A quick snapshot of what's happening in the indictment(s) of Donald Trump.

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Trump Indictment Archive

This Week

  • On August 14, late into the evening, former president Donald Trump was indicted for the fourth time this year. While we've already seen charges in New York state and two Federal cases, this time it was Georgia's turn, charging Trump, along with 18 other defendants, with "knowingly and willfully" joining a "conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome" of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. The 98-page indictment listed 41 counts in all. Trump and his former lawyer Rudy Giuliani caught the most charges with 13 apiece, but there were plenty to go around. Every one of the 19 defendants were charged with violating Georgia's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, or RICO, a law that targets "criminal enterprises" and is most well known for being used at both state and federal levels for prosecuting organized crime. Because history has a funny way of doing business, prosecuting mobsters in RICO cases is how Rudy Giuliani made his name before becoming mayor of New York. Whoops. (Source: Reuters)
  • After the indictment was handed down, the Fulton County Jail saw a steady stream of defendants arriving to be processed and booked before the deadline of August 25th. You know full well by now that there were mugshots. Everyone has seen the mugshots, they do not need to be shared here. Joining Trump and Rudy in getting booked were attorneys John Eastman, Sydney Powell, Kenneth Chesebro (more on him in a second), and Jenna Ellis, as well as former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows (more on him in a sec too), former acting assistant attorney general Jeffrey Clark, some lesser-known campaign folk like Ray Smith and Michael Roman, some good ol' Georgia folk like Misty Hampton, Robert Cheeley, and Scott Hall (not the dead wrestler), some bona-fide weirdos like traveling pastor Stephen Lee, former Kanye West publicist Trevian Kutti, the former leader of Black Voters for Trump Harrison Floyd (who's still in jail because he was denied bond), and finally folks who signed up to be false electors like David Shafer, Shawn Still, and Cathy Latham. Good lord that's a lot of people. Vox offers a good who's who. (Source: Vox)
  • This enormous cast of characters will all be arraigned next week, on September 6th, kicking off with Donald Trump's arraignment at 9:30 and Rudy's at 9:45. Then everyone else in 15-minute intervals until 3pm. At an arraignment the defendant hears the charges against them and enters a plea of guilty or not guilty (stares). This will be Trump's fourth arraignment since April, however it will be his first with TV cameras in the courtroom. Cue the Law and Order dun dun. (Source: NBC News)
  • With so many defendants—many of whom fall into the broad category of "sketchy lawyers"—you'd expect there to be a lot of sketchy legal maneuvering already underway and you would be right. Last week, Kenneth Chesebro (I will not accept that his name is not pronounced "Cheese Bro") requested his trial be held under Georgia's "speedy trial" law and that request was granted. Chesebro's trial has already been scheduled for October 23rd. While many defendants' attorneys pretty much immediately signaled that they would asked to be separated from a court date in checks notes less than two months, sketchy lawyer Sidney Powell thought, for some reason, "hey now" and also requested a speedy trial. She is now awaiting word on her date. (Source: HuffPost)
  • Getting it over with via a speedy trial isn't the only questionable legal maneuvering underway. Today former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows testified for over three hours in a bid to have his case moved from state to federal court. Why? Well, according to Meadows attorneys, Meadows was acting as a federal official in the actions he took to overturn the Georgia election results and, as a result, should be tried in federal court (or have the case thrown out in a federal court, which is what Meadows would really like to do but needs to move the case first). Prosecutors argued that clearly Meadows actions weren't part of the job of a presidential chief of staff and were "explicitly political" in nature. US District Judge Steve Jones (not the Sex Pistols guitarist) did not immediately rule on the case, but promised a decision "as soon as possible." At least four other defendants have filed to get their cases moved to federal court as well, and Trump and Rudy have both said they want to as well, so a decision here will have big consequences. (Source: Washington Post)
  • Speaking of trials, let's not forget that there are three other indictments already moving their way around courthouses and today marked a big moment in the Federal election interference case that Trump was indicted on earlier this month when Judge Tanya Chutkan announced that the trial would begin on March 4th. Yes, March 4th, one day before the Super Tuesday primary election in 15 states and just three weeks before Trump is scheduled to stand trial in New York's case against him on March 25th. Federal prosecutors had originally wanted a date in January, while Trump's lawyers were hoping to push all the way to checks notes 2026. Trump also stands trial for the Mar-a-Lago documents case in late May, so things are getting very crowded and now there's a sprawling case in Georgia with 19 defendants to schedule. What could go wrong? (Source: New York Times)

