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“Former President Donald Trump Indicted in Special Counsel’s 2020 Election Interference Probe”

August 1, 2023

 

 

 

 

 

Donald Trump has been indicted by a federal grand jury on four criminal counts in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election leading up to the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol. “Shortly after election day, the Defendant also pursued unlawful means of discounting legitimate votes and subverting the election results,” the indictment states.

The newest case against Trump strikes at what’s seen as the former president’s most serious betrayal of his constitutional duties, when his efforts to remain in the White House after losing the 2020 election sought to undermine US democracy and the long-held American tradition of a peaceful transfer of presidential power.

The plot to overturn the 2020 election shattered presidential norms and culminated in an unthinkable physical assault on the Capitol on January 6, as Congress met to validate President Joe Biden’s victory. Even before that, Trump engaged in an unprecedented pressure campaign toward state election workers and lawmakers, Justice Department officials and even his own vice president to persuade them to throw out the 2020 results.

Trump has been summoned to appear before a magistrate judge in Washington, DC, federal court at 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, the Justice Department announced.

The four counts are: conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding; and conspiracy against rights.

Six unindicted co-conspirators were included. Among the six are four unnamed attorneys who allegedly aided Trump in his effort to subvert the 2020 election results. Also included is one unnamed 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.”

Smith also mentions an unnamed “political consultant who helped implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding.” Smith’s move to bring charges will test whether the criminal justice system can be used to hold Trump to account for his post-election conduct after he was acquitted in his impeachment trial related to his actions that day.

The indictment is the second time in two months that Smith has brought charges against Trump. In June, Trump was charged with retention of classified documents and conspiracy with a top aide to hide them from the government and his own attorneys. And separately in March, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg indicted Trump on state charges of falsifying business records.

Trump has pleaded not guilty in both cases – and is likely to do so again when he’s arraigned on the latest charges.

The new special counsel indictment comes as Trump remains the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. The first two indictments have done little to impact his standing in the race. Trump’s March indictment marked the first time in US history that a former president had faced criminal charges. Now there are three separate, concurrent cases where the president is facing felony allegations, which are all going to play out as Trump seeks to return to the White House in 2024 following his loss to Biden in 2020.

Fake electors plot hatched after 2020 election was unprecedented attempt to subvert Electoral College… The so-called fake electors plot was an unprecedented attempt to subvert the Electoral College process by replacing electors that Biden had rightfully won with illegitimate GOP electors.

Trump supporters in seven key states met on December 14, 2020, and signed fake certificates, falsely proclaiming that Trump actually won their state and they were the rightful electors. They submitted these fake certificates to Congress and to the National Archives, in anticipation that their false claims would be embraced during the Electoral College certification on January 6, 2021.

At the time, their actions were largely dismissed as an elaborate political cosplay. But it eventually became clear that this was part of an orchestrated plan.

Senior Trump campaign officials orchestrated the fake electors plot and directly oversaw the state-by-state mechanics – linking Trump’s campaign apparatus to what originally looked like a hapless political stunt by local Trump supporters.

Federal investigators have subpoenaed the fake electors across the country, sent FBI agents to interview witnesses about their conduct, and recently granted immunity to two fake electors from Nevada to secure their grand jury testimony.

In Michigan, the state’s attorney general charged the 16 fake electors who signed certificates falsely claiming Trump won Michigan in the 2020 election with multiple felonies. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is also expected to ask a grand jury this month to bring charges related to efforts in Georgia to subvert the election results.

Culled from CNN

 

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