Former U.S. President Donald Trump, 77, was indicted on Tuesday (1st) by a federal grand jury on four criminal charges of attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, U.S. media reported. He has denied the charges and is expected to appear in federal district court in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
The charges include “conspiracy against the rights of citizens”, “conspiracy to defraud the United States”, “conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding”, and “obstruction of an official proceeding”. The court document also describes “conspiracy to impair, obstruct and defeat the federal government function through dishonesty, fraud and deceit”.
Six other unnamed persons were also charged, including four lawyers, a Justice Department official and a political consultant. The charges were brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating a mob attack on the U.S. Capitol (parliament) on January 6, 2021, in an attempt to prevent the vice president from officially certifying the election result.
Trump is already facing 40 federal felony charges in connection with mishandling classified government documents that he allegedly illegally kept in his possession after leaving the presidency. The trial is set to commence in May 2024.
The state of Georgia is also likely to indict him on criminal charges of attempting to overturn the result in Georgia of the last presidential election, U.S. media reported. Georgia was a key state that he lost, ensuring his defeat in the election to present President Joe Biden.
He has also been charged by state authorities in the state of New York with 34 counts relating to mishandling election campaign funds, with allegations that he used the funds to pay hush money to an adult film actress that he had a relationship with prior to becoming president. That trial is scheduled for March 2024.
Trump is a candidate for the next presidential election scheduled to be held in November 2024. Under U.S. law, he cannot be disqualified from running even if he is convicted, and also cannot be prevented from carrying out the functions of the presidency if he were to win.