A United States federal grand jury indicted former President Donald Trump on Tuesday with crimes connected to the 2020 presidential election.
The charging document, called an indictment, accuses Trump of four crimes: conspiracy to defraud the government, blocking an official meeting of Congress and plotting to do so, and threatening people’s right to vote.
The indictment centers on the months after the November 2020 election. It says Trump knew that he had lost the election but spread lies about the voting results as he was “determined to remain in power.”
The former president, it says, tried and failed to use federal and state officials to overturn the election. It said he blocked the counting of electoral votes certifying Biden's victory on January 6, 2021, as thousands of his supporters attacked the Capitol building and police where the process was taking place.
In the announcement of the indictment, Special Counsel Jack Smith called the attack an “assault on the seat of American democracy.” He added, “It was fueled by lies, lies by the defendant targeted at obstructing a bedrock function of the U.S. government: the nation’s process of collecting, counting and certifying the results of the presidential election.”
The document refers to six other co-conspirators it says worked with Trump to undo the election results. But the former president was the only one charged in Tuesday’s indictment. He is expected to appear in court on Thursday.
Other legal actions against Trump
The latest legal action is the second time that Smith has charged Trump with criminal wrongdoing. In June, the special counsel accused Trump of illegally holding classified national security documents, obstruction, making false statements, and plotting with others to carry out a crime. A trial has been set for May 2024.
In March, the office of the Manhattan District Attorney in the state of New York charged Trump with criminally falsifying “business records to conceal crimes that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.” That indictment made Trump the first former president to face criminal charges. That trial is set for next March.
Additionally, Trump and his business, the Trump Organization, are being accused of misleading banks and tax officials to get loans and tax benefits. The office of the New York State Attorney General is seeking to ban Trump from doing business in the state. A trial will start in state court in October.
In the southern state of Georgia, a grand jury has been investigating whether Trump and his allies had tried to illegally overturn the 2020 election result in that state. In early 2021, Trump was recorded on a phone call asking Georgian state election officials to "find" him 11,780 votes, one more than Biden's winning margin, so Trump could claim the 16 electoral votes.
Trump is seeking reelection in 2024 and is the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. He has denied wrongdoing in all cases. And his campaign attacked the latest indictment, saying it was an “attempt by the Biden Crime Family and their weaponized Justice Department" to interfere in the 2024 election.
I'm Caty Weaver.
Hai Do adapted this story for Learning English based on reports from VOA News and The Associated Press.
Words in This Story
determine - v. decide
bedrock - n. strong idea, principle
function - n. special purpose or activity