Could Donald Trump's criminal trials kill his 2024 campaign?

Could Donald Trump’s criminal trials kill his 2024 bid? Ex-president will be stuck in court between October and June next year, depriving him of time he needs to campaign

  • Ex-president Donald Trump will be stuck in court between October and June 
  • He appears to be using the indictments to his advantage 
  • Trump is surging ahead in the polls, showing 52 percent of Republican voters 
  • He became the first former president in history to have a mugshot taken

Ex-president Donald Trump is set to be stuck in court between October and June next year, depriving him of time he needs to campaign for his 2024 White House bid.

Trump was arrested for the fourth time this year by authorities at the Fulton County jail in Atlanta on Thursday – and afterwards shared his historic mugshot on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

But he’s showing no signs of it letting his criminal cases defeat his efforts, after turbocharging in the polls by using the indictments to his advantage. 

Trump is currently ahead with 52 percent of all Republican primary voters choosing him over DeStantis who lags behind in second with just under 15 percent. 

The 37 point lead appears to indicate Trump’s rivals are unable to profit from the 77-year-old’s mounting legal woes.

Donald Trump made history by becoming the first former president to pose for a mugshot 

Prosecutors say Trump conspired to ‘corruptly obstruct and impede’ the certification of the electoral vote on January 6 by telling his supporters to ‘fight like hell’ and directing them to head to Capitol 

Trump faces a total of 91 felony counts as the result of four criminal investigations, each of which led to indictments

Stacks of boxes can be observed in the White and Gold Ballroom of former US President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach

Supporters of Donald Trump, Georgina and Cliff MacMorris, hold flags outside the Fulton County Jail ahead of Trump’s surrender on August 24

Fulton County jail released Donald Trump’s booking record which lists the charges and his vital details

Regardless, Trump’s calendar is going to be tight as he looks ahead to campaigning while battling Biden’s justice department. 

If convicted on all charges, he faces 71 years in prison – and state charges, unlike federal, cannot be pardoned by a president.

The probe by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis began shortly after the release of a recording of a January 2, 2021, phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which the then-president suggested that Raffensperger could ‘find 11,780 votes’ — just enough to overtake Joe Biden.

Trump has described his phone call to Raffensperger as ‘perfect’ and has portrayed the prosecution by the Democratic district attorney as politically motivated. 

Here’s a look at some of the other top probes against Trump as he looks ahead to  the 2024 Republican nomination. 

GEORGIA ELECTION INTEFERENCE CASE – within the next six months

Trump and 18 allies were indicted in Georgia on August 14 over their efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state, with prosecutors using a statute normally associated with mobsters to accuse the former president, lawyers and other aides of a ‘criminal enterprise’ to keep him in power.

The nearly 100-page indictment details dozens of acts by Trump or his allies to undo his defeat, including beseeching Georgia’s Republican secretary of state to find enough votes for him to win the battleground state; harassing an election worker who faced false claims of fraud; and attempting to persuade Georgia lawmakers to ignore the will of voters and appoint a new slate of electoral college electors favorable to Trump.

In one particularly brazen episode, it also outlines a plot involving one of his lawyers to access voting machines in a rural Georgia county and steal data from a voting machine company.

‘The indictment alleges that rather than abide by Georgia’s legal process for election challenges, the defendants engaged in a criminal racketeering enterprise to overturn Georgia’s presidential election result,’ Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, whose office brought the case, said at a late-night news conference. 

Other defendants include former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows; Trump attorney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; and a Trump administration Justice Department official, Jeffrey Clark, who aided the then-president’s efforts to undo his election loss in Georgia. Other lawyers who advanced legally dubious ideas to overturn the results, including John Eastman, Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro, were also charged. 

She also said she plans to seek a trial date within six months and that she intends to try the defendants collectively. 

A flurry of nine of Trump allies have turned themselves in to the Georgia prison so far this week before the Friday deadline

CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS CASE – Trial scheduled for May 20, 2024

Special counsel Jack Smith has been leading two federal probes related to Trump, both of which have resulted in charges against the former president.

The first charges to result from those investigations came in June when Trump was indicted on charges he mishandled top secret documents at his Florida estate. The indictment alleged that Trump repeatedly enlisted aides and lawyers to help him hide records demanded by investigators and cavalierly showed off a Pentagon ‘plan of attack’ and classified map.

A superseding indictment issued in July added charges accusing Trump of asking for surveillance footage at his Mar-a-Lago estate to be deleted after FBI and Justice Department investigators visited in June 2022 to collect classified documents he took with him after leaving the White House. The indictment also charged him with illegally holding onto a document he’s alleged to have shown off to visitors in New Jersey.

