Trump Indicted By Department Of Justice Over January 6 Coup Attempt

Trump was already impeached for his incitement of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol designed to keep him in power despite losing the 2020 election.
Pro-Trump protesters on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Pro-Trump protesters on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Kent Nishimura via Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges based on his attempted coup to remain in power despite losing the 2020 election.

The former president is indicted on four charges: 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.

The Department of Justice has been prosecuting people in Trump’s mob who assaulted the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, for more than two years. In the past year, federal prosecutors started going more aggressively after those who took part in laying the groundwork for that day, including the fraudulent Trump electors from states that Democrat Joe Biden had won.

At the head of that scheme was Trump himself, whose White House and campaign directed the effort as part of a plan to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence into accepting those fake Electoral College votes to award Trump another term.

Top White House aide Stephen Miller, in fact, boasted of the fake elector scheme as it was playing out in real-time during a Fox News appearance on Dec. 14, 2020, the day the actual electors were officially making Biden president-elect.

And Trump recently has been sharing social posts that falsely claim that the attack on the Capitol was actually instigated by the federal government ― a government that he was still in charge of that day.

In one, he amplified to his millions of followers a message from singer Ted Nugent that “January 6th will be remembered as the day the government set up a staged riot to cover up the fact they certified a fraudulent election.”

During a CNN “town hall” appearance the network hosted for him this May, Trump defended his actions leading up to and on the day of the riot and again claimed that Pence had done “something wrong” by refusing to go along with his scheme.

“It was a beautiful day,” Trump said of his pre-insurrection rally and his followers’ subsequent march on the Capitol, which he had called for and had even wanted to personally lead.

He did try, though, to distance himself from the events of that day: “I wasn’t involved in it very much. I was asked to come in. Would I make a speech?”

That claim is a lie. Trump personally asked his followers to come to Washington, D.C., on the day of the congressional certification ceremony, starting with a tweet on Dec. 19, 2020, when he wrote: “Be there, will be wild!”

The House Jan. 6 committee, in its final report before disbanding, recommended to the Justice Department that it consider charging Trump with a number of crimes, including conspiracy to defraud the United States. Prosecutors, however, had already been investigating Trump’s actions, and it is unclear what effect the criminal referrals had, if any, on the timing or substance of the indictment.

Trump has already sought to discredit the Department of Justice’s investigation into his conduct around the events of Jan. 6, 2021, attacking the special counsel, Jack Smith, whom Biden appointed to preside over all federal probes into the former president.

In a lengthy July 18 statement posted to TruthSocial, Trump revealed that Smith had informed him in a letter that he was the target of an investigation into the U.S. Capitol insurrection.

Calling Smith “deranged,” Trump depicted the investigation as a partisan maneuver by the Biden administration to knock off his chief Republican rival.


On July 27, in a new post, Trump confirmed that his lawyers had met with Smith’s office in an attempt to talk them out of indicting him. He claimed that it was a “productive” meeting and that he had received no “notice” that an indictment was forthcoming.

In June, a separate federal grand jury indicted Trump on 37 counts for his removal of highly classified documents from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago social club in South Florida and his subsequent refusal to hand them over. Trump said in a public statement that he was innocent. Also on Thursday, Smith added three new charges in an updated indictment, including two that accused Trump of ordering the deletion of a computer server that contained incriminating video footage. A trial, in that case, is scheduled to begin in May.

In addition to the federal criminal investigations, a Georgia prosecutor is looking at Trump and his allies’ attempts to coerce state officials into falsely declaring him the winner in that state in 2020. Indictments are expected as early as August.

And Trump this spring was indicted by the Manhattan district attorney on felony charges of falsifying business records to hide a $130,000 hush money payment he made to an adult film star just days before the 2016 election. Trump pleaded not guilty to the charges, and a trial is set for March.

Daniel Marans contributed to reporting.


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