Trump live updates: Former president predicts he will be indicted

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WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump was criminally charged Tuesday with illegally conspiring to overturn his election loss to President Joe Biden in 2020.

Trump was indicted on four federal felony charges that centered on his alleged efforts to discount legitimate votes in the 2020 presidential race and subvert the election itself.

The first charge alleges a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. “by using dishonesty, fraud and deceit to obstruct the nation’s process of collecting, counting, and certifying the results of the presidential election,” according to the Justice Department.

The second details “a conspiracy to impede” the Jan. 6, 2021, congressional proceeding where the election results were certified.

The third was “a conspiracy against the right to vote and to have that vote counted,” said DOJ in a statement.

The charges mark the unprecedented third criminal indictment against the former president since he launched his latest bid for the 2024 Republican nomination. No other U.S. president, current or former, has ever faced criminal charges.

The election probe was led by special counsel Jack Smith, who also oversaw a separate investigation into Trump’s retention of classified documents at his resort home Mar-a-Lago after leaving the White House in 2021.

Trump has pleaded not guilty in that case, which is set to go to trial in May.

Key points:

Trump’s lawyer vows to use new charges to ‘re-litigate every single issue’ of the 2020 election

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather in Presidents Park on the Ellipse by the White House for his rally and speech to contest the certification by the U.S. Congress of the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021.
Jim Bourg | Reuters

An attorney who is representing former President Donald Trump in his latest federal criminal indictment vowed to use the charges to “re-litigate every single issue in the 2020 election in the context of this litigation.”

The case gives Trump “an opportunity that he has never had before, which is to have subpoena power since January 6 in a way that can be exercised in federal court,” attorney John Lauro said in a Fox News interview.

Trump is charged with conspiring to overturn his election loss in the 2020 presidential race by pushing fraud claims he knew were false, which prosecutors say amounted to an effort to obstruct the electoral process.

Lauro’s comments suggest that the former president’s legal strategy in this case could include an attempt by his lawyers to portray Trump’s myriad false claims of widespread election fraud in late 2020 as legitimate concerns at the time, regardless of whether or not they were correct.

Kevin Breuninger

Who are the Trump co-conspirators? Here’s what we know so far

Trump Campaign Senior Legal Advisor Jenna Ellis speaks as Trump campaign advisor Boris Epshteyn whispers to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney to President Donald Trump, during a news conference about the 2020 U.S. presidential election results at Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, November 19, 2020.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

The six alleged co-conspirators of Trump that are mentioned prominently in his indictment aren’t identified by name — but it’s possible to deduce who most of them are from details sprinkled throughout the charges. CNBC and NBC News have confirmed five of them so far.

Co-conspirator 1 appears to be former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, confirmed by his lawyer Robert Costello.

The indictment notes that on Dec. 1, 2020, “Co-Conspirator 1 met with the Arizona House Speaker. When the Arizona House Speaker again asked Co-Conspirator 1 for evidence of the outcome-determinative election fraud he and the Defendant had been claiming.”

“Co-Conspirator I responded with words to the effect of, “We don’t have the evidence, but we have lots of theories,” the indictment says.

This account matches on that has been publicly reported already about Giuliani.

In an interview, Costello defended Trump, and he portrayed his client as more of a witness than a ringleader

“Every fact that Mayor Giuliani possesses about this case establishes the good faith basis President Trump had for the actions he took during the two-month period charged in the indictment,” said Costello.

Co-Conspirator 2 is former Trump attorney John Eastman, confirmed by his own lawyer. The description of Eastman’s meeting with Trump in December 2020 matches what was publicly already known about him. 

Eastman was the architect of a failed bid to get then-Vice President Mike Pence to reject the election results during a joint session of Congress.

The third co-conspirator appears to be attorney and conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell.

The indictment notes that on Nov. 25, 2020, “Co-Conspirator 3 filed a lawsuit against the Governor of Georgia falsely alleging ‘massive election fraud’ accomplished through the voting machine company’s election software and hardware.”