4 Weeks Ago

  • Trump was arraigned in federal court in Washington DC today, where, unsurprisingly, he pled not guilty to the four counts in his latest indictment. His third arraignment in four months (to the day, in fact, his first arraignment was exactly four months ago on April 3rd), it's gotten to be old hat now. He flew in from his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club, drove in a modest motorcade to the courthouse where the proceedings took about 30 minutes. He stood and sat when he was told to, pled not guilty, got back in his car, and headed back to the airport, where he gave a short statement in the rain. If you'd told me a few months ago that the arraignment of a former president on federal criminal charges would be a yawn I would not believe you, but here we are. (Source: NBC News)
  • While today's proceedings were overseen by a magistrate judge, US District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan will be running the show from here on out. The randomly-assigned judge has previously ruled against Trump in 2021 when he wanted to stop the National Archives from turning records over to the January 6 committee. In that judgement she wrote, "His position that he may override the express will of the executive branch appears to be premised on the notion that his executive power 'exists in perpetuity. But Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President." As you might expect, Trump's team is not thrilled. (Source: Axios)
  • What happens next in this case? The special counsel's office is expected to propose a court date in the coming days, at which point Trump's lawyers will almost certainly file their own motions to delay. And then the first hearing with Judge Chutkan will be held August 28. If you want a sense of just how bonkers things are getting, August 28 is just three days after the next hearing scheduled in the Mar-a-Lago documents case on the 25th, and five days after the first Republican primary debate on the 23rd. And there's still the presumed indictment from Georgia to come. (Source: New York Times)
  • Finally, as of now (again, Georgia's indictment is (theoretically) still to come), Trump now faces 78 charges across his three indictments. That's a lot of charges, and A LOT to keep track of. Thankfully, the Washington Post offers a handy guide that breaks down all of them in each indictment and what they mean. (Source: Washington Post)
  • For the third time this year, Donald Trump has been indicted. This time around it's on federal charges stemming from his refusal to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election and the shenanigans that he and six co-conspirators (more on them in a second) got up to trying to stop the peaceful transfer of power. The indictment handed down from a grand jury in Washington DC today includes charges on four counts: Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding, Obstruction of and Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding, and Conspiracy against Rights. After revelations from the impeachment of Trump in January 2020 and the two years of the House's investigations into January 6 that ended when Republicans took control of the House this year, there's nothing particularly new about what's in the 45-page indictment, but seeing it all laid out in paintext is really something. (Source: Original Document)
  • The conspiracies alleged in the charges focus on two major areas (the third "Conspiracy against Rights," is more about the overall scheme denying voters their right to have their votes count). Let's look at them:
  • First is a conspiracy to block the election results by pressuring state legislators and officials to reject or overturn the results of the election in their states and by recruiting slates of false electors to "force a conflict" come time to certify those electors. All of this, the indictment alleges (and goes to great pains to document), was based on "knowingly false" information. (Source: Politico)
  • The second conspiracy was around attempting to stop the final certification of electoral votes on January 6 by pressuring Mike Pence, who oversaw the proceedings as the ceremonial president of the Senate, to reject the results. When, famously, Pence refused, Trump and his conspirators pushed forward with attempting to block the proceedings in other ways and, well, you know what happened at the Capitol on January 6. (Source: CNN)
  • Of course, you can't have a conspiracy alone and this indictment lists six other folks who plotted alongside Trump. While unnamed (and as-yet uncharged) the Co-Conspirators are easily identifiable based on quotes in the indictment. The Washington Post, handily, has already sorted out who five of the six are:
    • Co-Conspirator 1: Rudy Giuliani, who promised a "trial by combat" at the rally on January 6 and was "willing to pursue strategies the Defendant's 2020 re-election campaign attorneys would not."
    • Co-Conspirator 2: John Eastman, "an attorney who devised and attempted to implement a strategy to leverage the Vice President's ceremonial role overseeing the certification proceeding to obstruct the certification of the presidential election."
    • Co-Conspirator 3: Sidney Powell, "whose unfounded claims of election fraud the Defendant privately acknowledged to others sounded 'crazy.'"
    • Co-Conspirator 4: Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, who worked with Trump to "use the Justice Department to open sham election crime investigations and influence state legislatures with knowingly false claims of election fraud."
    • Co-Conspirator 5: Kenneth Chesebro, "an attorney who assisted in devising and attempting to implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding."
    • Co-Conspirator 6: A political consultant, "who helped implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding."
    While currently uncharged, it's entirely possible more charges are coming against some of these folks. (Source: Washington Post)
  • As one would expect, Trump, his presidential campaign (because don't forget, we've got that going on too), and his attorneys have already issued statements. Trump, of course, said these are "fake charges," and his attorney John Lauro promised "We now have the ability in this case to issue our own subpoenas, and we will re-litigate every single issue in the 2020 election." Kill me. (Source: NBC News)
  • So what happens now? Well, this isn't anyone's first rodeo anymore, so we know the basics. In the next few days, Trump will appear in court to hear the charges against him and to plead guilty or not guilty (gee, I wonder...) and eventually—likely in the coming weeks—we'll get a trial date that will join an already-crowded calendar (remember he's already got criminal trials scheduled for March and May next year). Oh and also there's a whole Republican primary calendar and, if he wins the nomination, a national election he's running in. (Source: Vox)

