Update On Trump’s Pending Criminal And Civil Cases As They Proceed Against Presumptive Republican Nominee For President; Trump Appeals Two Civil Judgement Cases Totaling Over $530 Million

Former President Donald J. Trump is the first American President to be impeached twice and the first former president in American history to be charged with both state and  federal crimes in 4 separate criminal indictments in 4 separate states.  Trump has swept all of the Republican primaries and is now the presumptive 2024 Republican nominee for President.

This blog article provides a status report of the 4 criminal cases and the 2 civil case appeals. Following are the 4 criminal cases:


This case is considered the weakest of the criminal cases and it will be the first to go to trial. Trump is accused of violating New York State law by allegedly agreeing to obscure a series of reimbursements to his former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, who is the key witness against Trump in the case. Cohen made a $130,000 alleged “hush money” payment to adult film star Stephanie Clifford, known as Stormy Daniels, days before the 2016 election, in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair with Trump. Trump denies the allegations and says there was no affair.  Prosecutors accuse Trump of illegally portraying the reimbursements to Cohen as legal expenses.

The trial was scheduled to begin on March 25, but Trump’s defense attorneys moved to continue the trial after they complained about a recent deluge of nearly 200,000 pages of evidence from a previous federal investigation into the matter.  On March 25, Manhattan Judge Juan M. Merchan ordered that Donald Trump’s criminal trial will begin April 15.   Judge Merhcan ruled after tearing into the former president’s lawyers for what he said were unfounded claims that the hush-money case had been tainted by prosecutorial misconduct.  Barring another delay, the presumptive Republican nominee will be on trial as a criminal defendant in just three weeks.



 Trump and 18 others are accused under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations or RICO law of coordinating an effort to thwart proper certification of the state’s 2020 presidential election which Biden won. The investigation was launched after an infamous recorded phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Jan. 2, 2021, in which Trump pressed him “to find 11,780 votes.” Trump denies he did anything wrong.

On August 14, 2023, Trump and 18 codefendants were indicted in a 13 counts indictment.  The charges are:

  • 3 counts of solicitation of violation of oath by public officer
  • 2 counts of conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree
  • 2 counts of conspiracy to commit false statements and writings
  • 2 counts of false statements and writings
  • Violation of Georgia RICO Act
  • Conspiracy to Commit Impersonating a public officer
  • Conspiracy to commit filing false documents
  • Filing false documents

Indictment Text: Read here

The Co-defendants named in the indictment are: Rudy Giuliani; John Eastman; Mark Meadows; Kenneth Chesebro; Jeffrey Clark, Jenna Ellis; Ray Smith; Robert Cheeley; Michael Roman; David Shafer; Shawn Still; Stephen Lee; Willie Floyd; Trevian Kutti; Sidney Powell; Cathleen Latham; Scott Hall; Misty Hampton

The nearly 100-page Georgia indictment details dozens of alleged acts by Trump or his allies to undo his defeat, including 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.

The Georgia case covers some of the same ground as the federal case in Washington brought by special counsel Jack Smith that charges Trump with conspiring to overturn his election loss in a desperate bid to stay in power. Trump is charged separately by Smith with hoarding classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate and thwarting government efforts to retrieve them.

GUILTY PLEAS   On September 29, defendant  bail bondsman Scott Graham Hall, pleaded guilty  in a plea deal with prosecutors and agreed to testify in further proceedings.


In October, 2023  co-defendants Sidney Powell, Kenneth Chesebro and Jenna Ellis pled guilty to conspiracy charges just prior to jury selection. Powell was sentenced on Oct. 19 to six years of probation for conspiring to interfere with the performance of election duties while orchestrating a Coffee County elections system breach following the 2020 presidential election.

A day later, Chesebro’s plea deal was approved just of hours after several hundred prospective jurors completed a questionnaire for his trial. Chesebro admitted planning the alternate GOP elector scheme in order to prevent Biden from taking office in January 2021.


On March 13, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee quashed six counts in the indictment, including three against Trump, the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee. The six challenged counts charge the defendants with soliciting public officers to violate their oaths. One count stems from a phone call Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, on Jan. 2, 2021, in which Trump urged Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes.”

Another of the dismissed counts accuses Trump of soliciting then-Georgia House Speaker David Ralston to violate his oath of office by calling a special session of the legislature to unlawfully appoint presidential electors.

McAfee said the counts did not allege sufficient detail regarding the nature of the violations. McAfee wrote:

“The lack of detail concerning an essential legal element is, in the undersigned’s opinion, fatal. … They do not give the Defendants enough information to prepare their defenses intelligently.”

Judge McAfee left in place other counts,  including 10 facing Trump,  and said prosecutors could seek a new indictment to try to reinstate the ones he dismissed. The rest of the sweeping racketeering indictment remains intact.

