matter and combing through the documents of the same organization to verify whether certain building values ​​have also been inflated for tax purposes.

A loss on the tax return front

The former president failed on Tuesday in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. His tax returns will have to be turned over to the House Ways and Means Committee, as a lower court ruled.

It was Democrat Richard Neal who asked, in 2019, to obtain Donald Trump’s statements over a six-year period. The committee could vote to release the documents or a summary of their findings to the 435 members of the House, thereby making the information available to the public in some way.

Mr Trump could appeal the decision, although it is unclear whether the US Supreme Court will choose to consider the case as it has reviewed similar cases in the past.

What consequences?

Faced with these many pans that seem to follow him inexorably, Donald Trump so far deserves, in the eyes of some, the qualifier of “Teflon President”.

But this accumulation of investigations still risks tarnishing his reputation with Republican and independent supporters who are beginning to have doubts. They are necessarily less blinded by the personality revered for life and death by the die-hards, those who are part of his bubble MAGA (allusion to his famous slogan Make America Great Again).

How much will this handicap his political future? This is one of the many questions that, for the moment, remain unanswered.

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