“The Defendant did this despite the fact that when he had discussed Co-Conspirator 3’s far-fetched public claims regarding the voting machine company in private with advisors, [Trump] had conceded that they were unsupported and that Co-Conspirator 3 sounded ‘crazy.’ “

The lawsuit description matches the one filed by Powell.

Co-Conspirator 4 appears to be Jeffrey Clark, a Department of Justice official in the Trump administration.

 Co-conspirator 5 appears to be the lawyer Kenneth Chesebro, The fifth co-conspirator is described in the indictment as helping in “devising and attempting to implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding.” That matches up with how as select House committee described Chesbro’s actions.

The identity of the sixth co-conspirator is not yet known.

Trump campaign sells t-shirts to mark his indictment as they look to raise money

“I STAND WITH TRUMP O8.01.2023” T-shirt merchandise for sale by his campaign.
Source: Trump 2024 Campaign

Former President Donald Trump’s campaign is selling t-shirts commemorating his third indictment to raise money for his presidential run.

The t-shirt says “I stand with Trump” and the date of his indictment, Aug. 1, according to a fundraising email blasted out to his supporters. Donors can give $47 to the campaign and get the shirt in return, the email says.

The email subject line says “THIRD UNJUST INDICTMENT.” It’s the latest in a string of fundraising emails the Trump campaign has sent that focus on his latest indictment and appeal for cash.

– Brian Schwartz

Spox for apparent co-conspirator Rudy Giuliani says Trump acted in ‘good faith’

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani points to a printed map as he speaks to media about the U.S. evacuation of Afghanistan outside his apartment building in New York City, U.S., August 20, 2021.
Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

A spokesman for former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani accuses special counsel Jack Smith’s indictment of threatening free speech and revealing a “two-tiered justice system.”

“Every fact Mayor Rudy Giuliani possesses about this case establishes the good faith basis President Donald Trump had for the actions he took during the two-month period charged in the indictment,” said Ted Goodman, a political advisor to the former New York City mayor, in a statement to CNBC.

“This indictment eviscerates the First Amendment and criminalizes the ruling regime’s number one political opponent for daring to ask questions about the 2020 election results,” Goodman said.

Goodman would not confirm or deny that Giuliani is one of the six unnamed co-conspirators accused of assisting Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

Giuliani appears to be Co-Conspirator #1, NBC News reported. That person is described in the indictment as “an attorney who was willing to spread knowingly false claims and pursue strategies that the Defendant’s 2020 re-election campaign attorneys would not.”

Goodman has previously told CNBC that Giuliani “has not been contacted” by Smith’s office “and he has no reason to believe that he will.”

Kevin Breuninger

Mike Pence: ‘I chose the Constitution’

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence delivers remarks at the Faith and Freedom Road to Majority conference at the Washington Hilton on June 23, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Former Vice President Mike Pence said the indictment of Donald Trump demonstrates that the former president is unfit to lead the nation.

Trump is entitled to the presumption of innocence, but “anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be President of the United States,” Pence said in a statement.

Pence is running against his former boss for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, and trailing far behind.

Following Trump’s loss in the 2020 election, he pressured Pence to overturn Joe Biden’s victory by refusing to certify the results in the Senate on Jan, 6, 2021. Pence refused, and had to be evacuated from the Senate chamber when members of the mob called for him to hung.

“Our country is more important than one man. Our constitution is more important than any one man’s career,” Pence said following the indictment. “On January 6th, Former President Trump demanded that I choose between him and the Constitution. I chose the Constitution and I always will.” 

— Spencer Kimball

Top Democrats: Trump’s ‘criminal plot’ appears in ‘shocking detail’

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to reporters next to House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) outside the West Wing following debt limit talks with U.S. President Joe Biden and Congressional leaders at the White House in Washington, May 16, 2023.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) called Tuesday’s indictment of former President Donald Trump the “most serious and most consequential thus far.”