The ruling is a blow for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. It’s the first time charges in any of Trump’s four criminal cases have been dismissed, with the judge saying prosecutors failed to provide enough detail about the alleged crime. The sprawling indictment charges Trump and more than a dozen other defendants with violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO.

The case uses a statute normally associated with mobsters to accuse the former president, lawyers and other aides of a “criminal enterprise” to keep him in power after he lost the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden.  Defense attorneys applauded the ruling, which came after challenges to the indictment from Trump, former New York mayor and current Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and attorneys John Eastman, Ray Smith and Robert Cheeley. They have all pleaded not guilty.



Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis became embroiled in controversy when she was accused of having a romantic relationship with  top prosecutor attorney Nathan Wade who she appointed in the case.  Trump attorneys sought to disqualify Willis from the case.  After several days of extraordinary testimony, Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee heard arguments over whether Willis’ relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade amounts to a conflict of interest that should force them off the case. Attorneys for Trump and some of his co-defendants accused Willis and Wade of lying on the witness stand about when their relationship began, and told McAfee that keeping the district attorney on the case threatens to undermine the public’s confidence in the hugely consequential prosecution.

The link to a quoted news source is here:




On March 15, special prosecutor Attorney Nathan Wade resigned and formally withdrew  from the Georgia election interference case against Donald Trump after Judge Scott McAfee ruled he had to leave the case or Willis couldn’t continue to pursue the charges.  Wade’s resignation allows Willis to remain on the most sprawling of four criminal cases against the presumptive Republican nominee in the 2024 presidential election.

Wade offered his resignation in a letter to Willis, saying he was doing so “in the interest of democracy, in dedication to the American public and to move this case forward as quickly as possible.”

An attorney for the former president said they respected the court’s decision but believe the judge “did not afford appropriate significance to the prosecutorial misconduct of Willis and Wade.”


On March 23, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said that her case against former President Donald Trump has not been delayed despite the distraction caused by her romantic relationship with the special prosecutor she hired to work on the case. Willis brushed off the idea of a delay in the trial because, throughout the investigation into her personal life, she said her team was working on the case against Trump “in the way that it needed to be done. … I don’t feel like we’ve been slowed down at all. …  I do think there are efforts to slow down this train, but the train is coming.”


On August 1, 2023 former President Donald Trump was charged by federal Special Counsel Jack Smith with the following 4 crimes:

  • Conspiracy to Defraud the U.S.
  • Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding
  • Obstruction of and Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding
  • Conspiracy Against Rights

Of all the cases, this is the one that is considered the most serious. Trump is accused of participating in a scheme to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power after he lost the 2020 election to now-President Joe Biden. The indictment accuses Trump and six unindicted, unnamed co-conspirators of knowingly spreading lies that there was widespread “fraud in the election and that he had actually won,” ultimately leading to the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. Trump denies all wrongdoing.

All 4 federal charges relate to Trumps efforts to obstruct or stop the January 6, 2021 congressional certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory.  The indictment describes how Trump repeatedly told supporters and others that he had won the election, despite knowing that it was false, and how he tried to persuade state officials, then-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 violent rampage 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.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to the 4 charges and has defended against them by saying he has Presidential Immunity for his action of January 6, 2021 and his efforts to stop the certification of election results were within his powers and authority as president. The Trump campaign has called the charges “fake” and asked why it took 2 1/2 years to bring them.

On February 6, 2023, the  federal appeals court ruled  that Donald Trump is not immune from prosecution for alleged crimes he committed during his presidency, flatly rejecting Trump’s arguments that he shouldn’t have to go on trial on federal election subversion charges. The judges made it clear that Trump’s actions could be prosecuted in a court of law.

The judges cited the public interest in accountability for potential crimes committed by a former president, and how that overcame Trump’s argument that immunity was necessary to protect the institution of the presidency. They flatly rejected Trump’s claim that his criminal indictment would have a “chilling effect” on future administrations.




Trump appealed the to the United States Supreme Court the Court of Appeals decision that he is not immune from prosecution and seeking a “stay of the criminal case” by the Supreme Court until  they render a decision.  A key part of Trump’s legal strategy has been to delay his criminal cases until after the 2024 election.

In response to the Trump appeal and the request to place a hold on the proceedings, Special Council Jack Smith filed a request to treat the Trump stay application as a petition for a writ of certiorari and to treat the case in an expedited manner.

On Wednesday, February 28, the US Supreme Court granted CERTIORARI and agreed to hear the case and issued an expedited scheduling order for briefing.  The order states in part:

“The application for a stay presented to The Chief Justice is referred by him to the Court. The Special Counsel’s request to treat the stay application as a petition for a writ of certiorari is granted, and that petition is granted limited to the following question:

Whether and if so to what extent does a former President enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office.”

