(WASHINGTON) — Former President Donald Trump has been indicted on charges related to special counsel Jack Smith’s probe into efforts to overturn the 2020 election, sources with direct knowledge tell ABC News.
It marks the third time the former president has been indicted on criminal charges, following his indictment last month in the special counsel’s probe into his handling of classified materials after leaving office, and his indictment in April on New York state charges of falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
Trump, who has decried the probes as political witch hunts, pleaded not guilty to all charges in both those cases.
In the history of the country, no president or former president had ever been indicted prior to Trump’s first indictment in April.
Trump was informed by Smith on July 16 that he was a target in the election probe, in a letter that sources said mentioned three federal statutes: conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the United States, deprivation of rights under a civil rights statute, and tampering with a witness, victim or an informant.
A grand jury empaneled by Smith in Washington, D.C., has been speaking with witnesses ranging from former White House aides to state election officials. Among those testifying in recent weeks have been former top Trump aide Hope Hicks and Trump’s son-in-law and former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner.
Investigators have also been speaking with election officials who are believed to have been part of the failed 2020 effort to put forward slates of so-called “fake electors” to cast electoral college votes for Trump on Jan. 6.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Smith to oversee both the election probe and the classified documents probe, after Trump’s announcement in November that he was again running for president triggered the appointment of an independent special counsel to avoid a potential conflict of interest in the Justice Department.
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