Speed Reads

Trump Trials

Trump sexual assault trial begins in New York as Georgia D.A. hints at summer indictments

Columnist E. Jean Carroll's rape trial against former President Donald Trump opens Tuesday with jury selection at a federal courthouse in Manhattan. The jury will hear Carroll's allegation that Trump sexually assaulted her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in late 1995 or early 1996, charges he denies. And although the trial is in civil court, meaning Trump faces no jail time, it will feature at least three women accusing him of sexual misconduct and could lead to his first sexual assault conviction.

And Carroll's lawsuit is one of several legal threats Trump faces as he runs for president again.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg recently charged Trump with 34 felony counts tied to his payment of hush money to porn actress Stormy Daniels, though that case won't go to trial until 2024, and a federal special prosecutor is investigating Trump's handling of classified documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate plus efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn his 2020 election loss. And in Atlanta on Monday, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis suggested she might announce election interference charges against Trump this summer.

Willis told local law enforcement that sometime between July 11 and Sept. 1 she will announce charging decisions resulting from her investigation "into possible criminal interference in the administration of Georgia's 2020 general election," according to a letter obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other news organizations. "I am providing this letter to bring to your attention the need for heightened security and preparedness in coming months due to this pending announcement."

This is the first timeline Willis has given for her wide-ranging two-year investigation, which appears to be ongoing even after a special grand jury submitted its sealed report in January. 

Her letter "obviously seems to imply the case against Trump will be presented to a grand jury," former Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter told the Journal-Constitution. "I don't think any of the other targets would raise that level of caution."

The special grand jury, which heard from 75 witnesses over seven months, recommended more than a dozen people for indictments, "and its forewoman strongly hinted in an interview with The New York Times in February that Mr. Trump was among them," the Times reports. But "ultimately, it will be up to Ms. Willis to decide which charges to seek before a regular grand jury."