The case is set for oral argument during the week of April 22, 2024. The Supreme Court is expected to rule within an matter of weeks after April 22.


Trump is accused of keeping classified documents after leaving the White House and storing them “in various locations at The Mar-a-Lago Club including in a ballroom, a bathroom and shower, an office space, his bedroom, and a storage room” according to the indictment. He is also accused of a “scheme to conceal” that he had kept those documents. Trump denies all  wrongdoing. 

Where: U.S. district court, Fort Pierce, Florida

Judge: U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon

Lead prosecutor: Special counsel Jack Smith

Lead defense attorneys: Todd Blanche, Christopher Kise

Co-defendants: Walt Nauta, an aide to Trump, and Carlos De Oliveira, a property manager at Mar-a-Lago

Indicted: June 8, 2023; superseding indictment returned July 27, 2023

Indictment Text: Read here

Charges: 40 counts in all, including:

  • 32 counts of unlawful retention of national defense information;
  • One count of conspiracy to obstruct justice;
  • One count of withholding a document or record;
  • One count of corruptly concealing a document or record
  • One count of concealing a document in a federal investigation
  • One count of scheme to conceal
  • One count of false statements and representations
  • One count of altering, destroying, mutilating or concealing an object
  • One count of corruptly altering, destroying, mutilating or concealing a document, record or other object

Arraigned: June 13, 2023; Aug. 10, 2023

Plea: Not guilty

Scheduled trial: May, 2024

Case Status: 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.


While Trump is preoccupied with the 4 criminal cases, he has also suffered major set back in his 2 major civil cases with over $530 million in civil judgements rendered against him. Trump is appealing both cases.


The civil lawsuit from New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat sought  $370 million from Trump and the other defendants including his two sons.  The figure was originally $250 million. James alleged that Trump filed fraudulent financial statements that allowed him to obtain loans and insurance at more favorable rates. The trial lasted over 11 weeks.

On February 17, Judge Arthur Engoron hit Donald Trump with the  biggest punishment against him to date. Judge Engoron fined the former president $355 million for fraudulently inflating the values of his properties.  Engoron found Trump liable for fraud, conspiracy and issuing false financial statements and false business records, and he barred him from serving as director of a company in New York for three years. But while he stopped short of dissolving the Trump Organization altogether, Engoron issued a blistering 93-page opinion that painted the former president as unremorseful and highly likely to commit fraud again.

On February 25 Trump appealed the  New York judge’s order requiring the former president to pay $355 million plus interest, resulting in a total judgment of $454 judgment,   in the civil-fraud case that has put the future of his real-estate business at risk. Not withstanding the appeal, Trump was initially required to post the full $454  million as bond for the appeal.



On March 25, the  New York appeals court agreed to hold off collection of former President Donald Trump’s more than $454 million civil fraud judgment if he posts $175 million within 10 days.  If Trump does, it will stop the clock on collection and prevent the state from seizing the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s assets while he appeals. The appeals court also halted other aspects of a trial judge’s ruling that had barred Trump and his sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., the family company’s executive vice presidents, from serving in corporate leadership for several years.

In all, the order was a significant victory for Trump as he defends his  real estate empire. The development came just before New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, was expected to initiate efforts to collect the judgment. Trump, who was attending a separate hearing in his criminal hush money case in New York, hailed the ruling and said he would post a bond, securities or cash to cover the $175 million sum in the civil case. Speaking in a courthouse hallway, Trump revisited his oft-stated complaints about civil trial Judge Arthur Engoron and the penalty he imposed.

James’ office, meanwhile, noted that the judgment still stands, even if collection is paused. James said this:

“Donald Trump is still facing accountability for his staggering fraud.”  

Trump’s lawyers had pleaded for a state appeals court to halt collection, claiming it was “a practical impossibility” to get an underwriter to sign off on a bond for such a large sum, which grows daily because of interest. The Trump attorneys had earlier proposed a $100 million bond, but an appellate judge had said no late last month.   Monday’s ruling came from a five-judge panel in the state’s intermediate appeals court, called the Appellate Division, where Trump is fighting to overturn Engoron’s Feb. 16 decision. Trump attorneys Alina Habba and Christopher Kise characterized Monday’s ruling as a key first step.



On April 2, it was reported that former President Donald Trump has posted a $175 million bond as he appeals the judgment against him in the New York civil fraud case brought by state Attorney General Letitia James. Trump’s bond pauses any action that James could take against Trump’s properties in response to the judgement until at least September, when the state appeals court also set a schedule to hear his appeal of the $464 million verdict against him. The bond is underwritten by Knight Specialty Insurance, a California-based insurance company, but the court document does not list the collateral that Trump used to secure the bond.




