The Three Other Trump Investigations

In the coming months, Donald Trump’s mounting legal troubles could get even worse. At least three investigations could bring more criminal charges against him.

Federal officials are investigating both Trump’s handling of classified documents and his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, culminating in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Separately, a grand jury in Georgia could charge Trump by September for his attempts to change the state’s election results. Any of these charges could carry prison time.

Charges are not guaranteed. “It is certainly possible that there will be more indictments,” my colleague Alan Feuer, who is covering the federal inquiries, told me. “But it is also certainly possible that there aren’t.”

A trial or a conviction also would not necessarily stop Trump from running for president. He might not be tried or convicted before the 2024 election. He could campaign from prison, as the socialist candidate Eugene Debs did in 1920. Some legal experts believe he could even try to govern from prison, should he win the presidency.

Trump is already the first president, current or former, to be charged with a crime. The Manhattan district attorney has accused him of an illegal scheme to cover up potential sex scandals in 2016. And last month, a jury found Trump liable in a civil case for $5 million for sexual abuse and defamation.

Today’s newsletter will focus on the three additional investigations to help you prepare for the potential news of the coming months.

Documents in Mar-a-Lago

The classified-documents case may be close to wrapping up. In August, an F.B.I. search at Trump’s home in Florida turned up more than 100 classified documents that were supposed to remain in the government’s possession. The Justice Department is trying to determine whether Trump hid documents after he had been served with a subpoena ordering him to return them.

One piece of potential evidence in the case, revealed this week: Prosecutors have a recording of Trump discussing a sensitive military document that he kept after leaving the White House and that he acknowledged was not previously declassified.

It is not that unusual for officials to misplace classified documents or keep them in their homes, often by accident. Such documents were found in the homes of President Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence. What is unusual in Trump’s case is his efforts to keep the documents after federal officials asked for them back. Those efforts may expose him to charges of obstruction of justice.

There are a few reasons prosecutors might not charge Trump. The underlying offense — the mishandling of classified documents — is often resolved without charges; officials return the files and prosecutors move on. And given that any charges against Trump could lead to a fierce political backlash, the Justice Department could deem the cost of prosecution too high.

(These Times graphics take you behind the scenes at Mar-a-Lago.)

The Jan. 6 attack

The other federal investigation is focused on Trump’s efforts to stay in power after he lost the 2020 election.

One part of the investigation may be focused on whether Trump incited violence on Jan. 6. On social media and at his rallies, he falsely claimed he won the 2020 election and demanded state officials change results in his favor. In late December 2020, Trump called for a “wild” protest on Jan. 6, 2021. At a rally that morning, he directed the crowd to “fight like hell” and march on the Capitol. After they became violent, he waited hours before asking them to go home.

Prosecutors have also charged hundreds of other suspects in the attack and may feel compelled to charge the person they see as the chief inciter.

Still, the potential case against Trump has weaknesses: He never explicitly ordered an attack or told his supporters to storm the Capitol. He did eventually encourage them to disperse.

Beyond Jan. 6, federal prosecutors could bring other charges related to Trump’s schemes to remain in the White House. “It is not only an enormous case to prove in terms of the number of witnesses and the complexities of gathering evidence — it is also legally very complicated,” Alan said.

(These videos walk through the Jan. 6 attack.)


The inquiry in Georgia has a clearer timeline. The Fulton County district attorney, Fani Willis, has said that if a grand jury hands down charges, it will do so by September. A separate special grand jury, which could recommend charges but not indict, has already recommended multiple indictments.

The Georgia case could involve multiple defendants and could focus on racketeering charges over a scheme to undermine the election. Prosecutors could argue Trump and his team worked together to try to overturn the 2020 results, committing multiple crimes along the way.

Willis has a big piece of evidence: an audio recording in which Trump asked Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” nearly 12,000 votes to flip the state’s tally in his favor.

The biggest challenge for prosecutors could come down to proving Trump’s intent. For example, in the phone call, was Trump demanding that Georgia officials overturn the results, or was he asking them to check whether they failed to count legitimate votes? A trial could turn on those kinds of issues.

(Here’s a timeline of the Georgia investigation.)

For more

The recording could undermine one of Trump’s key lines of defense in the classified-documents inquiry.

