DemDaily: The United States v. Donald Trump

August 2, 2023

At 5:30pm Eastern Time yesterday, former President Donald Trump was indicted by a federal grand jury for his criminal efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and block the certification of the Electoral College vote to stay in power.

The four-count indictment from the Department of Justice marks yet another historic moment in the history of the United States' presidency as the twice-impeached Trump faces now 78 felony counts as he runs for a second term in the White House.

The DOJ's 30-month probe, which also incorporates the criminal referrals against Trump made in December 2022 by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack, is the largest in the agency's history.

“The attack on our nation’s Capitol on January 6, 2021, was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy. It was fueled by lies, lies by the defendant targeted at obstructing a bedrock function of the US government: the nation’s process of collecting, counting and certifying the results of the presidential election.” -- Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith

The charges, announced by DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith in a press conference Tuesday, include: 1) conspiracy to defraud the United States; 2) conspiracy to obstruct an official government proceeding; 3) obstructing or attempting to obstruct an official proceeding; and 4) conspiracy against rights -- to deprive people of the right to have their votes counted.

The sweeping 45-page indictment chronicles how Trump and his co-conspirators engaged in a months-long campaign of deception about the election results while employing a variety of schemes to reverse his defeat -- even as their actions resulted in a deadly insurrection at the US Capitol.

Although Trump was the only person charged in Tuesday’s indictment, the document references six unnamed co-conspirators whose indictments are likely to follow. These individuals worked with Trump advancing illegal plots to enlist a slate of fake electors in seven battleground states won by Democrat Joe Biden, and to ultimately block the Electoral College vote to undo the election results.

The identity of co-conspirator #6, described as a "political consultant who helped implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding," has yet to be confirmed.

Seven states were referenced in the indictment regarding the fraudulent electors scheme, including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is also seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2024, was featured prominently in the indictment regarding his testimony before the grand jury about the numerous conversations where Trump pressured him to overturn the 2020 election in violation of the Constitution.

For months, Pence has avoided addressing judicial action against Trump, whom Pence said received “ bad advice of a group of crank lawyers.” Following the indictment, however, he finally acknowledged, “Anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be president of the United States.”

The much-anticipated result of the two and half year investigation comes amidst a series of other criminal cases unfolding against Trump, including last week's indictment by a Florida grand Jury which added three new felony in the DOJ's classififed documents case.

The former president is scheduled to appear in a federal courthouse tomorrow in Washington, DC for arraignment in the third, but assuredly not last, criminal case for his actions against the American people.

Regardless, he is free to continue his bid for a second term in office.

DemList will keep you informed.

DemDaily: The Trials of Trump. Where They Stand 7/31/23
DemDaily: Arrested and Arraigned 6/14/23
DemDaily: 37 Counts 6/12/23
DemDaily: Liable 5/10/23
DemDaily: With Intent to Defraud and Conceal 4/4/23
DemDaily: Indicted 3/31/23

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: CBS, AP, CNN, Business Insider

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