“This indictment is the most serious and most consequential thus far and will stand as a stark reminder to generations of Americans that no one, including a president of the United States, is above the law,” the two lawmakers wrote in a statement.

Schumer and Jeffries called the events that unfolded on Jan. 6. “one of the saddest and most infamous days in American history.”

“The third indictment of Mr. Trump illustrates in shocking detail that the violence of that day 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,” the two lawmakers wrote.

— Amanda Macias

Trump raised nearly $250 million pushing fake election claims in the weeks before Jan. 6

A video of former U.S President Donald Trump speaking is shown on a screen during the fifth public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 23, 2022. 
Jim Bourg | Reuters

The House select committee that investigated the riot on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, 2021 said in their final report that Donald Trump raised nearly $250 million between Election Day and Jan. 6 as the former president’s tried and failed to fight the election results in court.

“Evidence gathered by the Committee indicates that President Trump raised roughly one quarter of a billion dollars in fundraising efforts between the election and January 6th.141 Those solicitations persistently claimed and referred to election fraud that did not exist,” the committee said in their final report.

The committee, which sent a criminal referral of Trump to the Department of Justice, lays out in detail within their final report how Trump and his team successfully convinced donors to fund their fight to overturn the results of an election many of Trump’s advisors knew he had lost.

The Republican National Committee “knew that President Trump’s claims about winning the election were baseless and that additional donations would not help him secure an additional term in office,” according to the report.

Still, the RNC ” walked as close to the line as they dared—making several changes to fundraising copy that seemingly protected the RNC from legal exposure while still spreading and relying on President Trump’s known lies and misrepresentations.”

– Brian Schwartz

The view from Delaware: Biden and first lady have dinner out and go to the movies

While Trump stared down his third criminal indictment, President Joe Biden had his eyes on a different sort of bombshell.

The president and first lady Jill Biden arrived at a movie theater in Delaware on Tuesday evening to see “Oppenheimer,” the blockbuster film about the development of the atomic bomb, according to White House reporters.

The Bidens ate dinner beforehand at a nearby restaurant called Matt’s Fish Camp, described as “cute” by the press pool.

US President Joe Biden (L) and US First Lady Jill Biden sit under an umbrella in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on July 30, 2023.
Jim Watson | Afp | Getty Images

The first couple had arrived in Delaware on Friday for a vacation at their beach house in Rehoboth Beach. They were seen biking on Monday.

Kevin Breuninger

Georgia mentioned 48 times in Trump indictment

Supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump participate on a ‘Stop the Steal’ protest at the Georgia State Capitol, after the 2020 U.S. presidential election was called for Democratic candidate Joe Biden, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. November 7, 2020.
Dustin Chambers | Reuters

The state of Georgia is mentioned by name 48 times in the Trump indictment, more than any of the other six states where the former president tried to reverse his loss in the 2020 election.

Georgia is also where a local prosecutor, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, soon could announce state criminal charges against Trump for his attempt to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory there in 2020.

Four pages in the new federal indictment detail Trump’s focus on Georgia, where he falsely alleged there had been election fraud.

“Wow! Blockbuster testimony taking place right now in Georgia. Ballot stuffing by Dems when Republicans were forced to leave the large counting room. Plenty more coming, but this alone leads to an easy win of the State!” Trump tweeted on Dec. 3, 2020, the indictment notes.

A month later, four days before Congress was due to certify the Electoral College’s results, Trump “and others called Georgia’s Secretary of State,” the indictment says.

“During the call, the Defendant [Trump] lied to the Georgia Secretary of State to induce him to alter Georgia’s popular vote count and call into question the validity of the Biden electors’ votes, which had been transmitted to Congress weeks before.”

— Dan Mangan

Former January 6 Committee Chair Bennie Thompson calls for a ‘fair trial’ for Trump

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, speaks to journalists outside of the U.S. Capitol Building on September 30, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chair of the now-defunct House select committee on the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, said Trump and conspirators should receive a fair trial after news of the former’s president indictment dropped.

