Do federal or state prosecutors get to go first in trying Trump? A law professor untangles the conflict

Darryl K. Brown, Professor of Law, University of Virginia, The Conversation on

Published in Political News

A federal grand jury in Florida indicted former President Donald Trump on June 8, 2023, on multiple criminal charges related to classified documents he took from the White House to his home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, according to multiple sources cited in The New York Times and The Associated Press.

Trump himself said on his social media outlet, Truth Social, that he had been indicted.

The seven counts against Trump – the first president to face federal charges in U.S. history – include obstruction of justice, false statements and willful retention of documents, The New York Times reported.

Trump said he was set to appear in a Miami federal courthouse on June 9 at 3 p.m.

The Justice Department did not immediately comment on the reported charges.

But the federal charges come on top of other legal trouble Trump is facing at the state level.


Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged Trump in April 2023 with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

And in Georgia, the Fulton County district attorney is investigating Trump’s alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. This, too, could result in criminal charges under Georgia law.

If a person is charged by federal and state prosecutors – or prosecutors in different states – at the same time, which case goes first?

Who gets priority?


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