The trials of Donald Trump: What we know

Posted at 10:10 AM, July 15, 2024

Former President Donald Trump faces criminal trials in four states at both the federal and state levels, creating a court schedule that will have him traveling up and down the East Coast for at least the next year.

New York v. Donald J. Trump (Civil case)

former President Donald Trump wears a blue suit and tie as he sits in a NY courtroom

Former President Donald Trump, right, sits in the courtroom at New York Supreme Court, Monday, Oct. 2, 2023, in New York. Trump is making a rare, voluntary trip to court in New York for the start of a civil trial in a lawsuit that already has resulted in a judge ruling that he committed fraud in his business dealings. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool)

  • New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit in New York state court in Sept. 2022, alleging that Donald Trump and his eldest children, along with two company executives, falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars, while also playing down assets for tax purposes.
  • A judge ruled on Sept. 26, 2023, that Donald Trump committed fraud for years and was liable in the case.
    • The judge ruled some of Trump’s business licenses be rescinded and said an independent monitor would oversee Trump Organization operations.
  • At the non-jury trial, James is requesting $250 million in penalties.
  • The former president was in attendance at the first day of his trial on Oct. 2 in New York City.
    • In an opening statement, attorneys for Letitia James said, “They were lying year after year after year,” of the former president and his company..
    • Defense attorneys argued financial statements were all true, and said, “That is not fraud. That is real estate,” as she accused James of setting a dangerous precedent for business owners in the state.
  • The former president attended the first three days of the trial and spoke to the media outside of the courtroom, where he has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
  • Among those who have testified in the trial are former Trump company comptroller Jeffrey McConney, who was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony.
  • On Oct. 20, the judge fined Trump $5,000 for violating a gag order and warned him that if he violates it again he could face further penalties.
  • After a trial spanning several months, Judge Arthur Engoron ordered Trump to pay $355 million in penalties for lying about his wealth for years.
    • The amount of the judgment grows by the day because of interest, but the former president was successful in convincing an appeals court to cut the amount of money he needed to post bond to $175 million.

United States v. Donald J. Trump (District of Columbia)

  • Indicted Aug. 8, 2023
  • Charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.
  • Donald Trump pleaded not guilty on Aug. 3 in Washington, D.C.
  • On Aug. 28, 2023, Judge Tanya Chutkan set the trial date for March 4, 2024.
  • On Oct. 5, Trump’s attorneys asked a judge to dismiss the case, arguing that the former president is immune from prosecution from actions taken in his official role.
  • Trump’s attorneys have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to dismiss the indictment against him, and will present their case when the justices hear arguments on April 25.
    • The former president argues that he is immune from prosecution for official acts taken while in the White House.

United States v. Donald J. Trump (Southern District of Florida)

  • Indicted June 8, 2023
  • Charges of willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, scheme to conceal, false statements and representations and concealing a document in a federal investigation.
  • Donald Trump pleaded not guilty on June 13 in Miami.
  • Trump’s attorneys filed multiple motions to dismiss the case, based on claims the prosecution is vindictive and that the appointment of the special counsel is illegal. They also questioned whether Trump was legally entitled to have the documents under a statute known as the Presidential Records Act.
  • The trial, initially scheduled to begin on May 20, 2024, was postponed indefinitely on May 7, 2024, by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon in light of still-unresolved issues in the case, and the fact that Trump is currently standing trial in New York in a separate case.
  • On July 15, 2024, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon granted Trump’s motion to dismiss “based on the unlawful appointment and funding of special counsel Jack Smith, who brought the charges against Trump.

MORE | Federal charges dropped against Donald Trump days after assassination attempt

New York v. Donald J. Trump

  • Indicted Mar. 30, 2023.
  • Charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, relating to money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels through Trump’s attorney at the time, Michael Cohen. Pleaded not guilty on April 4, 2023.
  • The trial, initially scheduled to begin on March 25, was postponed until April 15, 2024.
  • A New York judge issued a gag order in the case ahead of the trial, which the former president decried as “illegal, un-American, unConstitutional” on his social media platform.
  • Jury selection in the trial began on April 15, 2024, marking the first criminal trial of any former U.S. president and the first of Trump’s indictments to head to trial. A full jury was seated on April 19.
  • The trial began with opening statements on April 22.
  • On April 30, Judge Juan Merchan held Trump in contempt of court and fined him $9,000 for violating the gag order by making statements about witnesses, jurors and others involved in the case. The fine must be paid by May 3.
  • On May 6, Trump was fined an additional $1,000 for violating the gag order and warned the former president that additional violations could result in jail time.
  • The prosecution rested its case on May 20 after more than four weeks of testimony from witnesses who included Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen.
  • Former President Trump’s defense team rested its case on May 21, without calling him to the stand to testify.The defense called only one witness: Robert Costello, a former advisor to Michael Cohen.
  • During closing arguments on May 28, the former president’s defense accused Michael Cohen of lying on the stand.
  • The jury began deliberations on Wednesday, May 29.
  • On May 30, the jury returned a unanimous verdict of guilty on all 34 counts. Sentencing was initially scheduled for July 11, but was postponed.
  • Following a verdict from the U.S. Supreme Court on presidential immunity, Donald Trump’s attorneys sent a letter to the judge in the case asking for the guilty verdict to be set aside.

Georgia v. Donald J. Trump, et al.

  • Indicted Aug. 14, 2023, with 18 others.
  • Charged with violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and conspiracy for allegedly trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia.
  • Donald Trump was arraigned and released on Aug. 25, 2023 at the Fulton County Jail.
  • Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has requested a trial start date of Oct. 23, which Trump’s team has opposed.
  • Pleaded not guilty on August 31, 2023, and waived his appearance at his arraignment.
  • On Sept. 14, Judge Scott McAfee split the trial of two defendants in the case, Sidney Powell and Keneth Chesebro, who had requested a speedy trial. That means Trump’s trial will not begin in October.
  • At an evidentiary hearing in February, the judge heard allegations that Willis engaged in an improper relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade.
    • The judge ruled that Willis could remain on the case but that Wade had to be removed.
    • On May 8, 2024, an appeals court agreed to review the ruling allowing Willis to remain on the case.
  • No trial date has been set, but Willis has said she wants the trial to begin before the November 2024 election.
  • An appeals court halted the case on June 5, while it reviewed a lower court’s ruling to allow Willis to remain on the case.

E. Jean Carroll v. Donald J. Trump (New York)

  • In 2019, Trump allegedly made remarks about columnist E. Jean Carroll, after she publicly claimed that the former president attacked her in a dressing room in the 1990s, which he has denied.
  • A first trial, held in the spring of 2023, concerned Carroll’s sexual assault allegations and whether recent comments by Donald Trump were defamatory. In May, the jury awarded Carroll $5 million, finding she was sexually abused but rejecting her claim that she was raped.
  • Following a second trial in 2024 that focused on the comments allegedly made by Donald Trump in 2019, a jury awarded Carroll $18 million in compensation plus an additional $65 million. The jury found that Trump had “maliciously damaged Carroll’s reputation after she went public with her allegations,” reported The AP.
  • In March, a federal judge approved a $92 million bond in the case, should it survive appeals. Carroll’s judge has threatened a third defamation suit if Trump’s verbal attacks continue

The Associated Press contributed to this report.