Cameraperson: Athar Rather
Video Editor: Harpal Rawat
Donald Trump – former US President, billionaire businessman, and a man under investigation, for a lot of stuff.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), earlier this week, searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida with a warrant that gave it permission to look for presidential and classified records the former president allegedly retained, which needless to say, is illegal.
Such a situation is unprecedented in the history of the United States. Donald Trump, this week, became the first president to have his home searched by the FBI, and the first president to invoke the Fifth Amendment that protects him from self-incrimination, that is, he can't be forced to act as a witness in a criminal case against himself.
Of course, Trump is saying that he is a victim of a witch hunt, and the FBI search is “an assault” that “could only take place in broken, third-world countries.” But this is not the only case for which Trump is being investigated.
January 6 Capitol Riot
A committee within the US House of Representatives is investigating the January 6 riot at the Capitol last year.
Not only does the investigation pertain to Trump’s role in instigating the mob and not taking action to stop the violence, the televised hearings also feature multiple witnesses – many of them Republicans who are or were close to Trump.
The hearings have witnessed some bombshell testimonies, including that of Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to White House chief of staff, who, among other shocking revelations, claimed that Trump knew that his mob of supporters were carrying weapons to the Capitol, and he refused to do a thing to stop them.
The Select Committee can’t charge Trump with a crime, but it could request the Justice Department to charge him with specific crimes.
Trump's Business Practices
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the New York attorney general’s office have both been investigating Trump’s business practices, particularly allegations that he misrepresented the value of his assets to lenders and tax authorities to secure loans and get breaks on his taxes.
Four properties, including the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago and the Trump National Golf Club, are under investigation for overvaluing.
The idea of overvaluing a piece of land is that a company can demand a larger tax break in exchange for agreeing to not use a large portion of the property.
E Jean Carroll's Defamation Suit
Elizabeth Jean Carroll, a former magazine writer, sued Trump for defamation in 2019 after the then president denied her allegation that he raped her in the 1990s in a New York City department store.
He accused her of lying to increase sales of her book. The trial is set to begin in February in federal court in New York after a judge ordered the same last month.
One controversy within this is that the same judge barred the US government from replacing Trump as the defendant in Carroll’s lawsuit. The Justice Department has argued that the government should be the defendant because Trump was president and not a private citizen when he made those allegedly defamatory claims.
2020 Presidential Elections in Georgia State
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat, is investigating efforts to overturn Trump’s loss in Georgia’s 2020 presidential election.
This was when Trump had pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to “find” enough votes to reverse the victory of Joe Biden and the Democratic Party in the 2020 elections.
FBI Raids at Mar-a-Lago
The Justice Department is investigating how 15 boxes of official records of the White House ended up in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.
Officials with the National Archives and Records Administration asked the DoJ to launch an investigation after they found materials clearly marked as classified in those boxes. The House Oversight Committee is also looking into the matter.
In this case, prosecutors would have to prove that Trump or his aides intentionally mishandled the material or were grossly negligent in doing so. It’s not going to be easy given that it is after all the president who is the ultimate decision-maker on what information should be declassified.
Nevertheless, the case is expected to continue making headlines.