5 Weeks Ago

  • While everyone was waiting on special counsel Jack Smith to announce a potential indictment in his election interference investigation (more on that in a second), the federal prosecutor zigged instead of zagged and released a 60-page superseding indictment that added new charges—and a whole new defendant—to the Mar-a-Lago documents case. Sure, why not. (Source: Original Document)
  • The charges stem from a new detail in the unsealed indictment: that Trump, Walt Nauta (who was charged the same day as Trump), and Carlos De Oliveira (more on him below) asked another Mar-a-Lago employee to "delete security camera footage at the Mar-a-Lago Club to prevent the footage from being provided to a federal grand jury." Whoops. All three now face three new charges around this attempt to "alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal evidence." (Source: New York Times)
  • The new defendant is Carlos De Oliveira, a maintenance worker at Mar-a-Lago, who assisted Walt Nauta, Trump's Diet Coke valet, in playing wack-a-mole with document boxes around the resort. De Oliveira is also quoted in the indictment as telling an IT worker at Mar-a-Lago that "the boss" wanted security footage deleted. The IT worker told him that he didn't believe he "had the right to do that." (Source: Axios)
  • Meanwhile, and also today, Trump's lawyers met with Jack Smith on his investigation into Trump's attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, yet another sign (after last week's target letter) that an indictment is potentially very close. The grand jury hearing evidence in the investigation did meet in Washington DC today, though obviously no indictments were returned. According to CNN, Trump's lawyers were not given "any guidance about timing of a possible indictment," so you know, let's just continue to wait (it's going to drop soon isn't it). (Source: CNN)
  • Also, in case you thought that maybe this was enough for one day, don't forget that we're now in the window of time that Georgia DA Fani Willis has said that her potential indictment of Trump for meddling in Georgia's election results might drop. In fact, according to the Atlanta News First "Security barriers were spotted going up Thursday outside the Fulton County courthouse." I'm sure it's nothing. (Source: Atlanta News First)

