August 7, 2023 - Former U.S. President Donald Trump faces three criminal cases over falsifying business records, illegally hoarding classified documents and plotting to overthrow the 2020 election result.
Over the past three decades, Trump has fought more than 3,500 civil cases -- including 1,900 as a plaintiff and around 1,300 as a defendant. Now he is facing criminal cases.
While he uses his lawyers aggressively in civil litigation, this may fail to fight claims in criminal cases.
“That doesn’t work in a criminal setting where he’s not driving things,” said Michael Teter, an associate professor of law at the University of Utah.
Trump pleaded not guilty on August 3 to charges he plotted to overturn the 2020 election, culminating in the January 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Among the criminal charges that special counsel Jack Smith released, media identified five of Trump’s former lawyers as unnamed co-conspirators in his bid to rig the election.
According to the indictment, co-conspirator No. 2 is a lawyer who drafted a plan to have Vice President Mike Pence throw out Joe Biden’s Electoral Votes in Congress.
Speaking publicly for the first time since Trump’s indictment, Pence told reporters he had hoped it wouldn’t come to a charge.
“Sadly, the president was surrounded by a group of crackpot lawyers that kept telling him what his itching ears wanted to hear,” said Pence.
Of the 78 charges across three criminal cases, 44 are federal and 34 state charges, all felonies, in three jurisdictions. Trump has denied wrongdoing in every case.
- What Trump’s Indictments Mean for His 2024 Presidential Run (Bloomberg)
- Who is Evan Corcoran, Trump lawyer with outsized role in documents case? (Reuters)
- Trump Now Faces 3 Criminal Cases. Here's the Status of Each (Time)
- Trump’s Legal Team Is Enmeshed in a Tangle of Possible Conflicts (New York Times)