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See where the big Trump cases stand in the months leading to the election

Updated March 26, 2024 at 1:03 PM ET

Former President Donald Trump faces 88 criminal charges across four cases. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, and the GOP front-runner claims the investigations are partisan efforts to interfere with his effort to regain the White House.

The timing of some cases is now intertwined with others, and it's still unclear how things will shake out on the election-year calendar. Defendants in criminal cases generally must attend every stage of a trial. Trump's lawyers are hoping to get charges dismissed — or pushed until after Election Day.

Here's where things stand:

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Federal election interference case

Number of charges: 4

Case background: A 45-page indictment lays out the case that Trump and those around him committed crimes as the former president scrambled to try to hold onto power after losing the 2020 election. It comes after the Justice Department's investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, one of the most sprawling and complex investigations in U.S. history.

Trump has continued to baselessly state that the 2020 election was stolen from him through fraud, even after courts repeatedly rejected his claims.

This artist sketch depicts former President Donald Trump, right, conferring with defense lawyer Todd Blanche, center, during his appearance at the federal courthouse in Washington, Aug. 3, 2023. Special Prosecutor Jack Smith sits at left.
Dana Verkouteren / AP
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AP
This artist sketch depicts former President Donald Trump, right, conferring with defense lawyer Todd Blanche, center, during his appearance at the federal courthouse in Washington, Aug. 3, 2023. Special prosecutor Jack Smith sits at left.

Leading up to Jan. 6, Trump and his allies pressured then-Vice President Mike Pence not to certify the 2020 election results, and urged his supporters to "fight like hell" to stop Congress from certifying the result.

Meanwhile, Trump advisers were also pursuing a fake elector scheme, pushing Republican officials in states like Arizona, Wisconsin and Georgia to put forward an alternate slate of electors even though Biden had won there.

Trump spoke with his supporters during a rally in the hours leading up to the mob taking over the U.S. Capitol. In his speech, he told the thousands present, "we must stop the steal."

As part of Trump's defense in the case, he's arguing he's immune from federal prosecution related to acts as president. The trial did have a March 4 start date, but that's been delayed as those immunity claims — now at the U.S. Supreme Court — are litigated.

New York hush money case

Number of charges: 34

Case background: With this case, Trump became the first former president in U.S. history to be criminally indicted. A grand jury voted to indict Trump in March 2023 on 34 felony counts of business record falsification.

Allegations in this case go back to before Trump was elected president. They are tied to hush money payments made before the 2016 election to the adult film star Stormy Daniels to cover up an alleged affair.

Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, has said that she and Trump had an affairin 2006. Following the launch of Trump's campaign in 2016, Daniels offered to sell her story to gossip magazines. In October, National Enquirer executives friendly to Trump flagged this to Trump's then-personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

Adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, on April 16, 2018, in New York. Trump is facing criminal charges for alleged hush money payments paid to Daniels in 2016.
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
Adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, on April 16, 2018, in New York. Trump is facing criminal charges for hush money payments paid to Daniels in 2016.

Cohen agreed to pay $130,000 to Daniels to keep her silent. Her attorney received this money less than two weeks before the election. Cohen was later reimbursed $420,000 after Trump was elected president — which Trumphas admitted to doing to pay off Daniels. Trump has long maintained he never had an affair with Daniels.

According to court records, executives with the Trump Organization categorized the reimbursementsas a "retainer" for "legal services."

Trump has called District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who's Black, a racist for pursuing this case.

The case is set to go on trial in April, which would make it the first of Trump's criminal cases to reach that stage.

Federal classified documents case

Number of charges: 40

Case background: Trump has pleaded not guilty to allegedly storing dozens of top-secret government documents at his Florida resort and then refusing to hand them over to the FBI and the National Archives.

Federal prosecutors allege Trump had a direct hand in packing classified documents when he left the White House in 2021, that he then bragged about having these secret materials and pushed his own attorney to mislead federal law enforcement about what kind of documents he had in his resort.

In this photo provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, stacks of boxes can be observed in a bathroom and shower in Mar-a-Lago's Lake Room in Palm Beach, Fla.
/ U.S. Department of Justice via Getty Images
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U.S. Department of Justice via Getty Images
In this photo provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, stacks of boxes can be observed in a bathroom and shower in Mar-a-Lago's Lake Room in Palm Beach, Fla.

The trial is set to begin on May 20, though Trump's legal team will likely continue working to get the trial pushed back until after the 2024 presidential election, and the judge, a Trump appointee, has signaled a willingness to be flexible with the trial schedule.

Two other individuals have been charged in the case.

One is Trump aideWalt Nauta, a Navy veteran and former White House valet to Trump. He pleaded not guilty in early July to charges that he conspired with the former president to withhold classified documents.