6 Weeks Ago

  • Trump's trial date in the classified documents case has been, as expected, pushed back from its original start date of the rapidly-approaching August 14th. Prior to Judge Aileen Cannon's decision today, federal prosecutors had asked for a delay until December of this year, while Trump's defense wanted an indefinite delay until after the 2024 election. Judge Cannon split the difference and set the trial to start on or around May 20, 2024. The new date falls near the end of the Republican primary calendar, which means Trump could have sewn up the nomination by then and would stand trial as the party's presumptive nominee. That is, if the date holds (or, I guess, if he isn't the nominee). There are still plenty of pretrial motions to come and the possibility that some of those will further delay the trial is very real. (Source: Washington Post)
  • The May 20th trial date means that Trump will first stand trial on the criminal charges he faces in New York State, which is set for March 25, 2024. These two trials join a stacked calendar for Trump, who also faces a civil trial for fraud against the Trump Organization which is set for October 2nd of this year, and a second defamation suit from E Jean Carroll which goes to trial on January 15th (because neither of these trials are criminal trials, I won't be covering them in detail). Not to mention a Republican primary calendar that sees its first votes cast in mid-January. (Source: Bloomberg)
  • And then there's the very real possibility of still more indictments to come. First, the one we've known about, Fulton County district attorney Fani T Willis's investigation into Trump and his associates' attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia. Indictments are expected to drop in Willis's investigation sometime in the first few weeks of August. As opposed to the New York case, which only charged Trump, or the federal charges which are against Trump and a single aide, almost 20 people have been warned by Willis that they are targets of the investigation and could face charges. When those finally hit, it's going to be something. (Source: New York Times)
  • Finally, did someone say "target"? That brings us to the second indictment (potentially) still to come. Earlier this week Trump disclosed that he had received a target letter from federal special counsel Jack Smith who, in addition to leading the investigation on the Mar-a-Lago documents case, is also heading up the investigation into the myriad of shenanigans around January 6. That investigation, which has been ongoing for years, appears to be coming to a close and it now seems that another federal indictment of Trump is likely. (Source: Politico)

10 Weeks Ago

  • One week to the day after the arraignment of Donald Trump on federal charges for mishandling classified documents, Judge Aileen Cannon has set a tentative date for the trial to begin and… it's in less than two months! Judge Cannon set August 14th for the trial's start, with pretrial motions due by July 24th. However, in her written order, she did note that "modifications" can be made "as this matter proceeds." Pretty much every expert expects those modifications to happen and, personally, they better because August 14 is two days before I send my kid off to college. Hahahaha. Cries. (Source: CNN)
  • Pushing back the trial date will likely be necessary due to the complexities of a trial involving classified documents which will need to follow the strict rules of the Classified Information Procedures Act. According to the Washington Post, the law "created a series of pretrial steps that must be taken to decide exactly what classified information will be used in court, and how." First off, at least one of Trump's lawyers needs to get security clearance, which can take weeks at best and easily stretch to months (not to mention, he still hasn't finalized his legal team). Then, all documents shared with the defense in the discovery phase need to be handled in a SCIF, a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility—no copies made, no digital versions on a laptop. Even discussions about the documents need to happen in a SCIF. And then, once all documents have been shared, the defense lawyers have to create a secure document outlining what classified information they'd like to disclose to jurors. Prosecutors can object to those plans. In fact, every step along the way is an open door for litigation. And, somehow all of this will happen in the next two months, with a presiding judge who has never overseen a classified documents case either. It doesn't seem likely. (Source: Washington Post)

