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Donald Trump has announced his third run for president, a move likely to be as norm-shattering as his successful 2016 campaign.

But a new twist is the sheer size and scale of the legal jeopardy that now surrounds him. Federal and state authorities are investigating Trump’s personal, political and financial conduct, and that of his business empire.

How any indictment would affect Trump’s run remains unclear – he is experienced in fighting delaying actions in the courts and in using political or investigatory moves against him as fuel to fire up his base.

Here’s where things stand.

January 6

The House committee investigating the Capitol attack, which Trump incited, has not issued its final report. But its seven Democrats and two Republicans have laid out in detail Trump’s conduct after election day and around the assault on Congress. The committee has served Trump with a subpoena. Trump had a deadline of 14 November to respond, then filed suit to avoid having to do so. Committee members have indicated they do not expect to make a criminal referral to the justice department.

Should Republicans retake the House, as expected, the committee can expect to be shuttered. But the justice department’s January 6 investigation goes on. It has produced charges, convictions and sentences for people who took part in the attack. Trials of far-right figures have produced evidence of links to the White House. But as yet, the investigation has shown no public sign of reaching Trump himself. That said, a quickening has been reported, subpoenas reaching Trump advisers. Notionally, the attorney general, Merrick Garland, has until 2024 to indict Trump.

Election subversion

The justice department is also investigating Trump’s legal and political scheming to overturn results in key states or to block certification, on which the House committee has shed considerable light.

As in the investigation of the Capitol attack, federal investigators are working their way up the ladder. In September, after news of subpoenas to Trump allies and advisers, David Laufman, a former federal prosecutor, echoed a famous phrase from the Watergate scandal which brought down Richard Nixon when he told CNN: “They’re encompassing individuals closer and closer to the president, to learn more and more about what the president knew and when he knew it.”

Earlier in November, when it was widely reported Trump would announce his run after the midterm elections, it was also reported that federal officials were trying to decide if there would be a need for a special counsel.

Such an official would be independent of justice department leadership, perhaps a necessary step if investigations produce an indictment of a former president, a move which would be unprecedented even if Trump were not trying to return to power.

Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election is not under investigation only in Washington. Fani Willis, the district attorney of Fulton county, Georgia, is investigating Trump’s attempt to overturn his defeat in that state. A grand jury has been seated and search warrants applied for. High-ranking officials have testified. A key Trump ally in the Senate, Lindsey Graham, has tried to avoid doing so. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, has testified and been informed he is a target. Again, investigators are working their way towards Trump.

White House records

When he left the presidency, Trump took with him hundreds of items and documents, many classified, some reportedly concerning top-secret matters. He has claimed to have done nothing wrong and to be the victim of a witch hunt, particularly after the FBI searched his Florida home.

Earlier in November, the Guardian reported that a close adviser, Kash Patel, had been granted limited immunity to testify about Trump’s claim the documents were declassified. As well as facing indictment just for keeping the records, Trump could be indicted for obstructing the investigation with such claims.

This week, the Guardian reported that Trump “retained documents bearing classification markings, along with communications from after his presidency”, according to court filings describing the materials seized by the FBI – a finding that “could amount to evidence Trump willfully retained documents marked classified”.

Trump Organization

In New York, Trump faces criminal and civil lawsuits concerning his business activities.

On the last day of October, opening the criminal case, Susan Hoffinger of the Manhattan district attorney’s office said: “This case is about greed and cheating – cheating on taxes.” The key witness is Allen Weisselberg, the former Trump Organization chief financial officer, who has pleaded guilty to 15 counts of tax fraud.

The civil case was brought by Letitia James, the Democratic state attorney general. Announcing the case, James said Trump “falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and to cheat the system, thereby cheating all of us. He did this with the help of the other defendants.” They are Trump’s first three adult children: Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric.

James is seeking stringent penalties including barring all four Trumps from serving as executives in New York, and stopping the Trump Organization acquiring any commercial real estate or receiving loans from state entities for five years.

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Trump has filed a countersuit, alleging a “relentless, pernicious, public and unapologetic crusade” against him. He has also called James racist. The New York Times reported that Trump’s own lawyers tried to talk him out of the suit.

Defamation case

The writer E Jean Carroll said Trump raped her in a department store changing room in New York in the 1990s. Trump denied it and said Carroll is “not my type”. That and other remarks prompted a defamation suit in which Trump was deposed in October. The question of whether Trump is shielded because he made his remarks while president – a claim initiated by his own justice department – is working its way through the appeals system.

That could kill the defamation suit. But Carroll has said she also intends to use a New York law which allows alleged sexual assault victims to sue even if the statute of limitations has expired.

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