The other is Carlos de Oliveira, who was Trump's property manager at Mar-a-Lago. Prosecutors say de Oliveira conspired with Trump to destroy security footage to obstruct the investigation. He also pleaded not guilty.

Georgia 2020 election interference case

Number of charges: 10

Case background: In August 2023, Trump and 18 of his allies were indicted for attempting to overturn the 2020 election results in the state.

The criminal investigation in Fulton County, Ga., which is home to Atlanta, was started by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis after the publicationof a phone call in January 2021. In it, Trump is heard pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" enough ballots in support of Trump to flip the state to him. Raffensperger refused.

Trump has denied wrongdoing and still baselessly maintains there was large-scale voter fraud in Georgia during the 2020 presidential election.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, pictured on Aug. 14, 2023 in Georgia, has said she plans to hold a trial in the state for former President Donald Trump within six months. Trump is photographed in Orlando, Florida, on Feb. 26, 2022.
Chandan Khanna / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
Trump is is photographed in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 26, 2022. At right is Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, pictured on Aug. 14, 2023 in Georgia.

Four of the 19 defendants have since pleaded guilty and agreed to testify.

Willis used the state's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act — a statute normally used for mob bosses and gangs — arguing the collective effort to meddle in the election was part of a criminal enterprise.

Court documents list a series of acts allegedly made by Trump and his co-defendants in their efforts to change election results — including harassing an election worker and attempting to persuade Georgia lawmakers to appoint new electors favorable to Trump.

Trump and other codefendants are attempting to have the case dismissed after Willis admitted to a personal relationship with a lead prosecutor on the investigation. Willis accepted that prosecutor's resignation in mid-March after the judge made his stepping aside a condition of allowing her to remain on the case.

14th Amendment cases

These cases focus on a Civil War-era constitutional clause that activists and legal scholars have said should disqualify Trump from holding office again.

They argue Trump violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which bars from office anyone who "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" against the United States, on Jan. 6, 2021. Colorado and then other states removed Trump from primary ballots for this reason, decisions the former president challenged.

The Supreme Court on March 4 unanimously agreed to restore Trump on the Colorado primary ballot, ruling that states lack authority to remove candidates for federal office. The justices wrote that the "Constitution makes Congress, rather than the States, responsible for enforcing Section 3 against federal officeholders and candidates."


Trump's recent civil lawsuits

Since the start of 2024, civil lawsuits involving Trump have resulted in rulings ordering him to pay more than $430 million:

New York AG Letitia James' suit against Trump for alleged fraud

Ruling: A New York judge on Feb. 16 orderedTrump and his flagship organization to $355 million in a civil fraud case.

The ruling hands a win to New York Attorney General Letitia James, who sued Trump and his associates after a three-year investigation. The case accused them of knowingly committing fraud by submitting statements of financial condition that inflated the value of their properties and other assets.

New York Attorney General Letitia James looks at Donald Trump, Jr., right, at the fraud trial for his father, former President Donald Trump on Nov. 2, 2023, in New York City.
Michael M Santiago / AP
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AP
New York Attorney General Letitia James looks at Donald Trump, Jr., right, at the fraud trial for his father, former President Donald Trump on Nov. 2, 2023, in New York City.

Not long after the trial started, the judge in the case ordered that Trump, his eldest sons and his business associates had committed fraud. Trump's legal team argued that Trump and his associates had nothing to do with the creation of the fraudulent statement condition and, regardless, there is no victim. Trump has called the case, without evidence, politically motivated.

E. Jean Carroll case

A New York jury ordered Trump to pay a total of $83.3 million to writer E. Jean Carroll for ruining her credibility as an advice columnist.

In 2019, Carroll first publicly came forward saying Trump had raped her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s when Trump was known as just a businessman. The accusation, which was detailed in her book, was first previewed in a New York magazine article. After the article's publication, Trump issued two statements in response to reporters, including one in which he outright denied her claim and said she was "not my type."

E. Jean Carroll (center) leaves a New York federal court following the conclusion of the civil defamation trial against former President Donald Trump on Jan. 26 after a jury awarded her $83.3 million.
Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images
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Getty Images
E. Jean Carroll (center) leaves a New York federal court following the conclusion of the civil defamation trial against former President Donald Trump on Jan. 26 after a jury awarded her $83.3 million.

Carroll then sued Trump for defamation, arguing that his comments ruined her reputation as a trusted source in the media, and resulted in a slew of insults and threatening messages, emails and comments to her social media accounts.

This is the second time Trump has been ordered pay Carroll; last year he was mandated by a jury to pay $5 million for a separate instance of defamation.

In response to the January 2024 ruling, the Trump 2024 campaign issued a statement arguing, without offering evidence, that the trial is a "political weapon."

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Ryan Lucas covers the Justice Department for NPR.
Ximena Bustillo
Ximena Bustillo is a multi-platform reporter at NPR covering politics out of the White House and Congress on air and in print.