But his aides ignored him and now he finds himself without the power of the presidency, staring at a host of prosecutors and lawyers who have him and his associates in their sights. Some of the issues at hand go back years, but many of the seeds for his current legal jeopardy were planted in those frenetic final days in office when he sought to overturn the will of the voters and hold onto power through a series of lies about election fraud that did not exist.
More on the Trump Documents Inquiry
Many Americans could be forgiven if they have lost the thread of all the investigations amid the blizzard of motions and hearings and rulings of recent weeks. But they essentially break down this way:
New York State
Long before he became president, by many accounts, Mr. Trump played it fast and loose in business. The question is whether any of that violated the law. For years, according to his own associates, he inflated the value of his various properties to obtain loans.
Letitia James, the New York State attorney general, has been examining his business practices for more than three years to determine if they constituted fraud. When she summoned Mr. Trump to testify in a deposition, he invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to respond to questions on the grounds that his answers might incriminate him more than 400 times.
Mr. Trump has assailed Ms. James as a partisan Democrat who is coming after him for political reasons. As a candidate in 2018, she was an outspoken critic of Mr. Trump, calling him an “illegitimate president” and suggesting that foreign governments channeled money to his family’s real estate holdings, which she characterized as a “pattern and practice of money laundering.”
But Mr. Trump’s lawyers recently sought to settle the case, which could indicate concern about his legal risk, only to have their bid rejected by Ms. James. Because her investigation is civil, not criminal, she would have to decide whether her findings warrant a lawsuit accusing the former president of fraud.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office, now led by Alvin L. Bragg, has looked into some of the same issues as part of a criminal investigation and is about to bring the Trump Organization, the former president’s family business, to trial on charges of fraud and tax evasion starting on Oct. 24.