US prosecutors have charged Donald Trump in connection with his efforts to change the outcome of the 2020 election, the former president’s second felony indictment in as many months.
According to an indictment issued in federal court in Washington on Tuesday, Trump was charged with four criminal charges, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, obstructing an official action, and threatening individual rights.
The Department of Justice charge derives from an investigation headed by special counsel Jack Smith into suspected interfering in the 2020 election results and attempts to prevent Joe Biden’s victory from being certified. The investigation has focused on Trump’s conduct, as well as those of his associates and followers, in the run-up to the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.
Smith described the January 6 incident as “an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy” during a brief press conference on Tuesday. “It was fueled by lies… by the defendant aimed at obstructing a bedrock function of the US government — the nation’s process of collecting, counting, and certifying presidential election results.”
Six co-conspirators joined Trump’s “criminal efforts” to reverse the results of the 2020 elections, according to the indictment. Attorneys, a Department of Justice officer, and a political consultant are among the unnamed people.
According to the DOJ, Donald Trump and his associates reportedly organised for phony representatives from seven states, including Pennsylvania and Georgia, to vote in the electoral college.
Smith stated that the Department of Justice would pursue a swift trial. Trump, the overwhelming favourite to be the Republican presidential nominee next year, is scheduled to appear in court in Washington on Thursday.
Trump is already facing federal criminal accusations for handling secret data, as well as state charges for alleged hush money payments made to an adult model during the 2016 election campaign.
The Department of Justice’s January 6 case is seen as one of Trump’s most severe legal obstacles. It is the second set of accusations filed by Smith, who was appointed by Biden’s attorney-general, Merrick Garland, to oversee investigations involving the former president.
Two earlier indictments appear to have boosted former President Donald Trump’s support among Republican voters.
Will a third charge have the same impact?
“This is a really pivotal case,” Democratic strategist Johanna Maska told “Elizabeth Vargas Reports.” “It undermines our institutions, which are more vulnerable than I believe people realise.”
Maska believes that the majority of Republicans will stick by the former president Donald Trump.
According to a July Ipsos poll, more than 20% of polled Republicans thought certain criminal allegations against Trump made them more likely to back him in the 2024 race.
Donald Trump called the charges “fake,” the prosecutor “deranged,” and the indictment “prosecutorial misconduct” on his Truth Social platform.
The indictment, according to a statement from Trump’s team, is “nothing more than the latest corrupt chapter in the ongoing pathetic attempt” by Mr Biden and the Department of Justice to interfere with the 2024 election.
Trump faces four separate charges: conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to impede an official action, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.
All carry the possibility of prison sentences of up to 20 years, though the maximum sentences are rarely imposed.
There is nothing in the US Constitution that prevents Mr Trump from running for president in 2024 if he is in jail or facing a criminal trial.