With 57 to 43 votes, the Senate acquitted the former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment proceedings.
Senate Minority Chairman Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Warned Trump could continue to face charges or trial because of his role in the Capitol attack.
“We have a criminal justice system in this country,” McConnell said after voting in favor of Trump’s acquittal. “We have civil lawsuits. And former presidents are not immune from being held accountable by either of them.”
Trump’s legal risks are not limited to the January 6th events, however.
His call to the Georgian Secretary of State on January 2 led to an investigation by the Fulton County Georgia District Attorney.
In New York, the Manhattan District Attorney and Attorney General have open inquiries.
It is everyone’s guess that prosecutors will actually bring charges. The New York investigation has slowed thanks to the legal protection Trump enjoyed as president. The most serious problems concern potential tax and banking fraud charges. But investigators have not yet seen the tax returns for Trump and the Trump Organization.
An important decision by the US Supreme Court on these tax returns is pending.
Here are some of the top issues that prosecutors deal with.
Meddling in Georgia’s election count
In a February 10 letter to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and other senior state officials, Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis said her office was conducting an investigation into “attempts to influence the actions of those administering the 2020 election “initiated. While Trump is not named, only Trump and his representatives alleged electoral fraud, and Willis’ description would cover Trump’s call to Georgian Foreign Secretary Brad Raffensperger on Jan. 2.
At this call, Trump asked Raffensperger to re-examine the voting results. He cited unsubstantiated reports of manipulated voting results, torn ballot papers and illegal votes.
“I only want to find 11,780 votes,” Trump told Raffensperger – one more than his profit margin.
At one point, Trump said, “There is nothing wrong with saying that you recalculated.”
One of the major hurdles in proving criminal interference is proving Trump’s state of mind. If he believed there was indeed fraud, Georgia State University law professor Anthony Michael Kreis told us, then there is nothing wrong with urging a state official to expose him.
“If charged, Trump’s lawyers could argue that he is not committed to fraud, but asks good faith for the truth,” said Kreis.
On the other hand, the President of the United States has much more power than a Secretary of State. If Trump were to spend an hour with Raffensperger, this could give a prosecutor a strong argument: “Trump used this inequality to induce Secretary Raffensperger to act illegally,” said Kreis.
The Fulton County Grand Jury will meet in March to consider the need for further information and possible charges.
A series of financial research
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. initially looked at Trump for paying $ 280,000 to two women – a former Playboy model and a director and star in pornography – who said they had close ties with Trump . Trump’s payments to bury their stories during the 2016 election resulted in his personal attorney being convicted.
Now Vance’s focus has broadened.
In a court case in August 2020, Vance said his tax and financial records subpoena had to do with “alleged insurance and banking fraud by the Trump organization and its officials.” The filing related to the public reporting of fraud.
New York attorney general Letitia James opened an investigation in 2019 to investigate whether “Trump’s financial statements increased the values of Trump’s assets to facilitate loans and insurance, according to a testimony from Congress through Trump’s convicted former attorney Michael Cohen Preserve while at the same time deflating the value of other assets to reduce real estate taxes. “
James’ office said its investigation focused on several properties.
A 212 acre mansion in Westchester County, NY, was originally intended to be converted into a golf course. When the local opposition rejected these plans, Trump ultimately used a large part of the area for conservation. The higher the value of the property, the more it is worth in tax depreciation, and the problem would be if the property valuation were reasonable. Similar questions revolve around a golf course in Los Angeles, some of which the Trump Organization has put into conservation.
The Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago ran out of money and, in a financial reorganization, lenders forgave some of the outstanding debt. The question is whether the Trump organization reported the canceled debts as income, as the law normally dictates.
The attorney general is also looking into Trump’s efforts to get funding from Deutsche Bank when he tried to buy the Buffalo Bills soccer team in 2014.
While a calculated attempt to mislead lenders, investors, and insurance companies could expose Trump to legal risk, it is unclear whether documents filed by Trump or the Trump Organization violate any law. Declarations of value contain warnings that oblige the other party to check the figures themselves.
A new study area may have opened up after the 2020 elections. The New York Times acquired copies of long-standing Trump tax records and reported that Trump may have paid advisory fees to his daughter Ivanka Trump as an executive at the company. This could potentially be against the tax laws.
The New York Department of Taxation and Finance is also dealing with many of the same issues.