For the third time since March, former U.S. president Donald Trump has been indicted on criminal charges – this time in connection with alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. On Tuesday evening, a 45-page indictment was unsealed in Washington, D.C. detailing the latest charges against America’s forty-fifth president – who also happens to be the runaway frontrunner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
Special prosecutor Jack Smith charged Trump with four felony counts including conspiracy to defraud the United States as well as conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding. Six unnamed people were listed as co-conspirators stemming from Trump’s alleged attempts to overturn the election results. None of those people were charged.
The January 6-related indictments have been expected ever since Trump revealed he had received a target letter in the investigation two weeks ago.
The latest indictment alleged Trump was “determined to stay in power” following his failed reelection bid – and that he interfered with official proceedings on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021 to that end. That was the same day a deadly riot occurred at the U.S. Capitol building when Trump backers stormed the building.
In a statement posted to his Truth Social platform, Trump’s campaign blamed the charges on the administration of Joe Biden – called the indictment the “latest corrupt chapter in the continued pathetic attempt by the Biden Crime Family and their weaponized Department of Justice to interfere with the 2024 presidential election.”
The statement went on to compare Biden and his allies to the Nazis.
“The lawlessness of these persecutions against President Trump and his supporters is reminiscent of Nazi Germany in the 1930s, the former Soviet Union and other authoritarian, dictatorial regimes,” the statement noted. “These un-American witch hunts will fail and president Trump will be reelected to the White House so he can save our country from the abuse, corruption and incompetence that is running through the veins of our country at levels never seen before.”
As he makes his case for reelection, though, Trump must first make his way through an increasingly busy schedule of court hearings and trials – starting with another federal arraignment this week. Trump was ordered to appear before federal magistrate Moxila Upadhyaya at 4:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday (August 3, 2023) to answer to the latest charges he is facing.
Tuesday’s indictment comes nearly two months after Trump was indicted in a separate federal case in Florida. Those allegations stem from Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents. Prior to that, in late March, Trump was indicted by New York district attorney Alvin Bragg on state charges related to payouts to multiple mistresses during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump is also facing a criminal investigation in Georgia over allegations related to the 2020 election. In fact, there was word Tuesday evening barricades would be erected around the Fulton County courthouse in Atlanta – which was widely seen as an indication the Georgia charges were about to be filed.
Several of Trump’s GOP opponents wasted little time in commenting on the indictments. His leading rival, Florida governor Ron DeSantis, slammed the process by which Trump would be tried in the nation’s capital – saying “it is unfair to have to stand trial before a jury that is reflective of the swamp mentality.”
“One of the reasons our country is in decline is the politicization of the rule of law,” DeSantis tweeted. “No more excuses — I will end the weaponization of the federal government.”
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy carried it a step further, vowing to pardon the former president.
“The corrupt federal police just won’t stop until they’ve achieved their mission: Eliminate Trump,” Ramaswamy tweeted.
Democrats took a decidedly different view of the development, accusing Trump of participating in an “insurrection” on January 6, 2021.
“The third indictment of Donald Trump illustrates in shocking detail that the violence of January 6th was the culmination of a months-long criminal plot led by the former president to defy democracy and overturn the will of the American people,” Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer tweeted.
In June, Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 felony counts in the classified document case. That charge now stands at 40 counts, after three more were filed last week. Florida District judge Aileen Cannon has set a May 20, 2024, trial date in that matter. Trump has also pleaded not guilty to 34 of falsifying business records in connection with the hush money payments allegedly made during his 2016 presidential campaign.
So far, Trump’s legal woes haven’t dampened GOP enthusiasm for his third presidential bid. Trump entered the day with the support of 53.9 percent of Republican primary voters nationwide – a margin of 35.8 percentage points over DeSantis.
THE INDICTMENTS …
(Via: U.S. District Court)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
J. Mark Powell is an award-winning former TV journalist, government communications veteran, and a political consultant. He is also an author and an avid Civil War enthusiast. Got a tip or a story idea for Mark? Email him at [email protected].
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