The former president was indicted on four federal charges out of the investigation, including conspiracy to defraud the United States; obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding; conspiracy against rights; and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding.
Trump has been ordered to appear Thursday, August 3, at 4 p.m., in a federal court in Washington, D.C., for his arraignment.
This is the second federal indictment the former president faces from Smith’s investigation. Former President Trump leads the 2024 GOP presidential primary field by huge margins and has already pleaded not guilty to 37 counts related to his alleged improper retention of classified records from his presidency.
The charges include conspiracy to obstruct justice, false statements, and willful retention of national defense information. President Trump was charged with an additional three counts as part of a superseding indictment emanating from that probe last week.
It is only the second time in U.S. history that a former president has faced federal criminal charges.
“The Defendant, Donald J. Trump, was the forty-fifth President of the United States and a candidate for re-election in 2020. The Defendant lost the 2020 presidential election,” states Smith’s indictment. “Despite having lost, the Defendant was determined to remain in power.”
Smith alleged that “for more than two months following election day on November 3, 2020,” former President Trump “spread lies that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the election and that he had actually won.” The indictment lists Trump’s team’s claims during post-election state challenges in Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Wisconsin.
“These claims were false, and the Defendant knew that they were false,” alleged Smith. “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.”
Smith alleged between November 14, 2020, and January 20, 2021, Trump “did knowingly combine, conspire, confederate, and agree with co-conspirators, known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to defraud the United States by using dishonest, fraud and deceit to impair, obstruct and defeat the lawful federal government by which the results of the presidential election are collected, counted, and certified by the federal government.”
Six unnamed co-conspirators are mentioned in the indictment.
Trump spokesman: “Nothing more than the latest corrupt chapter”
In reaction to the charges, a Trump campaign spokesperson said that “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.”
“But 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?” asked the spokesperson.
“The answer is election interference!” continued the spokesperson. “The lawlessness of these persecutions of President Trump and his supporters is reminiscent of Nazi Germany in the 1930s, the former Soviet Union, and other authoritarian, dictatorial regimes.”
“President Trump has always followed the law and the Constitution, with advice from many highly accomplished attorneys,” said the spokesperson. “These un-American witch hunts 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.”
The spokesperson added, “Three years ago, we had strong borders, energy independence, no inflation, and a great economy. Today, we are a nation in decline. President Trump will not be deterred by disgraceful and unprecedented political targeting!”
The indictment comes after the former president announced he received a target letter from the Justice Department requesting he report to the federal grand jury. At the time, Trump said he anticipated “an arrest and indictment.”
Smith was appointed to investigate whether Trump or other entities or officials interfered with the peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 presidential election, including the certification of the vote by the Electoral College on January 6, 2021.
The Democrat-led House of Representatives drafted articles of impeachment against Trump again and ultimately voted to impeach him on a charge of inciting an insurrection for the January 6 Capitol incident — making him the first and only president in U.S. history to be impeached, and ultimately acquitted, twice.
The Senate voted to acquit, but if Trump had been convicted, the Senate have moved to block the 45th president from holding federal office ever again, which would have prevented his 2024 run for the White House.
Former President Trump also pleaded not guilty to 34 counts in April in New York stemming from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s probe. Trump is accused of falsifying business records related to alleged payments of hush money made during the 2016 campaign.