11 Weeks Ago

  • On Thursday, June 8th, Donald Trump was indicted on 37 federal counts stemming from his refusal to return classified documents to the National Archives. The charges include willful retention of national defense secrets, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy. If he's convicted, he could face years of prison time. Of the 37 counts, 31 are for violations of the Espionage Act, which, *whistles*. The federal indictment comes just two and a half months after he was indicted on state charges in New York and makes him not only the first president to be indicted on federal charges, but the first to become indicted for anything twice. The indictment was announced by Trump himself who took to his social network Truth Social to announce, "I have been indicted, seemingly over the Boxes Hoax," which doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but so it goes. (Source: Washington Post)
  • The 49-page indictment was unsealed the next day by special council Jack Smith. The entire document is stunning, filled with example after example of Trump's cavalier attitude towards dozens of boxes that contained hundreds of classified files. The indictment demonstrates not only the unsecured storage of the files, including photographs of boxes stored on a ballroom stage and crammed into a bathroom, surrounding a toilet, but is also filled with direct quotes from Trump and his aides, through texts, notes, and actual full-on audio recordings. When meeting with a lawyer about turning over files to the FBI, Trump tells one of his lawyers "if there’s anything really bad" in the files, "pluck it out." In a recorded conversation, Trump shows a reporter at his Bedminster New Jersey golf club a military invasion plan he describes as "highly confidential," and admits that he "could have declassified it" as president, but "now I can't." Which, well, *stares*. The whole indictment is equal parts entertaining and disturbing. (Source: Original Document)
  • Also charged alongside Donald Trump was Walt Nauta, a former Navy petty officer who is now a personal valet for Trump after serving the important role in the White House of being the person on the other side of the president's Diet Coke button. No, really. Nauta has been charged with six counts including conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements and representations. The indictment is filled with texts and pictures from Nauta, who appeared to be the former president's chief box wrangler. The government alleges that Nauta was ordered by Trump "to move boxes of documents to conceal them from Trump's attorney, the FBI, and the grand jury" and that he "hid, concealed, and covered up from the FBI Trump's continued possession of documents with classification margins at the Mar-a-Lago Club." (Source: Business Insider)
  • The judge assigned to the case is Aileen M Cannon, who was appointed by Trump and confirmed in November 2020, after he had lost the election. Cannon had no prior experience as a judge before her appointment and, according to the New York Times, has only presided over four criminal trials since then. "In all," the Times writes, "the four cases added up to 14 trial days." Judge Cannon did, however, preside over the brief lawsuit from Donald Trump requesting the appointment of a special master to review the very documents at the center of this indictment. Cannon granted Trump's request, but her decision was overturned and the case dismissed by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals who found that Cannon had "improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction" over it. While Cannon could recuse herself, or special council Jack Smith could request she do so, the Times reports, "there is no sign that either of them is considering taking that step." (Source: New York Times)
  • Finally, on Tuesday, June 13th, Trump was booked and arraigned in the federal courthouse in Miami, having traveled down from Bedminster, NJ the day before. "Trump appeared frustrated as he sat at the defense table, frowning with his arms crossed," according to the Guardian. The New York Times described it as "a humiliating moment." He pled not guilty to all charges. Following the arraignment, he traveled to the Versailles coffee shop in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood where he bought food for supporters, then picked up McDonalds for his flight back to New Jersey where he gave a speech and if you think I watched it you are crazy. The next day, June 14th, was his 77th birthday. Happy Birthday. (Source: New York Times)
  • So what happens now? Special council Jack Smith has said he wants a "speedy trial" which in the Southern Florida district could mean as soon as 70 days after the arraignment, or August 22nd, the day before the first Republican primary debate. However, most experts agree that it will take much longer than that. Trump's team will want to slow the case to a crawl and are expected to unleash a "flurry of motions and challenges to delay" the trial, according to Axios. As of now, there's no schedule set for when those motions and challenges will begin. The only date currently known is June 27th, when Walt Nauta will enter his plea (he did not have a local lawyer, so his plea was delayed, though he did appear with Trump at the arraignment). (Source: Axios)
  • Of course, there's also the potential of a third indictment of Donald Trump later this summer when Fulton County Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis is expected to announce whether she is prosecuting Trump and others for meddling in the 2020 election in Georgia. In a statement issued Wednesday, the DAs office said, "The federal indictments will not have any impact on the Fulton County election investigation." Hold onto your butts, because this hot indictment summer isn't over yet. (Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