A longtime advice columnist, E. Jean Carroll wrote a story in New York magazine in 2019 accusing Trump of sexually assaulting her in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s. Trump, who was president at the time, immediately denied the allegations, calling Carroll a “whack job” and claiming he had never met her. He would go on to repeat similar denials in public appearances, social media posts and even in court, a pattern cited by Carroll’s attorneys during the trial.

Carroll filed 2 defamation lawsuits over comments Trump made in 2019 and 2022, arguing his disparagements ruined her reputation and subjected her to endless streams of threats. In the trial to resolve Carroll’s first suit in May 2023, a jury found Trump liable for defamation and sexual abuse and awarded Carroll $5 million.

Before the second trial got underway, the judge ruled that Carroll was telling the truth about the assault, and that Trump’s statements denying her claims were defamatory. The jury was tasked only with deciding what damages Carroll was entitled to receive.

The jurors’ $83 million decision came just days after Trump won the New Hampshire primary, solidifying his status as the front-runner to become the Republican presidential nominee.

On January 26, a jury awarded a judgment in the amount of $83.3 million against Former President Donald Trump in damages for defamatory statements he made denying he sexually assaulted the writer E. Jean Carroll, handing down a stunning verdict after less than three hours of deliberation.

The jury awarded Carroll $18.3 million in compensatory damages, and $65 million in punitive damages. The compensatory amount included $11 million for repairing her reputation, and $7.3 million for emotional harm.

Carroll’s attorneys asked the jury to award $24 million in compensatory damages. The punitive amount, lawyer Roberta Kaplan said, should be enough to “make him stop” defaming her client.

After the verdict was read aloud in federal court in lower Manhattan, Carroll emerged from the courthouse smiling and flanked by her legal team. She declined to speak to a crush of cameras and reporters assembled outside, but issued a statement later, saying, “This is a great victory for every woman who stands up when she’s been knocked down, and a huge defeat for every bully who has tried to keep a woman down.”


$91 Million Bond Posted

On March 8, Attorneys for former President Donald Trump filed official notice of appeal of  the $83 million defamation verdict awarded to writer E. Jean Carroll  and  posted  a $91 million bond needed to keep her from collecting while the appeal plays out. The lawyers asked the judge in a court filing for an order approving the $91,630,000 bond and staying execution of Carroll’s judgment.

The terms of the bond  and how much money or collateral Trump put down  are unclear. The source of the bond is the Federal Insurance Company, a corporation authorized to transact business in New York. It is based in Chesapeake, Virginia and New Jersey and the company appears to be a subsidiary of Chubb Insurance Company. The document is signed by the former president.

The filing came as a surprise because Trump’s lawyers have repeatedly asked the judge for more time to post the bond and to reduce the amount. The bond was needed to prevent Carroll from moving to collect on the judgment during the pendency of the appeal, which could take months or even years. It’s greater than the amount of the actual verdict to account for New York’s 9% annual interest rate.



On April 3 and 4,  three judges rejected attempts by  former President Trump to toss out or further delay his criminal cases, delivering a blow to the GOP frontrunner barreling closer toward his first criminal trial. Trump’s legal team has tried relentlessly to push off his four criminal indictments until after the 2024 presidential election or dismiss them altogether. Trump has had success in delaying his four criminal indictments, injecting uncertainty into his legal calendar, but the 3  rulings  allow his trial proceedings, at least for now, to continue.

On April 3,  the judge overseeing Trump’s 2016 hush money case denied a Hail Mary attempt to delay the start of his case, which is currently set to begin on April 15. Trump’s New York criminal case, which was originally set to begin on March 25, could be the only one to wrap up before November. Trump, who has denied wrongdoing across his indictments, had made more than half a dozen requests to postpone his New York trial’s start date and all have been denied.

On April 4, the Florida judge overseeing Trump’s classified documents case rejected his bid to throw out the case on grounds that he is immune from charges because of the Presidential Records Act.

On April 4,  the judge overseeing his Georgia 2020 election case also rejected a motion from the former president’s legal team to dismiss the case on First Amendment claims.


As it stand now, the 4 criminal cases will proceed through to the Republican nominating convention with an overlap of legal and political calendars with no precedent in American politics.  Even if he were to be convicted in the federal criminal cases, which are the strongest cases, top Republican party leaders and many Republican voters have indicated they will stand by Trump. Trump and his allies have always pushed  to dismiss and delay the trials and have worked with state parties to craft rules favorable to him.

With all of Trump’s legal problems and the 4 criminal cases looming large, the most baffling question is whether any conviction will make any difference, especially to Republicans?  Trump himself has said that even if convicted, he intends to press on with his campaign. If in fact convicted of any of the charges and elected, the country will be dealing with the first sitting President of the United States who be sitting behind bars in either a state or federal prison.

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Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.