In all, Trump faces 40 felonies in the classified documents case. The most serious charge carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

Walt Nauta, a valet for Trump, and Carlos De Oliveira, the property manager at Trump’s Florida estate, have been charged in the case with scheming to conceal surveillance footage from federal investigators and lying about it.

Trump and Nauta have pleaded not guilty. De Oliveira is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon set a trial date of May 20, 2024. If that date holds, it will mean a possible trial will not start until deep into the presidential nominating calendar and probably well after the Republican nominee is clear — though before that person is officially nominated at the Republican National Convention.

Trump faces 40 felonies in the classified documents case

ELECTION INTERFERENCE – trial date to be confirmed 

Smith’s second case against Trump was unveiled in August when the former president was indicted on felony charges for working to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the run-up to the violent riot by his supporters at the U.S. Capitol.

The four-count indictment includes charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States government and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding: the congressional certification of Biden’s victory. It describes how Trump repeatedly told supporters and others that he had won the election, despite knowing that was false, and how he tried to persuade state officials, Vice President Mike Pence and finally Congress to overturn the legitimate results.

After a weekslong campaign of lies about the election results, prosecutors allege that Trump sought to exploit the violence at the Capitol by pointing to it as a reason to further delay the counting of votes that sealed his defeat.

In their charging documents, prosecutors referenced a half-dozen unindicted co-conspirators, including lawyers inside and outside of government who they said had worked with Trump to undo the election results and advanced legally dubious schemes to enlist slates of fake electors in battleground states won by Biden.

The Trump campaign called the charges ‘fake’ and asked why it took two-and-a-half years to bring them.

Pro-Trump protesters rally around Capitol building before they breached it and overrun it

HUSH MONEY SCHEME – Trial scheduled for March 25, 2024

Trump became the first former U.S. president in history to face criminal charges when he was indicted in New York in March on state charges stemming from hush money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to bury allegations of extramarital sexual encounters.

He pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. Each count is punishable by up to four years in prison, though it’s not clear if a judge would impose any prison time if Trump were convicted.

The counts are linked to a series of checks that were written to his lawyer Michael Cohen to reimburse him for his role in paying off porn actor Stormy Daniels, who alleged a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, not long after Melania Trump gave birth to their son, Barron. Those payments were recorded in various internal company documents as being for a legal retainer that prosecutors say didn’t exist.

The former president is next set to appear in state court on January 4, before Republicans begin their nominating process in earnest.

NEW YORK CIVIL CASES – Trial begins October 23, 2023

New York Attorney General Letitia James has sued Trump and the Trump Organization, alleging they misled banks and tax authorities about the value of assets including golf courses and skyscrapers to get loans and tax benefits.

That lawsuit could lead to civil penalties against the company if James, a Democrat, prevails. She is seeking a $250 million fine and a ban on Trump doing business in New York. Manhattan prosecutors investigated the same alleged conduct but did not pursue criminal charges.

A civil trial is scheduled in state court for October.

In a separate civil case in federal court in New York, Trump was found liable in May of sexually abusing and defaming former magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll in the mid-1990s. The jury rejected Carroll’s claim that Trump had raped her in a dressing room.

Trump was ordered to pay $5 million to Carroll. He has appealed and has adamantly denied her accusations. In July, a federal judge upheld the jury’s verdict against Trump, rejecting the former president’s claims that the award was excessive.


Trump made history after becoming the first former president to pose for a mugshot following his arrest for trying to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. 

It was his first tweet since January 2021 when he was banned from Twitter following the January 6 Capitol attack.  

He had traveled to Georgia on Thursday afternoon from his Bedminster home in New Jersey. 

His motorcade went first to Newark airport, and the New York-born billionaire boarded his Boeing 757 to fly to Atlanta. 

Trump declared afterwards on the Tarmac that it was ‘a very sad day for America’.

He said it was ‘a travesty of justice’ and added: ‘We did nothing wrong, I did nothing wrong.’

‘This is election interference. So I want to thank you for being here. We did nothing wrong,’ Trump said. ‘We had every right, every single right, to challenge an election we think was dishonest.’

He was the 12th of the 19 indicted people to surrender. 

Trump, like all the others, had his personal details recorded, was fingerprinted and had a mugshot taken, before paying bond and being released. 

Trump said the process was ‘a terrible experience’. 

He was inside the jail for less than 25 minutes, even though ordinary accused criminals can expect to wait hours for their processing. 

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