Feb 19 (Reuters) –

Donald Trump faces unprecedented legal troubles in civil and criminal cases as he seeks the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic President Joe Biden in the Nov. 5 U.S. election. Trump denies any wrongdoing.

Here is a look at the major legal cases facing the former U.S. president, including 91 criminal indictments across two federal and two state cases:

TRIAL OVER ‘HUSH MONEY’ TO PORN STAR Trump faces a trial beginning March 25 on 34 criminal counts of falsifying business records after a grand jury in Manhattan indicted him for covering up hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election. That case made Trump the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges and he pleaded not guilty on April 4, 2023.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, paid Daniels $130,000 for her silence about a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump in 2006. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, an elected Democrat, pursued the criminal charges and accused Trump of trying to conceal a violation of election laws.

Trump has denied having a sexual encounter with Daniels but acknowledged reimbursing Cohen for the $130,000 payment. Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and other crimes in 2018 and was sentenced to three years in prison.

NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL CIVIL LAWSUIT New York State Justice Arthur Engoron on Feb. 16 ordered Trump to pay $354.9 million in penalties after ruling in September ruled that he committed repeated and persistent fraud, link palsu overstating his net worth by as much as much as $3.6 billion a year.

Engoron also banned Trump from serving on any New York corporation for three years and appointed an independent monitor to oversee Trump’s businesses. That resolved a civil fraud lawsuit filed by New York State Attorney General Letitia James on Sept. 21, 2022, that accused Trump and his family real estate business, the Trump Organization, of lying from 2011 to 2021 about his net worth and the value of his properties to obtain better terms from lenders and insurers. These properties included his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and Trump Tower penthouse in Manhattan.

Engoron also ordered the “dissolution” of companies that control key Trump properties, including Trump Tower and 40 Wall Street in Manhattan.

Trump is appealing and has accused James, an elected Democrat, and Engoron of bias.

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S ELECTION SUBVERSION CHARGES Trump pleaded not guilty on Aug. 3, 2023, to charges brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith in federal court in Washington concerning his efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden. In the four-count indictment, Trump was accused of conspiring to defraud the United States by preventing Congress from certifying Biden’s victory and to deprive voters of their right to a fair election. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the contention made by Trump’s lawyers that former presidents cannot face criminal charges for conduct related to their official responsibilities. The D.C. Circuit concluded that any executive immunity that may have shielded Trump from criminal charges while he served as president “no longer protects him against this prosecution.” Trump asked the U.S. Supreme Court to put the three-judge panel’s decision on hold pending his bid for the full slate of D.C. Circuit judges to reconsider the case, and, if necessary, appeal to the Supreme Court. Smith has urged the top court to reject any delay.

On Jan. 6, 2021, his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol in a failed bid to prevent congressional certification of Biden’s victory after Trump gave a speech telling them to march there and “fight like hell” to prevent the election from being “stolen.” Prosecutors said Trump exploited the attack, spurning advice that he send a message directing rioters to leave.

Trump and others organized fraudulent slates of electors in seven states, all of which he lost, to be certified as official by Congress on Jan. 6 in a bid to thwart certification of Biden’s victory, the indictment said.

The indictment presented examples of Trump’s false claims of widespread voting fraud and noted that close advisers, including senior intelligence officials, told him the results were legitimate. Trump lawyers have also urged the Supreme Court to delay given its plan to hear a separate case involving a Jan. 6 defendant that they argue could affect two of the four counts facing Trump.

The trial’s original March 4 start date has been postponed, with no new start date set.

GEORGIA ELECTION-SUBVERSION CHARGES Trump on Aug. 31, 2023, pleaded not guilty to state criminal charges in Georgia arising from his efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss to Biden. A grand jury indicted him after an investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, an elected Democrat.

He was charged with 13 felony counts, accused of pressuring state officials to reverse his election loss in Georgia and setting up a fake slate of electors to undermine the congressional certification of Biden’s victory.

Trump and his 18 co-defendants were charged under Georgia’s broadly written Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act that originally targeted the mafia. Counts against Trump include racketeering, conspiracy to commit forgery and conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer.

Four of Trump’s co-defendants – his former lawyers Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis and Kenneth Chesebro as well as former Republican poll watcher Scott Hall – have pleaded guilty to lesser charges in deals with prosecutors. Trump has moved to disqualify Willis from the case, accusing her of “stoking racial animus” during a speech in which she addressed claims that she had an inappropriate relationship with Nathan Wade, the lawyer she hired to help run the criminal case. The judge, Scott McAfee, is poised to rule on whether to disqualify Willis from pursing the prosecution.

Other co-defendants include Mark Meadows, Trump’s former White House chief of staff, and lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman. They have pleaded not guilty.

No trial date has been set.

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS CHARGES Trump pleaded not guilty on June 13, 2023, and again on Aug. 4, 2023, to charges brought by Smith in federal court in south Florida that he unlawfully kept classified national security documents after leaving office in January 2021 and misled officials who sought to recover them. Trump faces 40 criminal counts in the case.

The documents included information about the U.S. nuclear program and potential vulnerabilities in the event of an attack, according to the indictment. Smith accused Trump of risking national secrets by taking thousands of sensitive papers with him when he left the White House and storing them haphazardly at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and golf club in New Jersey.

The charges include violations of the Espionage Act, which criminalizes unauthorized possession of national defense information, and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

A May 20 trial date was set but is expected to be delayed.

SEXUAL ABUSE AND DEFAMATION CIVIL LAWSUITS A jury in Manhattan on Jan. 26 ordered Trump to pay $83.3 million to writer E. Jean Carroll in her defamation lawsuit against him. Jurors found that Trump harmed Carroll and acted with malice when he defamed her by denying in 2019 that he raped her in the mid-1990s in a Bergdorf Goodman department store dressing room in Manhattan. Trump vowed to appeal. On May 9, 2023, another jury ordered Trump to pay Carroll $5 million over his similar October 2022 denial, finding that he had defamed and sexually abused Carroll. Trump appealed.

Trump has denied any encounter with Carroll and accused her of making up her story to sell her memoir.

(Reporting by Andy Sullivan, Joseph Ax, Luc Cohen, Karen Freifeld, Susan Heavey, Sarah N. Lynch, Jonathan Stempel, Jack Queen and Jacqueline Thomsen; Editing by Noeleen Walder, Will Dunham, Jonathan Oatis and Scott Malone)

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