Investigators are reviewing the handling of Mar-a-Lago security footage to see whether Trump deliberately hid classified documents from federal officials.

Federal prosecutors in the 2020 election inquiry are also examining whether Trump and his allies solicited money with claims of election fraud they knew were false.


Debt Limit

The Senate passed the debt limit bill to avoid a default. It now goes to President Biden to sign.

The bill includes a provision to force both parties to follow through on their deal: automatic spending cuts if they don’t.

Biden’s measured approach to selling his deal with Republicans reflected his half-century of negotiating in Washington.

War in Ukraine

Antony Blinken, the secretary of state, discussed Ukraine’s future ties to NATO with foreign ministers in Oslo.

See inside the notorious Russian jail holding the American journalist Evan Gershkovich. The Washington Post recreated his cell.

A mother rushed her child to a bomb shelter as missiles hit Kyiv. The door was locked — and they died outside.

“I still can’t believe that I survived it”: Pregnant women in Ukraine are at risk of giving birth prematurely because of mental distress.


Biden plans to pick Mandy Cohen, a former North Carolina health secretary, as the next C.D.C. director.

After speaking at the Air Force Academy graduation, Biden tripped and fell onstage. He stood up quickly.

A nonprofit group housing formerly homeless New Yorkers is suing hundreds of tenants for unpaid rent to expedite city aid.

Eric Adams, New York City’s mayor, knows the value of a good story. But some he tells about himself are almost impossible to verify.

Other Big Stories

Arizona will limit some new housing construction in the Phoenix area because of a shrinking water supply.

North Korea’s appears to have made its nuclear missiles easier to launch and harder to intercept.

A wealthy Midwestern hospital chain refuses to treat even children with too many unpaid bills.

An 8-year-old girl who died after being held at a border facility was not provided proper medical care, an investigation found.

High temperatures shut down schools in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Three teenagers killed and ate a New York town’s beloved swan.


Gangs are targeting Haiti’s law enforcement officials. Other countries need to intervene, Jean W. Pape writes.

New York’s mayor wants to use mandatory psychiatric treatment to address the mental health of homeless people. He should think more creatively about care, Daniel Bergner writes.

Here are columns by David French on Trump’s town hall and Jamelle Bouie on work requirements.


Yard décor: A professor put 10-foot “Transformers” statues in front of his Georgetown home. The neighbors weren’t happy.

Murder mystery: A nest was assaulted. The suspect: a sparrow.

Modern Love: A “Friends” episode helped one writer heal.

Co-authors: Mary Trump and E. Jean Carroll are writing a romance novel together.

Blisters? Try these hiking socks.

Advice from Wirecutter: Pick the best olive oil in the grocery store.

Lives Lived: Amitai Etzioni was a sociologist who advised U.S. presidents and was the father of communitarianism, a political middle ground between the left and the right. He died at 94.


Game 1: Denver cruised to an easy win over Miami in the N.B.A. Finals. Nikola Jokić looked unstoppable, The Athletic writes.

Churchill Downs: The home of the Kentucky Derby is changing its rules to keep vulnerable horses off the track after 12 died recently, The Times reports.

A return: Rick Pitino is overhauling St. John’s basketball. The Athletic went inside the program’s extreme makeover.


A spelling champion

Dev Shah, an eighth grader, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee with the word “psammophile” (a plant or animal that thrives in sandy areas). He won after 14 rounds including words like “probouleutic” and “zwitterion” and “schistorrhachis.”

The schwa — the “uh”-like sound that can be represented by any vowel in the English alphabet — was a stone-cold killer. It knocked out several finalists, as it routinely does.

Related: Can you spell like Dev? Play our game.


What to Drink

Start the weekend with a watermelon margarita.


If you’re in London, just ride the Elizabeth Line. It goes everywhere.

News Quiz

Did you follow the news this week? Take our quiz.

Now Time to Play

Here are today’s Spelling Bee and the Bee Buddy, which helps you find remaining words.

And here are today’s Mini Crossword, Wordle and Sudoku.

Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. — German

P.S. Hurubie Meko, who has covered gun violence in New York and Missouri, is The Times’s new criminal justice reporter.

Here’s today’s front page.

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German Lopez is a writer for The Morning, The Times’s flagship daily newsletter, where he covers major world events and how they affect people. @germanrlopez

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