“January 6th was a test of American democracy, but the fair trials of those responsible will further demonstrate this Nation’s commitment to the rule of law and hold accountable those who attempted to undermine it,” Thompson tweeted Tuesday.

Trump was indicted for, among other things, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding while the results of the 2020 presidential election were being certified on Jan. 6, 2021.

— Chelsey Cox

Trump fundraises off indictment moments after charges are released

Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures as he holds a campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S., July 29, 2023. 
Lindsay Dedario | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump is back to fundraising off of the latest federal indictment against him just days after it was revealed that his allied political action committee has spent over $20 million on his legal fees.

The email appeal, which was blasted out within moments of the indictment’s release, follows a familiar pattern portraying Trump as a martyr.

“They know that I’m the only candidate who can dismantle the Deep State and end their stranglehold on our nation. So, their only hope is to try and send me to JAIL for the rest of my life,” the letter reads.

Trump calls on his supporters to donate to “show that you will NEVER SURRENDER our country to tyranny as the Deep State thugs try to JAIL me for life – for 1,500% impact,” He then calls on donors to give anywhere from $24 to $250 and shows a video of Trump in the background and an unconfirmed, scrolling list of donors, dubbed “patriots who declared ‘I will never surrender.'”

The House select committee that investigated the riot on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, 2021, said in their final report that Trump raised nearly $250 million between Election Day and Jan. 6.

— Brian Schwartz

‘Trump is morally responsible’ for Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, GOP rival Asa Hutchinson says

Republican U.S. presidential candidate former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks as he is interviewed by Former Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson (not pictured) during the Family Leadership Summit at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa, July 14, 2023.
Scott Morgan | Reuters

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said President Donald Trump is “morally responsible” for the violent mob attack against Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.

Hutchinson said the U.S. justice system will now determine whether Trump is criminally responsible for his attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

Hutchinson has launched a longshot bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination on a more moderate platform than his rivals.

Spencer Kimball

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says the Trump indictment is a DOJ distraction for Hunter Biden dealings

U.S. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks to reporters before the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) at the U.S. Capitol on July 14, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong | Getty Images

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy accused the Justice Department of trying to distract from recent allegations regarding Hunter Biden’s business dealings in his response to Trump’s new indictment.

McCarthy, R-Calif., laid out how he viewed the events leading up to the indictment, including accusations that Hunter, son of President Joe Biden, “received money from China (contradicting President Biden’s claim),” that the DOJ “tried to secretly give Hunter broad immunity” and that Biden “spoke with Hunter’s business associates over 20 times.”

“Everyone in America could see what was going to come next: DOJ’s attempt to distract from the news and attack the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, President Trump,” McCarthy tweeted Tuesday. Recent polling shows Biden and Trump evenly matched if the election were to occur today.

McCarthy vowed that House Republicans will “continue to uncover the truth about Biden Inc. and the two-tiered system of justice.”

— Chelsey Cox

Trump used ‘deceit’ to subvert election results in 7 states, indictment says

Protestors recite Catholic prayers as they walk outside as Wisconsin electors gather to cast their votes for the U.S. presidential election at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S., December 14, 2020.
Daniel Acker | Reuters

The Trump indictment details how the then-president allegedly used “deceit” to get election officials in seven states to “subvert the legitimate election results and change electoral votes.”

The states identified in the indictment were: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

All of those states’ popular votes were won by President Joe Biden in 2020. And their combined 82 electoral votes were crucial to providing his margin of victory over Trump in the Electoral College, the entity that actually determines the winners of White House races.

If Trump had succeeded in getting the popular vote results swung in his favor in the seven states, he could have claimed a win in the Electoral College. But he failed in all seven.

Dan Mangan

Attorney General Merrick Garland says special counsel has ‘followed the facts’

Attorney General Merrick Garland said that special counsel Jack Smith and his team have “followed the facts” in their case accusing Trump of unlawfully seeking to overturn the 2020 election results.

