Former US President Donald Trump has been criminally charged with trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Prosecutors accused Trump of attempting to obstruct a “bedrock function” of democracy in order to hold on to power.
What are the four charges?
The Republican politician faces four counts including conspiracy to defraud the US, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against the rights of citizens.
The indictment tops an inquiry into the events surrounding the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.
Over the course of 45 pages, special counsel Jack Smith, outlined in striking detail how Trump and his co-conspirators spread false allegations of election fraud and attempted to block the certification of the election on January 6.
In a statement to reporters, Smith put the blame for the violence solely on Trump. “The attack on our nation’s Capitol on January 6, 2021, was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy,” Smith said.
“It was fueled by lies – lies by the defendant, targeted at obstructing the bedrock function of the US government,” he adds, according to Al Jazeera.
This is Trump’s third criminal indictment and his second federal indictment. It is his first for his alleged conduct while as president.
What happens next to Trump?
Trumps will make an initial appearance in federal court in Washington DC on Thursday. Meanwhile, the case has been assigned to US District Judge, Tanya Chutkan (who was appointed by Barack Obama).
The Republican politician has stuck to his guns, saying he did nothing wrong. He has accused Smith and the Justice Department of trying to tarnish his 2024 election campaign.
Trump’s campaign meanwhile has reportedly called the charges “fake” and questioned why it to two-and-a-half years to bring them. “President Trump will not be deterred by disgraceful and unprecedented political targeting!” it reportedly said.
Trump is however, the only defendant charged in the indictment: which made mention of six unnamed co-conspirator.