Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - After Senate trial, will ex-US leader Trump face criminal charges?



After Senate trial, will ex-US leader Trump face criminal charges?

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Lawyers are split over whether prosecutors will seek to charge Donald Trump once his Senate impeachment trial is over. AFP

After Senate trial, will ex-US leader Trump face criminal charges?

There’s little chance Donald Trump will be convicted by the US Senate of inciting an insurgency but his legal troubles won’t end with the conclusion of his second impeachment trial.

The former president could soon be indicted on criminal charges, not to mention the multiple civil actions that have been filed against him.

The ex-New York property tycoon, now ensconced in his luxurious Florida residence, is no stranger to the legal system, with his army of lawyers long accustomed to defending him and attacking his opponents during civil hearings.

Now that Trump is once again a mere citizen without the protection of presidential immunity, he risks the unprecedented infamy of being indicted.

He is the target of at least one criminal investigation, led by Manhattan prosecutor Cyrus Vance, who has been fighting for months to obtain eight years of Trump’s tax returns.

Initially focused on payments before the 2016 presidential election to two women who claim they had affairs with Trump, the state-level probe is also now examining possible allegations of tax evasion, and insurance and bank fraud.

In July, the Supreme Court ordered the president’s accountants to hand over the financial documents to Vance’s team. Trump’s lawyers have challenged the scope of the requested documents and a ruling is pending.

Trump has called the investigation “the worst witch hunt in US history”.

Vance’s case, heard behind closed doors before a grand jury, appears to be moving along, though.

According to US media, investigators from Vance’s office recently interviewed employees of Deutsche Bank, which has long backed the former president and the Trump Organisation. They spoke to staff at Trump’s insurance broker Aon, too.

The investigators have also interviewed Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who received a three-year prison term after admitting making hush payments to the two alleged mistresses of Trump.

The ex-lawyer had testified to Congress that Trump and his company artificially inflated and devalued the worth of their assets to both obtain bank loans and reduce their taxes.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, is also investigating the allegations.

Her team interviewed one of Trump’s sons, Eric Trump, under oath despite the opposition of Trump attorneys, and obtained documents on some of the family’s properties.

Her investigation is a civil one, but she said recently that if she finds any evidence of criminal activity it will “change the posture of our case”.

If Trump is ever convicted he would be at risk of imprisonment. Unlike federal offences, state convictions cannot be pardoned by the president.

And while Biden has vowed reconciliation with Republicans he would be highly unlikely to interfere in any criminal prosecution in any case.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42