“Immediately after the January 6th attack on our democracy, career men and women of the justice department engaged in what has become the largest investigation in our history,” Garland said.

US Attorney General Merrick B. Garland addresses the findings of a Justice Department investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department during a press conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 16, 2023. 
Stephen Maturen | AFP | Getty Images

The attorney general took just one question from a reporter following the indictment’s release Tuesday evening. The reporter had asked if the latest charges against Trump marked the end of Smith’s investigation.

Smith was appointed “to take on the ongoing investigation in order to underline the department’s commitment to accountability and independence,” Garland said.

“Mr. Smith and his team of experienced principled career agents and prosecutors have followed the facts and the law wherever they lead,” the attorney general said.

Kevin Breuninger

Trump held private meeting with Justice Department officials as he tried to overturn election

Former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen testifies during fifth public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 23, 2022. 
Jim Bourg | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump had a tense meeting with Department of Justice officials in January as he and his allies turned to federal authorities to try to overturn the 2020 election, according to the federal indictment.

In early January 2021, Trump and a co-conspirator met with Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and other department leaders at the Oval Office in the White House, where the then-president “expressed frustration with the Acting Attorney General for failing to do anything to overturn the election results,” the indictment states.

As pressure mounted on then-Vice President Mike Pence to try to alter the results of the election, Trump told the group of officials, “No one here should be talking to the Vice President. I’m talking to the Vice President,” according to the indictment.

– Brian Schwartz

 Special counsel has notes Mike Pence took of Trump meetings

Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence pauses as he publicly announces and kicks off his campaign for the 2024 Republican U.S. presidential nomination, at a Future Farmers of America “enrichment center” in Ankeny, Iowa, U.S. June 7, 2023.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Then-Vice President Mike Pence took “contemporaneous notes” of meetings with Trump as the then-president plotted to remain in power in early 2021, and special counsel Jack Smith has those records, the indictment against Trump reveals.

The indictment refers to a Jan. 4, 2021, meeting between Trump, Pence, the vice president’s chief of staff and Pence’s legal counsel.

“During the meeting, as reflected in the Vice President’s contemporaneous notes, the Defendant made knowingly false claims of election fraud, including, ‘Bottom line — won every state by 100,000s of votes’ and ‘We won every state,’ and asked — regarding a claim his senior Justice Department officials previously had told him was false, including as recently as the night before— ‘What about 205,000 votes more in PA than voters.’ “

The indictment also says that Pence “challenged” co-conspirator 2, an attorney who had proposed a plan that would have Pence reject or dispute seven states’ Electoral College slates, potentially sending the question of which candidates’ electoral slates would be valid back to individual states.

Co-conspirator 2 is the lawyer John Eastman, according to Eastman’s own lawyer.

“When the Vice President challenged Co-Conspirator 2 on whether the proposal to return the question to the states was defensible, Co-Conspirator 2 responded, ‘Well, nobody’s tested it before,’ “the indictment says.

“The Vice President then told the Defendant, ‘Did you hear that? Even your own counsel is not saying I have that authority,’ ” the indictment says. “The Defendant responded, ‘That’s okay, I prefer the other suggestion’ of the Vice President rejecting the electors unilaterally.”

– Dan Mangan

Special counsel Jack smith says Jan. 6 Capitol riot was ‘fueled’ by Trump’s lies

Special Counsel Jack Smith delivers remarks on a recently unsealed indictment alleging four felony counts against former U.S. President Donald Trump on August 1, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong | Getty Images

Special counsel Jack Smith gave rare public remarks after Trump’s historic indictment on criminal charges of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election results.

The Jan. 6, 2021, attack was an “unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy,” Smith said.

It was “fueled by lies. Lies by the defendant, targeted at obstructing a bedrock function of the U.S. government,” Smith said.

