Former US President
US Department of Justice may continue to evaluate Trump documents
Ex-President Donald Trump's list of legal troubles is long. From his perspective, all cases have one thing in common: they are politically motivated and intended to harm him.
In the dispute over the evaluation of the estate of the ex-president donald trump confiscated secret documents, the US Department of Justice has achieved an important success. A federal court ruled on Wednesday that investigators can continue to use the documents for their work.
They are investigating whether Trump broke the law by keeping several documents, some of which were classified as top secret, in his private villa after his term in office. The federal court overturned the decision of a court in the US state Florida from the lower court and further announced that there was no evidence for Trump's recurring claim that he had lifted the secrecy of the documents in good time.
In an interview with Fox News, Trump claimed a US President can release secret documents simply by saying so - or even just thinking about it. In fact, there is a formal process for releasing documents, with several highly official steps.
Second procedure in new York
The probe into Trump's handling of classified government documents is just one of many legal issues the ex-president is currently facing. The investigations have nothing to do with the New York civil lawsuit.
Also on Wednesday, the New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a major fraud lawsuit against Trump, his namesake company, and their three children, Donald Junior, Eric, and Ivanka, among others. They are said to have manipulated the company value of the Trump Organization on a large scale and for years.
According to the allegations, the Trumps are said to have increased or decreased their finances as needed, for example to get loans more easily or to pay less taxes. Deutsche Bank also granted such loans, James said. With the lawsuit, she wants to achieve, among other things, that the Trumps have to pay 250 million US dollars (250 million euros) as compensation. She also wants to prevent Trump or his children from ever again being allowed to hold a position on the executive or supervisory boards of companies in New York. They should also be banned from taking out loans or buying real estate in the next five years, James demanded.
"Donald Trump falsely inflated his fortune by billions of dollars to unfairly enrich himself and to trick the system - and by extension all of us," James said. She led civil investigations into Trump's corporate empire for three years, said she spoke to 65 witnesses and evaluated "millions of documents". Over 10 years, Trump and the other defendants had misvalued assets in more than 200 cases. The 220-page lawsuit contains many examples, James said.
"Charge has nothing to do with the facts"
Trump's company denied the allegations. "As we all know, today's indictment has nothing to do with the facts or the law," the Trump Organization said on Wednesday. "Instead, it's about politics, quite simply."
Trump once again presents himself as a victim, describing the action as "another witch hunt" against him, which James used to increase their own popularity ratings. The background: In the USA, Attorneys General usually belong to a party and are elected by the people in many states. James is a member of the Democrats and will seek re-election in November. "Letitia James is the most corrupt attorney general in the history of the United States - she promised during the campaign to sue my father," Eric Trump wrote on Wednesday on the social media platform Truth Social, which his father co-founded.
Impact on Trump's political career
It is unclear how this process will affect Trump's political career and upcoming elections in the United States. The 76-year-old Republican has repeatedly indicated that he wants to run again for president in 2024, but has not yet officially announced it. Experts consider it unlikely that one of the often multi-year procedures with opportunities for revisions and renegotiations before the election in November 2024 would lead to a conviction.
James believes Trump may also have violated criminal laws in New York State and violated US federal laws. She announced on Wednesday that she had also submitted the results of her investigation to the IRS and the public prosecutor's office for possible criminal investigations.