Trump besieged on all sides: An FBI raid, a New York tax probe, a Georgia grand jury

Trump besieged on all sides: An FBI raid, a New York tax probe, a Georgia grand jury on stolen elections and his CFO in court for tax fraud

  • The raid on Mar-a-Lago this week was a visible reminder of Trump’s legal woes
  • He is also facing investigations in Georgia, Washington D.C. and New York 
  • His allies have been ordered to appear before a grand jury investigating efforts to influence the result of the 2020 election in Georgia
  • On Friday, a Trump Organization executive appeared in a New York court
  • And the House January 6 committee continues to amass evidence

When FBI agents raided former President Donald Trump‘s Mar-a-Lago resort on Monday it triggered outrage among his supporters, who accused the Department of Justice of persecuting the former president.

Trump himself accused authorities of a ‘witch hunt,’ and of trying to ensure that he could never run for president again.

Even Republicans with no great love of Trump said it was a dangerous and unprecedented step. 

‘This is a very dangerous line they’ve crossed,’ said New York GOP donor Eric Levine. 

‘And unless they come away with proof that he was plotting with Putin the invasion of New Hampshire or something, this heavy-handed manner of obtaining information on an ex-president is quite breathtaking.’

Sources said the raid was part of an investigation into whether Trump took classified documents home with him after leaving the White House, and even that they may have included nuclear secrets.

Former President Donald Trump faces a slew of legal battles that has only intensified since leaving office. They include investigations into his conduct after the election and his business practices. The probes stretch across the country

Former President Donald Trump faces a slew of legal battles that has only intensified since leaving office. They include investigations into his conduct after the election and his business practices. The probes stretch across the country

A new report on Friday claimed some documents labeled top secret were found in a storage room near the Mar-a-Lago pool. There are two pools on the Florida estate, one near the main house and the other parallel to the ocean

A new report on Friday claimed some documents labeled top secret were found in a storage room near the Mar-a-Lago pool. There are two pools on the Florida estate, one near the main house and the other parallel to the ocean

And it signified that Attorney General Merrick Garland and his Department of Justice now have the former president squarely in their sights.

Whether or not they have the evidence – or the political will – to charge a former president is another question.

But it is not the only legal jeopardy facing Trump or his business empire.

Two criminal investigations are under way. One is into allegations of interference in the 2020 election and another into possible financial crimes. 

At the same time, a Congressional inquiry is weighing whether or not to recommend criminal charges related to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol last year.

January 6 investigation

Trump supporters overran the U.S. Capitol building on January 6 last year. The House of Representatives is collecting evidence about Trump's role in the violence

Trump supporters overran the U.S. Capitol building on January 6 last year. The House of Representatives is collecting evidence about Trump’s role in the violence

The January 6 committee held a series of public hearings as it presents its evidence

The January 6 committee held a series of public hearings as it presents its evidence

Trump was acquitted last year by the Senate of ‘inciting an insurrection’ for the way he fired up his supporters and spread false claims about the 2020 election being stolen from him. 

Republicans said he was vindicated. 

But that was not the end of the matter.

The House has established a committee to sift through the events leading up to the riot, and has presented its evidence in a series of blockbuster hearings during the summer.

It has included testimony from Trump’s own aides that he knew he had lost the election, despite public claims to the contrary, and that he was told some of his supporters were armed, yet still demand they be allowed to march on Congress to protest certification of Joe Biden’s election victory.

The committee has no legal power to prosecute Trump. But it could recommend that the Department of Justice press charges.

Possible indictments could include obstructing the vote count in Congress or conspiring to defraud the US.

Presidential  records

Staff members carry boxes to Marine One before President Donald Trump left the White House, on Jan. 20, 2021 for his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida

Staff members carry boxes to Marine One before President Donald Trump left the White House, on Jan. 20, 2021 for his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida

Trump aides were seen carrying boxes of files to Marine One when Trump flew out of the White House for the final time last year.

But presidents are meant to hand over their documents to the National Archive at the the end of their term under the requirements of the Presidential Records Act.

In February, the National Archive said some 15 boxes of government material, which should have been turned over, had been found at Mar-a-Lago.

Negotiations continued over materials that Trump had allegedly kept, but the quiet discussions exploded into public on Monday when the former president confirmed that his club had been searched by the FBI.

Attorney General Merrick Garland defended the operation and said he had signed off the search.

‘Faithful adherence to the rule of law is the bedrock principle of the Justice Department and of our democracy,’ he said. 

‘Upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly without fear or favor Under my watch, that is precisely what the Justice Department is doing.’

New York tax probe

Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty of tax fraud. It is one of two cases against the company in New York

Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty of tax fraud. It is one of two cases against the company in New York

New York Attorney General Letitia James is is also investigating allegations that Trump's company misled lenders and tax authorities about asset values

New York Attorney General Letitia James is is also investigating allegations that Trump’s company misled lenders and tax authorities about asset values

A New York judge on Friday ordered the Trump Organization and its financial chief to stand trial in October on criminal tax fraud charges. 

Prosecutors believe that Allen Weisselberg and Trump’s company conspired to give off-the-books compensation to senior executives for 15 years. 

That included $1.7 million, including rent, car payments and school tuition, for Weisselberg, who is accused of defrauding New York out of $900,000 in unpaid taxes.

He and the company deny any wrongdoing. 

At the same time, Trump faces a civil case being pursued by New York Attorney General Letitia James. She is looking into allegations that Trump’s company misled lenders and tax authorities about asset values, by raising and lowering valuations depending on whether it was for tax or investment purposes.

She questioned Trump under oath on Wednesday. But he pleaded the Fifth Amendment, repeating the phrase ‘same answer’, more than 400 times.

The two investigations are separate but James’ civil investigation could lead to a lawsuit and fines.

Georgia grand jury 

Trump allies, including Rudy Giuliani (above), the former New York mayor and Trump lawyer, and Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina have been asked to appear before a Georgia grand jury investigating the aftermath of the 2020 election

Trump allies, including Rudy Giuliani (above), the former New York mayor and Trump lawyer, and Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina have been asked to appear before a Georgia grand jury investigating the aftermath of the 2020 election

Trump’s lawyers and allies are in the firing line in Georgia, where the former president and key aides allegedly tried to overturn the state’s 2020 election result.

Leaked emails and phone transcripts show how they put pressure on local officials including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to stop Georgia’s 15 electoral college votes going to Biden.

In a January 2021 phone call, Trump even called on Raffensperger to ‘find’ him the 10,000 votes he needed to beat the Democratic candidate. 

A grand jury has been convened to sift the claims and decide whether there is enough evidence to bring charges. 

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis more than three dozen individuals to appear before the jury. They include Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor and Trump lawyer, and Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina senator.

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