He also praised the law enforcement officers who defended the Capitol from the violent pro-Trump mob that stormed the building on Jan. 6.

“They put their lives on the line to defend who we are as a country and as a people,” Smith said.

The special counsel spoke for less than three minutes. He took no questions.

Kevin Breuninger

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel was in touch with Trump as he tried to overturn elections

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Ronna McDaniel holds the gavel at the winter meeting of the Republican National Committee in Dana Point, California, U.S., January 27, 2023. 
Mike Blake | Reuters

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel was in touch with former President Donald Trump when he was moving to initiate a plan to try to overturn the election results, according to the federal indictment against Trump.

The charging document does not name McDaniel outright. But she was the chair of the RNC at the time and continues to lead the committee today.

Trump and an unnamed co-conspirator were in touch with McDaniel “to ensure that the plan was in motion,” the charges allege.

They “told the Chairwoman that it was important for the RNC to help the Defendant’s campaign gather electors in targeted states, and falsely represented to her that such electors’ votes would be used only if ongoing litigation in one of the states changed the results in the Defendant’s favor,” according to the special counsel

“After the RNC Chairwoman consulted the Campaign and heard that work on gathering electors was underway, she called and reported this information to the Defendant, who responded approvingly.”

A spokeswoman for the RNC did not return a request for comment.

– Brian Schwartz

DeSantis claims U.S. government was ‘weaponized’ but hasn’t read Trump indictment

Republican presidential candidate, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, delivers remarks at the annual Christians United for Israel Summit (CUFI), at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia, July 17, 2023.
Kevin Wurm | Reuters

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis lashed out against the federal government and the FBI in response to the indictment of former President Donald Trump.

Yet the Florida governor said he had not yet read the actual indictment against the former president.

DeSantis, Trump’s rival for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, said he would “end the weaponization of government” and replace the director of the FBI if he becomes commander in chief.

DeSantis derided Washington, D.C., as a “swamp” and claimed it was unfair for Trump to stand trial “before a jury that is reflective of the swamp mentality.”

He said cases filed in D.C. should be transferred to a defendant’s home district.

Spencer Kimball

Trump indictment describes six key co-conspirators

A screen displays statistics on former President Trump’s fraud claims cases for the 2020 election during a hearing by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on June 13, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

The indictment says Trump enlisted co-conspirators “to assist him in his criminal efforts to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election and retain power.”

Among those were six people, primarily attorneys, whose specific roles, but not names, were detailed in the indictment.

  • Co-Conspirator 1 is described in that charging document as “an attorney who was willing to spread knowingly false claims and pursue strategies that the Defendant’s 2020 re-election campaign attorneys would not.”
  • Co-Conspirator 2: “An attorney who devised and attempted to implement a strategy to leverage the Vice President’s ceremonial role overseeing the certification proceeding to obstruct the certification of the presidential election.”
  • Co-Conspirator 3: “An attorney whose unfounded claims of election fraud the Defendant privately acknowledged to others sounded ‘crazy.’ Nonetheless, the Defendant embraced and publicly amplified Co-Conspirator 3’s disinformation.”
  • Co-Conspirator 4: “A Justice Department official who worked on civil matters and who, with the Defendant, attempted to use the Justice Department to open sham election crime investigations and influence state legislatures with knowingly false claims of election fraud.”
  • Co-Conspirator 5: “An attorney who assisted in devising and attempting to implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding.”
  • Co-Conspirator 6: “A political consultant who helped implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding.”

Trump case assigned to Judge Tanya Chutkan, an Obama appointee

Trump’s election interference case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, according to the docket in federal court in Washington, D.C.

Chutkan, 61, was appointed to the district in 2014 by then-President Barack Obama.

She is the only federal judge in D.C. who has delivered sentences against defendants in cases related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot that are longer than the sentences that the DOJ asked for, according to NBC News.

