Trump’s 2023 wrapped: 91 felony counts, four trials and one mugshot later

Former president Donald Trump has spent much of 2023 dealing with a mountain of legal battles across the country. Let’s unwrap the details of those legal challenges.

How do the numbers stack up? He is facing or has faced nine separate cases, four trials, one mugshot, and one brutal ruling in Colorado, disqualifying him from the presidency in the state.

How many counts does Donald Trump face? The former president has been charged to the tune of 91 felony counts across numerous criminal cases.

In how many states did the cases concerning him take place? Five: New York, Florida, Colorado, Georgia, and Washington DC.

What’s Mr Trump’s character archetype? “Artist with Real Estate.”

Top artist? Probably Kanye West.

His top-played song? “Justice For All” featuring Mr Trump and the J6 Prison Choir.

Here is a deep dive into Mr Trump’s year in court dealings:

Colorado Supreme Court

Wrapped: One landmark ruling, one potential appeal.

Just this week, Colorado’s highest court made a landmark ruling, deciding that Mr Trump is ineligible for the presidency and should be removed from 2024 ballots given his role in the January 6 Capitol riot.

Mr Trump’s campaign has since said it plans to appeal to the US Supreme Court.

After the ruling, Mr Trump took to Truth Social to air out his grievances: “A SAD DAY IN AMERICA!!!” He later wrote, “BANANA REPUBLIC??? ELECTION INTERFERENCE!!!”

“Election interference” was probably one of Mr Trump’s most replayed phrases this year.

New York civil fraud trial

Wrapped: 11 week-long trial, $250m lawsuit, 40 witnesses.

This case seems to have struck a chord with Mr Trump, who has long touted his personal wealth.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is trying to hold Mr Trump accountable for mastering the “art of the steal.” The lawsuit seeks to recover $250m and is aiming to block the Trump Organization from ever again conducting business in New York, Mr Trump’s home state.

Mr Trump — and three of his children — testified in court. While on the stand, Donald Trump Jr described his father as an “artist with real estate.”

If a list of Mr Trump’s top 10 list of most referenced people and phrases in 2023 existed, some of the key players in this case likely would have made the cut. The former president has slammed both Judge Arthur Engoron and Ms James repeatedly on Truth Social.

Just this week, he described the judge as a “corrupt and radical Judge Engoron” who is a “political hack.” In the same post, he blasted Ms James as “the Racist Attorney General,” although he frequently calls her “Peekaboo.”

Closing arguments are set to begin on 11 January 2024.

Federal classified documents case

Wrapped: 40 felony charges, 100 classified documents, two historic federal indictments.

Mr Trump undoubtedly marches to the beat of his own drum. In 2021, he became the first president to be twice-impeached. This year, as if setting himself one notch further from Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton and their singular impeachments, Mr Trump also became the first current or former president to be federally indicted.

Special Counsel Jack Smith handed down an indictment in June, revealing how Mr Trump showed highly classified information to unauthorised individuals on more than one occasion. The indictment came just less than a year after the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago and found over 100 classified documents in Mr Trump’s possession — after he left office.

He was initially charged with 37 felony counts, including willful retention of national defence information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and withholding a document or record.

Sadly not to the tune of Billy Joel’s song, Mr Trump said, “I am an innocent man,” following the initial indictment.

A month later, Mr Smith unveiled a superseding indictment, adding three more criminal charges against the former president, reaching a total of 40 counts. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The classified documents trial is set to begin on 20 May 2024.

Federal 2020 election interference

Wrapped: Four felony counts, the third historic federal indictment, and a question of presidential immunity.

Like a song he couldn’t stop listening to, Mr Trump was federally indicted for a third time in August when Mr Smith revealed an indictment in connection with the former president’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the lead-up to the January 6 insurrection.

Mr Trump is up against four federal 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.

The former president sang a familiar tune, calling the charges “yet another Fake Indictment.”

Now, Mr Trump is arguing “presidential immunity” as defence to these charges.

Prosecutors asked the Supreme Court to expedite consideration of the “immunity” claim, but Mr Trump’s team on Wednesday asked the court to reject their request, citing “no compelling reason for the extraordinary haste he proposes.”

The trial is set to begin on 4 March 2024.

Georgia criminal case

Wrapped: 13 felony counts, 19 co-defendants, one monetized mugshot.

In August, a Georgia grand jury initially indicted Mr Trump and 18 others, including Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani, in August over their alleged attempts to subvert the 2020 presidential election outcome in Georgia.

However, since then, four defendants – including Jenna Ellis, Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell – have pleaded guilty under plea agreements.

Mr Trump faces 13 criminal charges, including counts of violating the RICO Act, conspiracy to impersonate a public officer, filing false documents, and making false statements.

Prosecutors have argued for an August 2024 trial start date; but Mr Trump’s attorneys have called this proposal “election interference,” since he is vying to return to the White House in 2024.

On 25 August, the former president was booked into Fulton County Jail and had his mugshot taken. His campaign has since made millions from slapping the mugshot onto mugs, t-shirts, Christmas stockings, and other merchandise.

New York hush-money case

Wrapped: 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, one porn star, one not guilty plea.

As is absolutely, definitely, totally precedented in US history, a former president was accused of giving hush money to a porn star.

Porn star Stormy Daniels claimed she and Mr Trump had an affair, after which he allegedly paid her — through his former fixer Michael Cohen — to keep quiet about it as the 2016 election loomed.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg brought the 34-count indictment against Mr Trump. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts.

The trial is scheduled to begin in March 2024.

E Jean Carroll cases

Wrapped: Two lawsuits, $5m in damages, plus more moolah pending.

These cases are part of a different genre of lawsuit altogether.

In May, E Jean Carroll filed a civil suit against Mr Trump under the Adult Survivors Act. The former Elle columnist accused Mr Trump of raping her in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s.

Ms Carroll testified that after the pair entered the dressing room, Mr Trump “shut the door and shoved me up against the wall.” She described how the alleged rape left her “unable to ever have a romantic life again.” The jury found Mr Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation and awarded her $5m in damages.

Four months after the May verdict, a judge found Mr Trump liable for defaming the writer again for comments that he made in 2019 about the incident.

A civil trial to determine the monetary damages is slated for 15 January 2024.

Michael Cohen case

Wrapped: $500m lawsuit, dodged deposition, dropped suit.

Mr Trump sued Mr Cohen in April in Florida for allegedly breaching his contract, citing “multiple breaches of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, conversion, and breaches of contract.”

The former president claimed Mr Cohen spread falsehoods about him “with malicious intent and to wholly self-serving ends.” He sought $500 from his former lawyer.

Just days before Mr Trump was going to have to sit for a deposition in early October, he decided to drop the suit altogether.

A Trump spokesperson told The Guardian: “Given that President Trump is required to sit for deposition in a civil matter on Columbus Day, when he is scheduled to be in the Great State of New Hampshire… President Trump has decided to temporarily pause his meritorious claims against Michael Cohen.”