(WASHINGTON) — Former President Donald Trump has been indicted in the special counsel’s investigation into his alleged plot to overthrow the 2020 election.
Trump has been charged with four counts: 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. 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,” the indictment said.
Read the full indictment here:
The indictment identifies six co-conspirators, four attorneys, a political consultant, and “a Justice Department official who worked on civil matters.”
Trump’s campaign put out a statement decrying the investigation and called the counts “fake charges.” The former president has repeatedly criticized Jack Smith, the special counsel for the Dept. of Justice, who is investigating Trump for several cases.
Here are some of the major details on the four criminal counts from the 45-page indictment.
Key states targeted by Trump
Prosecutors contend that Trump allegedly launched his scheme shortly after election day, Nov. 3, 2020. Ten days later, his campaign attorneys told Trump that he lost the vote count in Arizona and thus lost the election.
Trump allegedly appointed one of the co-conspirators to “spearheaded his efforts going forward to challenge the election results,” according to the indictment.
“From that point on, the defendant and his co-conspirators executed a strategy to use knowing deceit in the targeted states to impair, obstruct, and defeat the federal government function,” the indictment said.
Trump and the co-conspirators allegedly targeted Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and organized fake electors, prosecutors contend.
Some fraudulent electors were tricked into participating, prosecutors alleged.
The indictment lays out specific examples where Trump and his co-conspirators tried to induce the results in the states.
In Michigan, for example, the indictment claims that Trump met with elected officials from the state, in which he “raised his false claim” of illegitimate votes dumps, but he was rebuffed.
One of Trump’s co-conspirators would continue to message Michigan officials with the false claims well into December, according to the indictment.
The indictment also cited the Jan. 2 phone call with Georgia Secretary of State where Trump “induced him to alter the Georgia’s popular vote.”
Trump allegedly tries to leverage Justice Department
The indictment contends that Trump and his co-conspirators “attempted to use the power and authority of the Justice Department to conduct sham election crime investigations and to send a letter to the targeted states that falsely claimed that the Justice Department had identified significant concerns that may have impacted the election outcome [and] that sought to advance the Defendant’s fraudulent elector plan by using the Justice Department’s authority to falsely present the fraudulent electors as a valid alternative to the legitimate electors.”
On December 31, 2020, Trump “repeatedly raised” his claims that there had been 205,000 more votes than voters in Pennsylvania with acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, the indictment said.
“Each time, the Justice Department officials informed the defendant that his claim was false,” the indictment claimed.
Trump still “publicly repeated his knowingly false claim,” prosecutors allege.
Trump allegedly pressures Pence
The indictment specifies repeated instances by Trump and the co-conspirators to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to use “his ceremonial role at the certification to fraudulently alter the election results.”
Between Christmas and Jan. 3, 2021, the former president allegedly talked to Pence and repeated his false claims about the vice president’s role at the certification, according to the indictment. Pence pushed back against those claims, prosecutors allege.
In a Jan. 1, 2021, conversation, Trump allegedly berated Pence for refusing to go along with his proposal, the indictment said.
“In response, the Defendant told the Vice President, ‘You’re too honest.'” Within hours of the conversation, the Defendant reminded his supporters to meet in Washington before the certification proceeding, tweeting, “The BIG Protest Rally in Washington, D.C., will take place at 11.00 A.M. on January 6th. Locational details to follow. StopTheSteal!”
On Jan. 4, 2021, Trump met with Pence, one of the co-conspirators, the vice president’s Chief of Staff and the vice president’s counsel to convince Pence that he should reject Joe Biden’s electoral votes or resend them back to the states.
“During the meeting, as reflected in the Vice President’s contemporaneous notes, the Defendant made knowingly false claims of election fraud, including, ‘Bottom line-won every state by 100,000s of votes’ and ‘We won every state,'” the indictment said.
Trump met with Pence again on Jan. 5, 2021, to convince him to overturn the election, but the vice president refused, the indictment said. Trump allegedly “grew frustrated and told the Vice President that the Defendant would have to publicly criticize him,” according to prosecutors.
“Upon learning of this, the Vice President’s Chief of Staff was concerned for the Vice President’s safety and alerted the head of the Vice President’s Secret Service detail,” the indictment said.
Trump’s speech before the riot
The special counsel cited Trump’s own words at the rally before his supporters raided the Capitol, specifically what he said about Mike Pence’s role as evidence in furtherance of the scheme.
“The Defendant repeated false claims of election fraud, gave false hope that the Vice President might change the election outcome, and directed the crowd in front of him to go to the Capitol as a means to obstruct the certification and pressure the Vice President to fraudulently obstruct the certification,” prosecutors wrote.
“I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. I hope so. I hope so,” Trump said speaking to a group of supporters outside the White House on Jan. 6, 2021. “Because if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election.”
The indictment noted that Trump “directed the people in front of him to head to the Capitol, suggested he was going with them, and told them to give Members of Congress ‘the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.'”
The president did not join in the march and returned to the White House where he observed the riot on TV, prosecutors allege.
“A mass of people-including individuals who had traveled to Washington and to the Capitol at the Defendant’s direction-broke through barriers cordoning off the Capitol grounds and advanced on the building, including by violently attacking law enforcement officers trying to secure it,” the indictment said.
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