Donald Trump has been ordered to pay out hundreds of millions in damages in a civil fraud case.

But this isn’t the only major trial he’s facing this year. Let’s take a look at the former president’s criminal indictments.

What are Donald Trump’s ongoing court cases?

Mr Trump is currently facing 91 criminal counts in four separate prosecutions. These are:

  • The Federal Election Interference Case – in Washington DC, he faces four felony counts for his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election. This is in federal court, which means he’s being tried under national, rather than state-level, laws. The former president has been accused of mounting a campaign to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the election in the two months from Election Day on 3 November 2020 to 6 Jan 2021, when the Capitol riot took place. He’s asking the Supreme Court to extend the delay in this trial, saying he is immune from prosecution because it involved actions he took while president.
  • The Georgia Election Interference Case – in Georgia state court, Mr Trump faces 13 felony counts for his alleged election interference in that state. A recording obtained by ABC News showed Mr Trump asking Georgia’s Secretary of State to “find” the votes needed to win. Defence lawyers are currently arguing that a romance between Fani Willis (top prosecutor on the case) and the special prosecutor she hired to handle the case should disqualify them both from it. If Ms Willis is disqualified, it could postpone the trial until well after the 2024 election.
  • The Classified Documents Case – in Florida federal court, Mr Trump faces 40 felony counts for allegedly hoarding classified documents after he left office and impeding the government’s efforts to retrieve them. Last year, Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Florida resort was searched and 11,000 documents were seized, including around 100 marked as classified and some labelled as top secret.
  • The “Hush Money” Case – in New York state court, he faces 34 felony counts in connection with alleged hush money payments to an adult film star. A payment of  $130,000 (£104,000) was reportedly made before the 2016 presidential election to Stormy Daniels, who said she and Mr Trump had an affair. The former president has denied the affair. His former lawyer, Michael Cohen, has said he made the payment at Mr Trump’s direction. While such a payment is not illegal, spending money in order to help a presidential campaign but not disclosing it violates federal campaign finance law. Mr Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, has argued in pretrial motions that the payments to Mr Cohen were lawful money transfers from the former president’s own personal bank accounts.

The former president has pleaded not guilty to all charges in all four prosecutions.

Mr Trump was also fined $354.9m (£281.6m) after a civil fraud trial in New York on 16 February found he’d knowingly committed financial fraud. With interest included, this means he will have to hand over at least $453.5m (£359.9m), as well as being banned from running businesses in New York for three years.

In a statement made outside his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Mr Trump said: “It is a witch hunt against his [President Joe Biden’s] political opponent, the likes of which our country has never seen before.

“You see it in Third World countries, but you don’t see it here.”

He added: “If I weren’t running [for president] none of this stuff would have ever happened, none of these lawsuits would have ever happened, I would have had a nice life. But I enjoy this life for a different reason.”

The former President said he planned to appeal the fine.

In January of this year, a federal jury said Mr Trump must pay the journalist and author E Jean Carroll a total of $83.3 (£66.1) million in damages for defaming the writer in statements he made as president. He was not in court for the reading but said shortly afterwards that he would appeal it.

Could Trump go to jail if convicted in any of his court cases?

In theory, “the answer is yes”, Clark Neily, senior vice president for legal studies at the Cato Institute think tank explains to FactCheck, as “on paper, at least, no one is above the law in this country, and that includes former presidents”.

However, “there would be so many challenges involved in sending a former president to prison,” Mr Neily notes, such as how to provide for his physical security, “that it seems extraordinarily unlikely that a former president would actually be sentenced to prison short of being convicted of a truly heinous crime like treason or homicide”.

“It seems much more likely that the former president would, at most, be sentenced to some form of home confinement for lesser crimes of the kind that Trump is now facing,” he adds.

Is Trump the first former president to be indicted?

No American president or former president had ever been indicted (handed a formal charge or accusation of a serious crime) until Mr Trump was charged in four criminal cases over a five-month span.

What happens next in Trump’s court cases?

A trial for the “Hush Money” case will take place on 25 March this year, a judge in New York has confirmed.

A trial has also been scheduled for 20 May 2024 for the classified documents case, and prosecutors have suggested an August 2024 trial date for the Georgia case, which would disrupt Mr Trump’s general campaign if he is chosen as the presidential nominee for the Republican party.

But Mr Neily says that although Jack Smith (prosecutor of the two federal cases) and Fani Willis (who is leading the Georgia state prosecution) have said they would try to get those three cases to trial before the November presidential election, “that is looking increasingly unlikely given the sheer number of legal issues that must be resolved before the cases can proceed”.

This is because “the prosecution of a former American president is literally unprecedented,” Mr Neily adds, “so there are many legal issues that are being raised and decided for the first time, and some of those issues are likely to be appealed all the to the US Supreme Court for final resolution”.

Can Trump still run for president or be pardoned if convicted?

Under US law, nothing prevents an individual from running for office if facing criminal charges.

A criminal conviction would not prevent Mr Trump from either running for president or becoming leader of the country once more.

And Mr Neily says that there is “general agreement that a sitting president may not be criminally prosecuted, so if Donald Trump is elected president again, any pending criminal prosecutions against him will almost certainly be stayed or (more likely in the case of the federal prosecutions) dismissed”.

In regards to Mr Trump being able to pardon himself in future, Mr Neily explains “it is both unknown and hotly debated among legal scholars whether Donald Trump could pardon himself if he is elected president again this year”.

Although he notes that this relates more to the two federal cases, as “the only thing that nearly everyone seems to agree on is that the president has no power to pardon convictions for state crimes, so if Trump is convicted in the Georgia or New York proceedings, then it is clear he would not be able to pardon himself for those convictions”.

In Georgia, only the State Board of Pardons and Paroles – a five-member panel appointed by the governor – has the power to grant pardons, and in New York, only the governor could pardon the former president because falsifying business records is a state crime.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)