Former President Donald Trump faced a 45-page federal indictment on Tuesday, alleging his involvement in attempts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. The indictment charges Trump with four felony counts, including 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. As the leading Republican front-runner in the 2024 race, Trump has been summoned to appear in court in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
This marks the third time Trump has been indicted on criminal charges, and he maintains his plea of not guilty to all allegations, deeming the investigations as politically motivated witch hunts. Despite his legal challenges, Trump continues to assert that the 2020 election was rigged. He referred to the latest charges as a “pile-on” and an “election interference” during an interview with ABC News.
Special counsel Jack Smith, overseeing the federal cases against Trump, addressed the media from the U.S. Department of Justice, condemning the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol as an “unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy” fueled by lies about the election propagated by the former president. Smith emphasized that the indictment was meticulously crafted by a grand jury of citizens in the District of Columbia and urged the public to read it in its entirety.
The latest indictment has caused a rift among the 2024 GOP primary candidates running against Trump. Some contenders have chosen to defend him, while others criticize his actions. The reaction on Capitol Hill was also swift, with Republican leaders rallying to Trump’s defense, as seen in previous indictments, and Democrats viewing the charges as a significant development that demands accountability if he is found guilty.
The indictment refers to six other “co-conspirators” who acted alongside Trump but does not disclose their names. ABC News has identified five of them based on information from the federal indictment and publicly available sources.
As the legal battle unfolds, the specter of Trump’s involvement in the 2020 election aftermath looms large, shaping the political landscape for the upcoming 2024 presidential race.
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