A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., has indicted former President Donald Trump in the criminal investigation into his alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The 77-year-old former president was charged with 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.
“Despite having lost, the Defendant was determined to remain in power,” the indictment begins. “So for more than two months following election day on November 3, 2020, the Defendant spread lies that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the election and that he had actually won. These claims were false, and the Defendant knew that they were false. But the Defendant repeated and widely disseminated them anyway — to make his knowingly false claims appear legitimate, create an intense national atmosphere of mistrust and anger, and erode public faith in the administration of the election.”
The indictment says that Trump had every right to make false claims about the election and to challenge the results of the election. It says that the charges were related to specific actions that Trump took beyond making false claims and challenging the results in court.
The indictment listed six co-conspirators who it says were engaged in “criminal efforts to overturn” the results of the election:
- Co-Conspirator 1, 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.
Read the full indictment here.