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Trump’s first criminal indictment might not be his last

As Donald Trump prepares for an arraignment and upcoming trial, a larger question hangs overhead: How many more indictments should he be worried about?


By all accounts, Donald Trump is not pleased to be the first former American president to be criminally indicted. But as the Republican prepares for an arraignment and upcoming trial, a larger question hangs overhead: How many more indictments should he be worried about?

During MSNBC’s coverage of the developments last night, my colleague Ja’han Jones noted:

Andrew Weissmann, a former prosecutor in the Mueller special counsel’s office, spoke my language on “Deadline: White House” tonight, noting that the criminal charges against Trump may not be the most serious allegations he faces (he is, after all, a subject in multiple probes at the state and federal levels). But for prosecutors who may feel trepidation about bringing charges against Trump, Weissmnan noted that the Manhattan indictment may inspire them to take the “bold step they need to defend the rule of law.” ... Who knows? If Weissman’s suspicion is right, today’s indictment may be the beginning of a cascade.

Given the number of ongoing investigations, that hardly seems outlandish. Let’s recap.

In New York, Trump has been indicted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, as part of its investigation into the former president’s hush money scandal.

In Georgia, Trump is under investigation by the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, which is scrutinizing his alleged efforts to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.

Special counsel Jack Smith is leading a Justice Department investigation into Trump taking classified materials from the White House, refusing to give them back, and allegedly obstructing the retrieval process.

The special counsel’s office is also investigating Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 attack and the efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Federal officials, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, have also launched a criminal investigation surrounding his special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

This does not include a variety of civil cases pending against the former president, including the sweeping case brought by the New York Attorney General’s Office, several lawsuits filed by police officers injured during the Jan. 6 attack, and the ongoing defamation case filed by E. Jean Carroll.

There’s also some question as to whether the district attorney’s office in Westchester County, N.Y., is still examining Trump’s alleged financial crimes.

I’m not in a position to say with any confidence what, if anything, will happen in these cases. It’s possible that they will be resolved without Trump facing any additional criminal charges, leaving the Republican and his defense attorneys to focus exclusively on the case in Manhattan.

But as things stand, there’s no reason to assume that Trump’s first indictment will be his last.