Former US President Donald Trump spent a significant part of 2023 participating in court proceedings in a number of cases brought against him by the US Department of Justice. He became the first former head of state in the history of the country, who was charged with criminal offenses after leaving office.

In total, Trump was charged with 91 counts in four criminal cases. The billionaire has denied all the accusations against him, calling his prosecution political.

The Secret Payment Case

In March, Trump was accused of falsifying financial documents relating to money payments to Stormy Daniels, a actress who claims she had an affair with the billionaire.

New York prosecutors believe Trump ordered his lawyer, Michael Cohen, to pay Daniels $130,2016 to avoid a public scandal in the final weeks of the <> presidential campaign. Then, according to investigators, when Trump was president of the United States, he reimbursed Cohen for these expenses in a series of payments. Prosecutors allege that, in violation of the law, Trump fraudulently disguised those payments as corporate legal expenses.

  • Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels
  • © Scott Olson / Drew Angerer

In October, Trump's lawyers filed an appeal demanding that the case be dismissed, which they believe is untenable. The document indicates that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg indicted the former president years after the scandal itself was publicized to thwart his presidential campaign.

"After five years of chaotic, protracted, and wandering investigations that have resulted in inexplicable and unconstitutional postponements, the District Attorney's Office has presented a package of disparate politically motivated charges containing legal errors," the billionaire's lawyers wrote in the motion.

The appeal is still pending.

The Secret Documents Case

In June, U.S. Special Counsel Jack Smith indicted Donald Trump on charges of embezzlement of documents of particular importance to national security. According to investigators, when leaving the White House in January 2021, the 45th president of the United States took these documents with him, which he then transported to his residence in Mar-a-Lago in Florida. Prosecutors also allege that Trump showed classified documents to people who had no right to view them.

The billionaire himself has repeatedly stated that he does not agree with the accusations and noted that the current US President Joe Biden in early 2023 found himself in the same situation, but no one brought charges against him.

In January 2023, Biden's aides found documents marked "secret" at his home in Wilmington. Biden himself admitted that he did have classified documents, but they were stored in a closed garage.

On December 28, Donald Trump, commenting on the accusations related to the storage of classified documents on his social network Truth Social, again attacked the justice system with criticism in connection with the use of double standards.

"Fake news (U.S. media. — RT) and their accomplices, the radical left-wing Democrats, are trying to find a way to explain how they can allow Biden to get away with it, given that he is absolutely guilty, but also to hold Trump accountable, even though he is not guilty of anything. This is their new strategy, but it won't work. Our people are too smart for that," the billionaire wrote.

The trial in this case continues, the next hearing is scheduled for May 20, 2024.

Georgia Election Case

In August, Trump was indicted for trying to influence the outcome of the vote during the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. The former US president and his supporters claimed that the election results, according to which Joe Biden became the winner, were rigged.

The accusation revolved around Trump's phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on January 2, 2021, in which the 45th president urged the official to conduct a recount and "find" 11,780 votes — the number needed to defeat Biden in that state.

  • Donald Trump in court in New York
  • © David Dee Delgado

On December 18, the former president's lawyers filed an appeal demanding that the case be dismissed. The billionaire's defenders argue that Trump's statements regarding the results of the Georgia election were not directives, but political proclamations, and therefore protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on free speech.

"The First Amendment prohibits the government from using its authority as a tool to suppress objectionable views or to obstruct the delivery of such views by citizens to public officials," attorney Steve Sadow said on appeal.

The objection is still pending.

The 2020 Election Result Case

It is worth noting that Trump's attempts to achieve a revision of the results of the US presidential election led to the fact that he became a defendant in a criminal case not only in the state of Georgia, but also at the federal level.

In early August, a grand jury approved the indictment against the former president on four counts: conspiracy to violate voters' rights, conspiracy to defraud the government, obstruction of an official investigation, and conspiracy to obstruct an investigation.

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The prosecution claims that the information about the falsifications spread by Trump and his entourage was false, and the billionaire himself tried to pressure Vice President Mike Pence in order to stop the procedure for certifying Joe Biden's election victory.

This case against Trump is perhaps the most serious, as the US Department of Justice alleges that it was the actions of the 45th president that led to the storming of the Capitol by his supporters on January 6, 2021. Trump himself, commenting on the accusations against him, said that his actions were part of his duty as president.

In turn, the billionaire's lawyers filed an appeal with the court demanding that the case be dismissed, referring to the fact that this episode was considered during the second impeachment against Trump, and the US Senate, which serves as a court, acquitted him.

"The president also cannot be prosecuted on the basis of (accusations. — RT) in the actions for which he was acquitted by the U.S. Senate. The indictment against President Trump is illegal and unconstitutional. It must be rejected," the lawyers argue.

The next hearing in this case is scheduled for March 4, 2024.

Political persecution

Despite the statements of the White House and the US Department of Justice that there is no political background in the prosecution of Donald Trump, this is not true, said Vladimir Bruter, an expert at the International Institute for Humanitarian and Political Studies, in a conversation with RT.

"The prosecution of Trump continued throughout 2023, as the main task of the current administration is to eliminate him as a candidate in the US presidential election in 2024. It is difficult to say what will come of this, but they will use all available methods for this, including prosecution," the political scientist stressed.

  • Trump supporters rally at the Capitol on January 6, 2021
  • © Brent Stirton

At the same time, in response to any objections from Trump, supporters of the Democrats and the White House can declare that all actions against the ex-president are in accordance with US law, Bruter believes.

"What is certain is that this is an extreme political situation for America and all of its modern history. In 2024, the Democrats will continue to do everything possible to keep Trump out of the election," the expert said.

According to Pavel Feldman, associate professor at the Academy of Labor and Social Relations, attempts to sue Trump immediately on the eve of the Republican Party primaries and the 2024 presidential election represent political persecution of a candidate who has a serious chance of winning.

"It is noteworthy that this is happening in a country that is known for its penchant for giving democracy lessons to other states around the world. The US Democratic Party and Biden's entourage understand that without such judicial machinations against their main opponent, their protégé is doomed to failure. The Democrats decided to go all-in," the RT source said.

In addition, as a pretext for excluding Trump's candidacy from the ballots in various states, they are using pending court cases against him, in which no convictions have been issued, Feldman recalled.

"In this way, the Biden administration and the US Democratic Party undermine the legitimacy of all institutions of their political system and lead their country to a dangerous brink beyond which a civil war may lie. The final disillusionment with the judicial system may force Trump's supporters to use force to restore justice. Right-wing conservatives already perceive the fight against the Democrats as a religious war against the bearers of anti-human ideas," the analyst explained.

In his opinion, if the Democratic establishment does not abandon the use of justice as a means of political struggle against Trump, the supporters of the 45th president of the United States will become more and more radical and irreconcilable.

"The US presidential election in 2024, the results of which will be disagreed with by a significant part of the population supporting Donald Trump, may serve as a trigger for mass riots, against which the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021 will seem like a modest rehearsal. In its recent history, America has never been so close to revolutionary events as it is now," the political scientist concluded.