14 Weeks Ago

  • There's officially a date for the trial of Donald Trump and it's... not for a while. At a hearing today, Justice Juan Merchan set the trial's start date for March 25, 2024. Yes, Twenty Twenty-Four, otherwise known as next year. Trump joined the proceedings remotely and, according to the New York Times, "when Justice Merchan mentioned the trial date, he immediately grew agitated, chattering at [his lawyer] ... waving his hands and shaking his head." Which, honestly, me too. In addition to the far-off trial date, the judge set the timeline for the rest of the year. The defense has until August 29th to file any motions—almost certainly they will file a motion to dismiss—and the prosecution has until October 10th to respond. The judge won't rule on the motions until January 4th. Hope you all like waiting! (Source: New York Times)
  • At the hearing, which only lasted about 20 minutes, Justice Merchan also reviewed an order that dictates what Trump can and can't talk about in relation to the evidence against him that prosecutors will turn over to the defense during discovery. The order explicitly forbids the dissemination of discovery materials on social media. When his lawyer pushed back on the order, explaining that Trump was a presidential candidate, Justice Merchan responded that it was not his "intention to impede Mr. Trump's ability to campaign," and that he's free to deny the charges, "free to do almost anything not covered in the protective order." That said, if Trump disobeys the order and, oh you know, goes blabbing on Truth Social, Justice Merchan reiterated that there were a "wide range of possible sanctions including a finding of contempt." (Source: NPR)
  • Finally, while it will be a long while before Trump's trial (that is, if this schedule holds), there's another potential indictment that's rapidly approaching. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who has been investigating Trump's potential interference in the 2020 presidential election in the state, last week informed judges to "not schedule trials and in person hearings during the weeks beginning Monday, August 7 and Monday, August 14" and told her staff to plan on working from home from July 31 to August 18. It is widely believed that this is because she'll be announcing indictments in her investigation, which could well include Donald Trump. Which, if you're counting, would make him the first president in history to be indicted twice. (Source: NBC News)

