What criminal charges Trump faces

Wednesday, 17 April 2024 —

On 15 April, former US President Donald Trump attended the first hearing in a lower Manhattan courtroom. He is charged with falsifying business records to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Trump's "track record" includes four criminal cases of varying complexity and with completely different legal prospects.

Read more about charges and prospects for consideration in the article by Oleh Pavliuk, a European Pravda's journalist – Donald Trump and his cases: what criminal charges are brought against the former US president.

The first two cases are at the state level.


The case of "hush money" or "Porn Money" is being heard in the Manhattan District court (New York City).

In this case, Donald Trump is accused of falsifying business records to influence the 2016 elections. Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen transferred money to a porn actress and Playboy model to stop them from talking about their sexual encounters with Trump, and to a Trump Tower employee to prevent him from talking about Trump's alleged extramarital child.

The charges are punishable by up to four years in prison.

The case of "Criminal Organisation" and election interference is being heard in the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia (Atlanta).

Donald Trump and 18 others are accused, in simple terms, of creating a "criminal organisation" aimed at influencing the results of the 2020 elections. This "organisation" operated in several American states where Trump sought to challenge Joe Biden's victory in various ways.

After the charges were announced, four defendants reached agreements with the prosecution.

The most serious charges carry up to 20 years behind bars in this case. The judge determines the final sentence.

The evidence base for the charges is quite reliable.

Two more cases against the former US president are at the federal level.

The case of classified documents is being heard in the district court of the southern district of Florida (Miami).

After leaving the White House, Donald Trump took several documents to his estate in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, which turned out to contain classified information that the former president had no right to appropriate.

It is impossible to estimate even approximately what punishment he may face due to the complex calculation system in federal cases.

From a legal point of view, the case looks bleak for the former president, but it is being heard by a judge appointed during Trump's presidency, who has previously issued rulings favourable to him.

The case involving the events of 6 January and election interference is being heard in the District Court of the District of Columbia (Washington).

The case concerns Donald Trump's role in the events of 6 January 2021, when thousands of his supporters stormed the Capitol building in Washington during the certification of the presidential election results.

The charges in this case are the most serious of all four.

The most serious charges against Trump in this case carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, but the court determines the specific term in case of a guilty verdict.

From a legal point of view, this federal case also seems unfavourable for the former president. However, the unprecedented nature of it works in Trump's favour.

Overall, even imprisonment will not prevent Trump from becoming president since the US Constitution does not prohibit this.

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