Tracking the Trump Legal Battles: Your Weekly Briefing

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U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he holds a news conference at the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, January 22, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Former U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he holds a news conference at the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, January 22, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Trump Takes the Stand in New York Civil Case

The anticipation is high for the upcoming testimony of Donald Trump in the New York civil fraud trial involving him and his family’s real estate enterprise. Accused of overstating asset values for favourable loan and insurance conditions, Trump is reported to be eager to defend himself. Meanwhile, the trial’s atmosphere intensifies as Trump criticizes the judge, who has since issued a gag order.

This trial seems according to a number of United States media outlet reports is the one that is bothering the former president the most. The Trump Organization has already been found guilty, and what is now upcoming is a decision which could potentially dismantle the Trump Organization.

Ivanka Trump’s Pending Testimony

The trial will soon feature Ivanka Trump, who is set to testify later in the week.

The Unique Witness Appearance

This event might mark Trump’s sole appearance on the witness stand amidst his various legal battles, considering criminal defendants aren’t compelled to testify.

Weekly Digest: The Trump Trials

Last Week’s Legal Recap

1. The Classified Documents Case in Florida

Trump faces numerous charges for allegedly retaining top-secret documents at Mar-a-Lago. With a potential trial slated for May 2024, Judge Aileen M. Cannon hints at the schedule’s impracticality, considering Trump’s other legal commitments.

2. The 2020 Election Case in D.C.

Charged with conspiring to block the 2020 election results, Trump sees a swift timeline for jury selection as Judge Tanya S. Chutkan pushes forward. A temporary halt on a gag order against Trump, while his free-speech rights are assessed shows the complex interplay of law and politics.

3. The Georgia Election Case

With Trump and others charged for allegedly attempting to reverse Georgia’s election results, the defence seeks evidence to challenge the accusations of falsehoods. Trump and his fellow co-accused are charged under the RICO statute.

What is RICO?

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act is a United States federal law that targets criminal organizations by allowing for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts part of an ongoing criminal enterprise. Enacted in 1970 as part of the Organized Crime Control Act, RICO is designed to combat organized crime across the nation.

To be prosecuted under RICO, a person must have committed at least two acts of racketeering activity from a list of 35 crimes within a decade. These activities must be related to an “enterprise” in one of four defined ways: investment of the proceeds of racketeering, acquisition or maintenance of interest in, or control of, the enterprise through racketeering, conduct of or participation in the enterprise’s affairs through racketeering, or conspiracy to do any of the aforementioned. Conviction can result in severe penalties, including fines and prison sentences, as well as forfeiture of assets gained through the criminal activities

4. The New York Business Fraud Case

Relating to a 2016 payment to Stormy Daniels, Trump faces multiple charges. The past week saw no major developments, but Trump’s sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, testified, distancing themselves from the disputed financial records.

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