He was indicted on 4 counts, including conspiracy to defraud the government, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.
Smith will speak to what exactly he's charging Trump with during a press conference scheduled for Tuesday evening.
This is the third indictment Trump is currently facing. He faces charges in New York, as well as federal charges in Florida over documents seized by the FBI in August 2022.
Trump issued a statement ahead of the indictment, questioning why the DOJ is "putting out another fake indictment the day after the crooked Joe Biden scandal, one of the biggest in American history, broke out in the halls of Congress? A nation in decline."
The indictment states that Trump enlisted six co-conspirators to "assist him in his criminal efforts to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election and retain power," including one, and attorney, who was "willing to spread knowingly false claims and pursue strategies that the Defendant’s 2020 re-election campaign attorneys would not," and another, a Justice Department official, who "attempted to use the Justice Department to open sham election crime investigations and influence state legislatures with knowingly false claims of election fraud."
The indictment alleges that Trump was "determined to remain in power" after the 2020 election, and for the two months following the election "the Defendant spread lies that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the election and that he actually won."
The Department of Justice claimed that Trump knowingly spread false claims that he won the election, and continued to spread them "to make his knowingly false claims appear legitimate, create an intense national atmosphere of mistrust and anger, and erode public faith in the administration of the election."
The indictment states that Trump had the right to speak about the election publically and "even to claim, falsely, that there had been outcome-determinative fraud during the election and that he won," and that he was entitled to formally challenged the results of the election.
"Indeed, in many cases, the Defendant did pursue these methods of contesting the election result."
Shortly after election day, the indictment alleges that Trump "also pursued unlawful means of discounting legitimate votes and subverting the election results," and in turn, Trump "perpetrated three criminal conspiracies."
These are: "A conspiracy to defraud the United States by using dishonesty, fraud, and deceit to impair, obstruct, and defeat the lawful federal government function by which the results of the presidential election are collected, counted, and certified by the federal government, in violation of 18 USC section 371."
"A conspiracy to corruptly obstruct and impede the January 6 congressional proceeding at which the collected results of the presidential election are counted and certified ('the certification proceeding'), in violation of 18 USC section 1512(k)."
"A conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted, in violation of 18 USC section 241."
On count one, conspiracy to defraud the United States, the indictment alleges that Trump conspired with co-conspirators to defraud the US to overturn the results of the 2020 election "by using knowingly false claims of election fraud to obstruct the federal function by which those results are collected, counted, and certified."
Trump and these co-conspirators used "false claims of election fraud" to get state legislators and election officials to "subvert the legitimate election results and change electoral votes for the Defendant’s opponent, Joseph R Biden, Jr, to electoral claims of the Defendant," the indictment alleges.
The indictment also alleged that Trump and others organized "fraudulent slates of electors" in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin to cast fraudulent votes for the defendant and sign certificates stating that they were legitimate electors.
"The Defendant and co-conspirators attempted to use the power and authority of the Justice Department to conduct sham election crime investigations and to send a letter to the targeted states that falsely claimed that the Justice Department had identified significant concerns that may have impacted the election outcome," the indictment states, adding that Trump and others attempted to enlist the help of then-Vice President Mike Pence.
"After it became public on the afternoon of January 6 that the Vice President would not fraudulently alter the election results, a large and angry crowd—including many individuals whom the Defendant had deceived into believing the Vice President could and might change the election results—violently attacked the Capitol and halted the proceeding. As violence ensued, the Defendant and co-conspirators exploited the disruption by redoubling efforts to levy false claims of election fraud and convince Members of Congress to further delay the certification based on those claims."
In addition to the claims put forth in count one, the indictment alleges in relation to count two, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, that Trump "did knowingly combine conspire, confederate, and agree with co-conspirators, known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to corruptly obstruct and impede an official proceeding, that is, the certification of the electoral vote.
In regards to count three, the indictment alleges that Trump "attempted to, and did, corruptly obstruct and impede an official proceeding, that is, the certification of the electoral vote. In regards to count 4, Trump allegedly conspired with others to injure, oppress, threaten, and intimidate one or more persons in the free exercise and enjoyment of a right and privilege secured to them by the Constitution and laws of the United States—that is, the right to vote, and to have one’s vote counted.This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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