The federal grand jury in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into potential criminal wrongdoing related to the 2020 Election has voted to indict former President Trump.
The four criminal counts reportedly include 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.
According to the unsealed indictment, Trump “pursued unlawful means of discounting legitimate votes and subverting the election results” in an attempt to retain power after losing the 2020 election.
The grand jury convened Tuesday morning for at least the third time since Trump had revealed on his Truth Social platform on July 18 that he had received a target letter from the special counsel’s office related to the 2020 Election.
Shortly after unsealing the indictment, Smith spoke briefly before reporters, saying, “The attack on our nation’s capital on January 6th, 2021 was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy. As described in the indictment, it was fueled by lies—lies by the defendant, targeted at obstructing a bedrock function of the U.S. government and the nation’s process of collecting, counting and certifying the results of the Presidential election.”
He called the men and women of law enforcement who defended the U.S. Capitol “heroes…patriots, and the very best of us,” adding, “They did not just defend a building and the people sheltering in it, they put their lives on the line to defend who we are as a country and as a people. They defended the very institutions and principles that defined the United States.”
Smith went on to say that his office would seek a speedy trial and added that he “must emphasize that the indictment is only an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland then made unscheduled remarks in Philadelphia, saying that “the men and women of the Justice Department engaged in what has become the largest investigation in our history.”
Garland went on, “In November last, I appointed Jack Smith special counsel in the ongoing investigation in order to underline the [Justice] Department’s commitment to accountability and independence. Mr. Smith and his team of experienced, principled career agents and prosecutors have followed the facts and the law where wherever they lead. Any questions about this matter will have to be answered by the filings made in the court.”
This past Thursday, Trump attorneys were reportedly told during a meeting with special counsel prosecutors, including Smith, to expect an indictment.
It’s the third time this year that the former President has been indicted on criminal charges—an unprecedented milestone in the history of the United States.
In April Trump was arraigned on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records and conspiracy related to his alleged role in hush money payments during the 2016 campaign season. That indictment came down in New York State court.
On June 13, Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 criminal counts handed up by a Florida grand jury in Smith’s investigation into his handling of classified documents post-Presidency. Last month the special counsel added three new charges in a superseding indictment related to alleged efforts to conceal surveillance video footage from Trump’s Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago, that had been subpoenaed by the Department of Justice.
The judge in the classified documents case, Aileen Cannon of the U.S. District in Southern Florida, a Trump appointee, has set a May 20, 2024 date for that trial to begin.
In Georgia, meanwhile, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has said this past weekend that the work in her investigation into interference in that state’s 2020 election is “accomplished” and the case is “ready to go.” She has indicated that she expects any indictments in that case sometime this month.
Trump, who in November announced he was running for reelection in 2024, has denied any wrongdoing in each of these investigations and has claimed that he is being targeted because of politics.
His campaign issued a statement following Tuesday’s indictment, asserting in part, “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.…President Trump has always followed the law and the Constitution, with advice from many highly accomplished attorneys.”
The latest, 45-page indictment against Trump can be read here.