Donald Trump is facing four criminal charges relating to attempts to overturn the 2020 election result as prosecutors try to tie him to the January 6 storming of the US Capitol building by his supporters.
The 45-page court document focuses on alleged schemes by the former Republican president and his allies to subvert the transfer of power and keep him in the White House despite his loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
Trump has falsely stated that the result of the November 2020 election was incorrect, with many of his supporters and confidants also expressing doubts about the vote.
But special counsel Jack Smith has alleged Trump’s lies “fuelled” the January 6 insurrection in Washington DC in 2021 where rioters attacked the Capitol in a bid to stop Congress from certifying the election result.
And prosecutors also claim he “exploited” the assault by refusing his advisers’ suggestion to send a message directing the rioters to leave the building, after a rally and fiery speech by him earlier that day.
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Read the full indictment here
Trump has been summoned to appear before a federal magistrate judge in the city on Thursday. It is the third time in four months he has been criminally charged even as he campaigns to regain the presidency next year.
The latest indictment alleges he conspired to prevent politicians from certifying Mr Biden’s victory and to deprive voters of their right to a fair election.
Five people died during or after the attack, including four protesters and one police officer, and about 140 officers suffered injuries, according to the Department of Justice (DoJ).
Trump faces four charges:
• Conspiracy to defraud the US
• Conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding
• Obstruction of, and attempt to obstruct, an official proceeding
• Conspiracy against rights.
The prosecution’s case
Prosecutors have stated Trump lost the 2020 election but he was “determined to remain in power” and for two months he “spread lies” that there had been fraud and that he had won.
“These claims were false and the defendant knew they were false… but the defendant repeated and widely disseminated them anyway,” said the indictment.
Six alleged co-conspirators are mentioned in the document, but they haven’t been charged. While they are not named in the filing, Sky’s US partner NBC News has identified five of them.
One of them appears to be Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s closest allies and his former personal lawyer. The others are said to be John Eastman, Sidney Powell, Jeffrey Clark and Kenneth Chesebro, with the sixth unknown.
Some of them are accused of erroneously suggesting that former vice president Mike Pence could object to certifying the results of the 2020 election – and making baseless accusations that Trump “embraced and amplified”.
Prosecutors claimed that in the weeks before the January 6 vote, Trump falsely told Mr Pence at least three times he had the authority to reject the electoral results, even though the vice president pushed back every time.
Trump also allegedly organised a plan to get fake electors in seven states, all of which he lost, to submit their votes to be counted and certified as official by Congress on January 6.
The DoJ alleges Trump “pursued unlawful means” of “discounting legitimate votes and subverting the election results” through three criminal conspiracies.
It said one conspiracy was to defraud the US by using dishonesty, fraud and deceit to “obstruct the nation’s process of collecting, counting, and certifying the results of the election”.
The DoJ said the second conspiracy was to impede the January 6 congressional proceeding at which the collected results of the presidential election are counted and certified.
The third alleged conspiracy was against the right to vote and to have the vote counted, the department said. The indictment also alleged Trump “attempted to, and did, corruptly obstruct and impede the certification of the electoral vote”.
‘Like Nazi Germany’
A Trump spokesperson likened the new indictment to “Nazi Germany in the 1930s, the former Soviet Union, and other authoritarian, dictatorial regimes,” calling them “un-American”.
Earlier, Mr Trump said on his Truth Social platform: “I hear that deranged Jack Smith, in order to interfere with the presidential election of 2024, will be putting out yet another Fake Indictment of your favourite president, me, at 5pm.
“Why didn’t they do this 2.5 years ago? Why did they wait so long? Because they wanted to put it right in the middle of my campaign. Prosecutorial misconduct!”
Mr Trump’s latest charges add to his ongoing legal woes, with recent court appearances in Miami and New York.
In Miami, Mr Trump pleaded not guilty to allegations that he unlawfully kept national security documents when he left office and lied to officials, trying to recover them.
He also pleaded not guilty in New York to 37 charges, relating to falsifying business records “in order to conceal damaging information and unlawful activity from American voters before and after the 2016 election”.
Mr Trump is also counter-suing E. Jean Carroll, who alleged he raped her in the 1990s – he was found guilty of sexually assaulting and defaming her, but not raping Ms Carroll in a civil case.