Chutkan’s assignment offers a contrast from Judge Aileen Cannon, the Trump-appointed judge presiding over the former president’s federal classified documents case. Cannon previously caught criticism from legal experts after she delivered rulings that favored Trump in a legal matter related to those classified records.

Kevin Breuninger

Republicans come to Trump’s defense

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., flanked from left by Reps. Mike Johnson, R-La., Mark Meadows, R-N.C., Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks to reporters in the Senate subway before the start of Senate impeachment trial session on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020.
Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

Supporters of former President Donald Trump in Congress rallied to speak out against the new list of indictments.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, tweeted Tuesday that Trump “did nothing wrong!”

“When you drain The Swamp, The Swamp fights back,” Jordan added.

GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., called it “yet another dark day in America” in a scathing statement against the Justice Department and President Joe Biden.

“Today’s sham indictment is yet another desperate attempt to distract attention away from the mounting evidence of Joe Biden’s involvement in his family’s illegal peddling scheme — one of the greatest political corruption scandals in history,” Stefanik said, adding that Trump “had every right under the First Amendment to correctly raise concerns about election integrity in 2020.”

—Chelsey Cox

Here are the four criminal charges Trump faces in new indictment

The members of the U.S. House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol sit beneath a video of former U.S. President Donald Trump talking about the results of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election as they hold their final public meeting to release their report on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 19, 2022. 
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Trump was hit with four serious felonies in the new indictment, accusing him of fraudulently trying to undo his loss in the 2020 election.

The first charge, conspiracy to defraud the United States, has a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison if convicted.

Two other charges — conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, and obstruction of an official proceeding — carry much heavier maximums: 20 years in prison.

The fourth charge against Trump, conspiracy against rights, has a maximum possible sentence of 10 years behind bars.

– Dan Mangan

Special counsel Jack Smith to speak at 6 p.m. ET

Special counsel Jack Smith will make a statement at 6 p.m. ET, the Department of Justice said.

The DOJ in a tweet shared a link to a video stream.

The rare remarks from the special counsel come less than an hour after the latest charges against Trump were unsealed.

Kevin Breuninger

Trump charged with trying to subvert 2020 election via 3 criminal conspiracies

President Donald Trump arrives for a “Keep America Great” rally at Sudduth Coliseum at the Lake Charles Civic Center in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on October 11, 2019.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

The Department of Justice indictment accused Trump of pursuing ways to discount legitimate votes in the 2020 presidential race and subvert the election itself through three criminal conspiracies, a spokesman for the special counsel’s office said in a press release.

The first was a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. “by using dishonesty, fraud and deceit to obstruct the nation’s process of collecting, counting, and certifying the results of the presidential election,” the spokesman said.

The second was “a conspiracy to impede” the Jan. 6, 2021, congressional proceeding where the election results were certified.

The third was “a conspiracy against the right to vote and to have that vote counted,” the spokesman said.

Kevin Breuninger

Trump ordered to appear in D.C. court on Thursday for new indictment

A police officer leads a K9 around the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. District Court House on August 01, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images

Trump has been ordered to appear in Washington, D.C., federal court at 4 p.m., Thursday to face charges in the new indictment, according to the office of special counsel Jack Smith.

Trump’s first appearance in the case will be before Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya.

– Dan Mangan

Read the full indictment against Trump

Trump claims ‘election interference’ — against him — after grand jury hands up indictment

U.S. President Donald J. Trump speaks during the Victory Rally by the Republican National Committee in Dalton, Georgia, United States on January 04, 2021.
Peter Zay | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The Trump campaign attacked the Biden administration and the Department of Justice in a furious statement after the grand jury investigating interference in the 2020 election handed up an indictment.

The campaign in a statement did not explicitly say that Trump had been indicted in the special counsel’s probe.

Rather, it said, “This is nothing more than 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, in which President Trump is the undisputed frontrunner, and leading by substantial margins.”

“Why did they wait two and a half years to bring these fake charges, right in the middle of President Trump’s winning campaign for 2024? Why was it announced the day after the big Crooked Joe Biden scandal broke out from the Halls of Congress?”

