Former President Donald Trump was indicted Tuesday on charges connected to attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Count 1: A conspiracy to defraud the United States by using dishonesty, fraud and deceit to obstruct the nation’s process of collecting, counting, and certifying the results of the presidential election.
Count 2: A conspiracy to impede the January 6 congressional proceeding at which the collected results of the presidential election are counted and certified.
Count 3: The indictment also alleges that Trump attempted to, and did, corruptly obstruct and impede the certification of the electoral vote.
County 4: A conspiracy against the right to vote and to have that vote counted.
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The charges were not a surprise. Trump revealed moments before the indictment was made public that he expected it. He previously stated that his attorneys met with the Department of Justice last week. Trump called the meeting “productive.”
Special counsel Jack Smith is leading the investigation into the alleged scheme to overturn the election and the events of January 6, 2021, when a group of Trump's supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop Joe Biden from being certified as president.
"The attack on our nation's capitol on January 6, 2021, was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy. It's described in the indictment," Smith said in a brief statement on Tuesday. "It was fueled by lies, lies by the defendant, targeted at obstructing a bedrock function of the U.S. government, the nation's process of collecting, counting and certifying the results of the presidential election."
In the 45-page indictment, prosecutors lay out the lengths Trump and six co-conspirators allegedly went to in an attempt to overturn the presidential election.
"The Defendant and co-conspirators used knowingly false claims of election fraud to get state legislators and election officials to subvert the legitimate election results and change electoral votes for the Defendant's opponent, Joseph R. Biden, Jr., to electoral votes for the Defendant," the indictment states.
The document goes on to say that Trump "organized fraudulent slates of electors" in seven states, including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Trump has continually denied any wrongdoing. In a statement on Truth Social, the former president said, "Why didn’t they bring this ridiculous case 2.5 years ago? They wanted it right in the middle of my campaign, that’s why!"
This is the third time Trump has been indicted this year.
He was indicted in April on 34 counts in New York for allegedly falsifying business records to conceal potentially damaging information ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The case stems from a $130,000 payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels. Prosecutors allege Trump used a shell company to make the payment in an effort to hide an affair with Daniels.
In June, Trump was indicted on 37 federal counts in a classified documents case. The former president is accused of retaining classified information and obstructing justice when officials attempted to retrieve the materials from his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida. The indictment alleges some of the documents contained national defense information.
Trump has denied wrongdoing in every case, claiming it's all a political “witch hunt.”
The legal woes for the former president come as he attempts to reclaim the White House. Trump is currently the front-runner in the race to become the Republican nominee for president in 2024. His campaign released a statement on Tuesday, condemning the latest indictment.
"This is nothing more than the latest corrupt chapter in the continued pathetic attempted by the Biden Crime Family and their weaponized Department of Justice to interfere with the 2024 Presidential Election," the campaign stated.
It's unclear when a trial on the latest indictment would take place. Trump is scheduled to appear in federal court on Aug. 3.
Click here to read the full 45-page indictment.
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