21 Weeks Ago

  • Donald Trump has been charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, marking the first time a US president has ever been charged with a crime. The large number of charges is due to each business record—we're talking check stubs, invoices, and accounting ledger entries—receiving its own count. The business records date back to 2017 and appear to all relate to the $130,000 hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels by Trump's then-lawyer Michael Cohen and his subsequent reimbursement by the Trump Organization. The counts are nearly identical, each alleging that the records were falsified with "intent to commit another crime and aid and conceal the commission thereof." This part is crucial, because falsifying business records is only a misdemeanor in New York. To qualify as a felony, the falsifying needs to have been done in service of committing or concealing another crime. More on that in a second. (Source: original document)
  • Accompanying the charges was a Statement of Fact that built a larger narrative around the case than the narrow charges offered. In it, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg outlined a "scheme" Trump hatched "with others," including Michael Cohen and former American Media Inc CEO David Pecker, to purchase "negative information about him to suppress its publication and benefit the Defendant's electoral prospects." Bragg cited hush money payments made not only to Stormy Daniels, but also to a Trump Tower doorman and another woman. While the Statement of Fact outlines what amounts to a conspiracy between Trump, Cohen, Pecker, and others, it is important to note that conspiracy was not charged today, only falsifying business records. (Source: original document)
  • So OK that's all good, but no conspiracy was charged and falsifying business records on its own isn't a felony, so what were the crimes that these business records were falsified to conceal? At a press conference this afternoon, DA Bragg explained that, while the law does not require the charges to include that information, the potential crimes include violations of New York State election law, which Bragg said "makes it a crime to conspire to promote a candidacy by unlawful means," making false statements in misrepresenting things like the reimbursement of Michael Cohen to tax authorities as legal expenses, and breaking federal election law, which limits the total amount that can be donated to a campaign. (Source: NPR)
  • The charges were unsealed as part of Trump's Big Day at the Manhattan Criminal Courts Building, where he was arrested, booked, and fingerprinted on the 7th floor (no mugshot was taken, sorry) and then arraigned in the courtroom of state Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan on the 15th floor, where he plead not guilty to the 34 counts against him. Cameras were everywhere, following by air as his motorcade left Trump Tower and drove down Manhattan, perched on street corners as the entourage drove by, waiting in the hallway of the 15th floor—framed on a set of black double doors that Trump eventually walked through, looking dour, before entering the courtroom—and waiting from a distance at LaGuardia for Trump's quick exit from New York after the arraignment wrapped. Before the whole whirlwind began, en route to the Criminal Courts Building, Trump posted to Truth Social that it was "SURREAL" and, honestly, it really was. (Source: CBS News)
  • Back at Mar-a-Lago this evening, Trump gave a prime-time speech where he devoted a short amount of time to decrying the indictment ("it never should have been brought"), DA Bragg ("racist"), and Judge Merchan ("a Trump-hating judge with a Trump-hating wife and family"), and a long amount of time playing whac-a-mole with a litany of grievances. CNN cut away after 40 minutes and I took that as my cue to jet as well. It had been a long day. (Source: Politico)
  • So what now? Mostly, we wait. Despite the high-profile nature of the defendant, this is a criminal trial in the New York court system and things will move at a very deliberate pace. The next procedural hearing is scheduled for December 4th—yes, you read that right—and, if the case is not dismissed at that hearing (which Trump's attorneys are certain to request) a trial won't happen until sometime next year. In the near term, the next thing that will happen is the discovery phase, where prosecutors will turn over the evidence they have amassed to the defense. After that point, which might take a month or two, Merchan says he will decide on a trial date. (Source: Insider)
  • Well, he didn't flee. Donald Trump arrived in New York this afternoon after departing Mar-a-Lago in an 11-car entourage that was followed to the airport by news helicopters, OJ-Bronco-style. He was accompanied on the flight by more than a dozen aides as well as his son Eric. Trump arrived at a heavily-secured Trump Tower around 4:30 Eastern, where he waved at the assembled press and a crowd of his supporters before entering the building, where he'll be staying the night before his big day tomorrow. (Source: Associated Press)
  • First up for Trump's Tuesday schedule is surrendering at the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg where he will be booked, fingerprinted, and photographed. Yes, there will be a mugshot taken. However, mugshots are no longer public record in New York, so we'll likely only see it if it's leaked or if the Trump team releases it. But if we do see the mugshot, former White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told Time, "it will be the most manly, most masculine, most handsome mug shot of all time." I just... vomits everywhere. (Source: Time)
  • After surrendering and processing, Trump will head to the 15th-floor courtroom of state Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan in the Manhattan Criminal Courts Building where he will be arraigned. This will be the moment that most everyone has been waiting for, where we will learn the charges against the former president and the scope of the case DA Bragg has built against him. At that point, Trump will enter a plea—his lawyers have insisted it will be not guilty. (Source: NPR)
  • Appearing alongside Trump tomorrow will be the newest addition to his legal team, Todd Blanche. Blanche, who Politico describes as a "top white-collar criminal defense lawyer" is a former federal prosecutor who also represented former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and one of Rudy Giuliani's Ukraine goons, Igor Fruman. Blanche takes on the role of lead attorney, and joins Susan Necheles and Joe Tacopina who have represented Trump through the process so far. (Source: Politico)
  • Finally, once the arraignment is over, Trump will fly back to Mar-a-Lago where he has already planned a public statement for tomorrow night, which I sure will be totally chill and normal. (Source: Reuters)