Trump himself announced two weeks earlier that he was a target in the investigation.

But his campaign wrote that that “the answer is, election interference!” The statement compared the “persecution” of Trump to the actions of infamous dictatorships including “Nazi Germany in the 1930s.”

“President Trump has always followed the law and the Constitution, with advice from many highly accomplished attorneys,” the statement said.

The campaign predicted that the “un-American witch hunts” against him “will fail and President Trump will be re-elected to the White House so he can save our Country from the abuse, incompetence, and corruption that is running through the veins of our Country at levels never seen before.”

Kevin Breuninger

Trump’s Jan. 6 rally was bankrolled by Publix heiress and dark money groups

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.
Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

The rally that preceded the riot on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, 2021 was funded by high-profile Trump donors, like Publix heiress Julia Jenkins Fancelli.

A Fancelli run nonprofit donated $1.3 million in 2020 to Moms for America, a dark money group that sponsored the Jan. 6 rally.Testimony from the House Select Committee ‘s probe into the events on Jan. 6 showed that Fancelli originally proposed a bussing project that would have cost $3 million.

Other dark money groups allied with former President Donald Trump, like Women for America First, helped organize and fund the rally before Trump supporters attacked the Capitol Hill. Dark money groups do not publicly disclose their donors, but Fancelli has previously financed similar groups.

As Congress prepared to certify the Electoral College results and cement Joe Biden’s victory over Trump, the outgoing president encouraged his supporters at the rally to march to the steps of the Capitol and block the process.

– Brian Schwartz

Trump grand jury in D.C. hands up seal indictment against unnnamed individual

The grand jury known to have been investigating Trump for his efforts to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election handed up a sealed indictment in Washington, D.C., federal court against an unnamed individual or individuals.

The indictment was handed up minutes after Trump said had heard an indictment against him would be announced at 5 p.m.

– Dan Mangan

Over a thousand people have been charged in connection with Jan 6. attack

Trump supporters stand on the U.S. Capitol Police armored vehicle as others take over the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, as the Congress works to certify the electoral college votes.
Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

More than 1,100 supporters of former President Donald Trump’s have been criminally charged for their participation in the storming of the U.S. Capitol in January 2021.

The cases have been heard by at least 15 judges in the federal district court in Washington, D.C., and more than 550 people have been sentenced, according to the Justice Department.

Sentencing hearings have included remorseful pleas from defendants, many of whom have placed blame on Trump and his rhetoric for inciting them to act.

Speaking at a rally on Jan. 6., 2021, Trump encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol to protest the count of Electoral College votes, a historically ceremonial proceeding to certify the results of a presidential election.

Hours after his supporters stormed the Capitol in a deadly attack, Trump released a video statement from the White House.

“Go home, we love you, you’re very special,” Trump said in the video, addressing the people attacking Congress.

Yet even as he advised them to “go home,” Trump continued to repeat false claims about a stolen election and called his political opponents “evil.”

— Amanda Macias

What about Biden? Trump compares expected indictment to Hunter Biden issue

Trump raged in a second social media post that he apparently would be indicted on the heels of congressional testimony by a former business associate of Hunter Biden, the son of President Biden.

 “Also, why are they putting out another Fake Indictment the day after the Crooked Joe Biden SCANDAL, one of the biggest in American history, broke out in the Halls of Congress???” Trump wrote on his Truth Social site.

“A Nation In Decline!”

Devon Archer, a former Hunter Biden business associate, departs following his deposition before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee at the O’Neill House Office Building in Washington, July 31, 2023.
Kevin Wurm | Reuters

Hunter Biden’s business associate Devon Archer gave a transcribed interview to the House Oversight Committee on Monday. Archer reportedly told committee members Hunter put Joe Biden on a speaker phone during business meetings a number of times, but also said that the now-president did not discuss business with his son.

– Dan Mangan

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