Former President Donald Trump is facing new indictments related to the aftermath of the 2020 election and the Jan. 6, 2021 protests at the Capitol. The new charges by special counsel Jack Smith raised significant concerns among conservatives and especially the Trump campaign.
Smith announced four new indictments against the former president. The charges include one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction and an attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and one count of a conspiracy against rights.
According to the indictment, Trump “was determined to stay 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 that he actually won. These claims were false, and the Defendant knew they were false.”
Free speech has been indicted. Read this section of the indictment.
It acknowledges that Trump has the right to say, even falsely, the results were fraudulent and claim he won the election. That’s protected by the First Amendment.
But the indictment says he can’t lie about… pic.twitter.com/tKDBP93j3Z
— Will Cain (@willcain) August 1, 2023
The indictment also named a number of unnamed and unindicted co-conspirators who appear to be Trump advisers and attorneys.
Trump wrote on social media that “Deranged Jack Smith, in order to interfere with the Presidential Election of 2024, will be putting out yet another Fake Indictment” prior to the official announcement. He asked why the charges were not brought in 2021 and asked why prosecutors waited “so long?”
Trump wrote that Smith’s charges are to “put it right in the middle of my campaign. Prosecutorial Misconduct!”
U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan will preside over the trial. Chutkan was appointed to the bench by former President Barack Obama in 2014 and has been noted for presiding over a number of cases involving Jan. 6 protesters.
Chutkan ruled that documentation from the Trump administration could be given to the Jan. 6 congressional committee over protests from the former president. She wrote at the time that the “public interest” was to allow the “combined will of the legislative and executive branches to study the events that led to and occurred on January 6, and to consider legislation to prevent such events from ever occurring again.”
Prior to her time on the bench, Chutkan donated to both the 2008 and 2012 Obama presidential campaigns.