Federal Prosecutors Charge Donald Trump Over 2020 Election Manipulation

Federal Prosecutors Charge Donald Trump Over 2020 Election Manipulation

Federal prosecutors have brought charges against Donald Trump regarding his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results, in a desperate bid to retain power. This latest criminal case follows closely after he was charged with retaining national defense information. The indictment, filed in federal district court in Washington, accuses Trump of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.


In a detailed 45-page document, special counsel Jack Smith outlined how Trump and his allies knowingly disseminated false allegations of election fraud, organized fraudulent electors, and sought to impede the certification of the election on January 6. The indictment also identified six co-conspirators, who were central figures in the plot to keep Trump in office. While unnamed, five of them were described to match Trump's lawyers Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, John Eastman, Ken Chesebro, as well as former US justice department official Jeff Clark.


The charges represent the first time Trump has faced criminal charges for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, marking an extraordinary moment in American politics – an abrupt accounting of an attempted coup. It is also the first instance of a US president facing criminal charges for attempting to overturn an election.


The indictment revealed a sprawling conspiracy that involved Trump and his co-conspirators creating fake slates of electors to mislead then Vice-President Mike Pence, falsely suggesting uncertainty in the 2020 election outcome. To achieve this, Trump attempted to use the justice department to initiate "sham election fraud investigations" and repeatedly pressured Pence into rejecting electoral college votes for Joe Biden, in a desperate effort to prevent the certification of Biden's election victory.


When these efforts failed, Trump further obstructed the certification and exploited the January 6 Capitol attack by intensifying false claims of election fraud and persuading members of Congress to delay certification.


Strong evidence supporting Trump's intent to obstruct the congressional certification appears to have come from Pence himself, with testimony and previously unknown "contemporaneous notes" submitted to the grand jury during the investigation.


The case will be overseen by US district court judge Tanya Chutkan, an Obama appointee known for imposing extended criminal sentences on defendants charged in the January 6 attack on the Capitol, going beyond prosecutors' recommendations.


Speaking at the justice department headquarters in Washington, Smith encouraged all Americans to read the full indictment and assured a speedy trial for Trump. He emphasized that the attack on the Capitol was fueled by lies, specifically targeting the process of collecting, counting, and certifying the presidential election results.


Trump, currently leading the Republican primary field for the 2024 presidential race, responded to the latest indictment, dismissing it as a corrupt attempt by the "Biden Crime Family" and weaponized Department of Justice to interfere with the 2024 Presidential Election.


On the other hand, Pence, trailing in polls for the presidential race, stated that Trump deserves the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Nonetheless, he underscored why Trump should not return to office, emphasizing that anyone who prioritizes themselves over the constitution should never be president.


These latest charges add to Trump's mounting legal troubles, as he was previously indicted for illegally retaining classified documents and paying hush money to an adult film star before the 2016 election. Additionally, he is expected to face state charges in Georgia for his efforts to reverse his defeat to Joe Biden in the 2020 election.


The White House has yet to release a statement addressing the charges. Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, went to see a movie, the Christopher Nolan film Oppenheimer, during their vacation in Delaware shortly after the charges were announced. 

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