Grand Jury Indicts Trump for His Role on January 6 Insurrection
Former President Donald Trump’s legal woes took another historic turn on Tuesday, August 1, as a federal grand jury indicted the twice-impeached ex-commander-in-chief on serious conspiracy charges, including an attempt to defraud the United States. This marks the third time a grand jury has indicted Trump this year. This time the charges are related to special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election. It adds to Trump’s extensive list of legal troubles since leaving office. Notably, he is already facing more than 30 criminal charges in New York and over 40 in Florida, where he allegedly withheld and misused classified documents. Moreover, a civil jury this year convicted him of sexual assault, and the New York Attorney General is pursuing a $250 million civil suit against him for fraud. An impending indictment on criminal charges in Atlanta also looms over him. Trump, who has consistently denounced the investigations as politically motivated witch hunts, had previously pleaded not guilty in the other cases. He’s expected to appear at the federal courthouse in D.C. at 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3.
His first indictment in April was related to falsifying business records concerning alleged hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels. In June, Smith announced an indictment in Florida over Trump’s handling of classified materials after departing the White House. Trump announced on July 16 that he was informed of his status as a target in the election probe. The letter he received mentioned three federal statutes in connection with the investigation: conspiracy to commit offenses or to defraud the United States, deprivation of rights under a civil rights statute, and tampering with a witness, victim, or informant. Smith’s grand jury in Washington, D.C., has been actively interviewing witnesses, ranging from former White House aides to state election officials. Notable figures such as former top Trump aide Hope Hicks, Trump’s son-in-law, and former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner have reportedly testified. Investigators have also contacted election officials believed to be involved in the failed 2020 effort to present “fake electors” to cast electoral college votes for Trump on January 6. Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Smith to oversee the investigation of the election probe and the classified documents. Garland’s decision came after Trump’s announcement in November that he intended to run for president again, prompting the appointment of an independent special counsel to avoid any potential conflict of interest within the Justice Department.