22 Weeks Ago

  • Tuesday, April 4, is shaping up to be a very big day. First up, it's being reported that Tuesday will be the day that Donald Trump will be arrested. Appearing on the TODAY show this morning, Trump's lawyer Joe Tacopino said emphatically that Trump would turn himself in to authorities and that he was "not going to hole up in Mar-a-Lago." The current belief is that Trump will fly into New York on Monday and stay the night at Trump Tower before heading to the Manhattan DA's office in the morning to turn himself in, at which point he will be booked, fingerprinted, and photographed. (Yes, if there's a mugshot, of course it'll be included in the update, I mean come on.) (Source: The TODAY Show)
  • Following his booking, Trump will head to the Criminal Courts Building in Lower Manhattan where he be arraigned. The hearing is currently scheduled for 2:15pm. The Secret Service is expected to have a significant presence in and around the courtroom and an advance team toured the court complex today. The arraignment is where we will finally hear the charges against Trump. After hearing the charges, Trump will be asked how he pleas and Tacopino told TODAY that there is "zero, ZE-RO" chance that Trump will plead guilty. "It's not gonna happen." (Source: New York Daily News)
  • The judge currently scheduled to preside will be a familiar one to Trump. Manhattan's Acting Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan was the judge for the recent conviction of the Trump Organization for tax fraud and the conviction of the organization's long-time CFO Allen Weisselberg for—this should sound familiar—falsifying business records. Weisselberg is currently wrapping up his five-month prison sentence and is due to be released in mid-April. (Source: NBC 4 New York)
  • If you're wondering how Trump took the news that a judge who has already handled the convictions of his company and crony is now going to be handling his case, the answer is, of course, "not well." Taking to Truth Social this morning, Trump ranted that Merchan "HATES ME" and that the judge "railroaded" Weisselberg. "He strong armed Allen, which a judge is not allowed to do, & treated my companies, which didn't 'plead,' VICIOUSLY." So this should go... well. (Source: Truth Social)
  • Finally, if you'd like to spend some time between now and the Big Arrest Day reading a good narrative of the entire Stormy Daniels/Michael Cohen/Donald Trump hush money affair, the Washington Post has an excellent one. If, on the other hand, you would like to spend that time doing absolutely anything else, I respect—and am jealous of—your life decisions. (Source: Washington Post)
  • Donald Trump, the former President of the United States, has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury. He becomes the first president in US history to ever be charged with a crime. According to the Washington Post, "the indictment was filed behind closed doors at the Lower Manhattan courthouse after the clerk’s office was closed for the day," and comes about two months after Bragg impaneled a grand jury to investigate the circumstances around the 2016 payment by Trump to adult star Stormy Daniels which previously lead to the 2018 conviction of his former lawyer Michael Cohen. There's a long way to go from here, but this moment is truly unprecedented. (Source: Washington Post)
  • So what are the charges? As of now we don't know. Grand jury proceedings are secret and the indictment is sealed until a judge unseals it at an arraignment. What we do know is that the charges will almost certainly focus on the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels and the falsifying of business records that came afterwards. Now, paying hush money isn't illegal, and falsifying business records is usually a misdemeanor offense, and this seems like it would be a whole lot of effort if that's where it stopped. But the real question is whether or not those business records were falsified to conceal another crime, like, say, campaign finance violations, at which point the crime could be prosecuted as a felony offense. According to the Wall Street Journal, "any successful prosecution would likely require evidence establishing that Mr. Trump tried to hide the repayment to Mr. Cohen with false book entries" and that those entries were made with an "intent to defraud." Of course, we'll know much more soon. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
  • Negotiations are already underway to facilitate the arrest of Donald Trump. According to Politico, the "Manhattan district attorney’s office asked for Donald Trump to surrender on Friday," but Trump's team turned them down, claiming that the Secret Service "needed more time to prepare." While it's not expected that Trump will resist arrest (can you imagine???), Florida Governor Ron DeSantis did Tweet that law enforcement would "not assist in an extradition request." It likely won't come to that, however, and the current expectation is that Trump will surrender next week, possibly Tuesday. (Source: Politico)
  • Now it's important to remember that there's a long way between an indictment and a conviction, and that a conviction of Donald Trump is by no means guaranteed. One thing that is guaranteed is, barring a guilty plea by Trump (which, stares), this process will be brutally slow. According Reuters, the "average criminal case in New York takes more than a year to move from indictment to trial" and this case is anything but average. Which could mean that if a trial happens at all it could happen during the last months of the 2024 presidential race or, very possibly, after. So that means these updates could stretch... cries (Source: Reuters)
  • Of course, this isn't the only investigation into Donald Trump that could potentially lead to indictments. There's the investigation in Fulton County Georgia into his attempt at overturning the 2020 election results there as well as two federal investigations overseen by Special Counsel Jack Smith, one looking into Trump's many 2020 election shenanigans and the other into his handling of classified documents post-presidency. So indictment dot fyi could become indictmentS dot fyi. Laughs nervously. (Source: PBS Newshour)

While the indictment is slow moving (for now) get caught up with the archive.