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Trump Charged with Third Indictment Over Actions in 2020 Election

Third Indictment

Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Council Bluffs, Iowa, U.S., July 7, 2023. (OSV News photo/Scott Morgan, Reuters)

Posted: August 4, 2023 at 7:38 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Former President and leading Republican candidate Donald Trump was indicted Tuesday, August 1st, on felony charges to overturn the results of the 2020 election, an endeavor that culminated in the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

At Thursday’s arraignment in a Washington, D.C. federal courthouse, Trump pleaded not guilty before Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya. Also present were Trump’s lawyers, John Lauro and Todd Blanche, special counsel Jack Smith and his team of prosecutors: Mary Dohrmann, Thomas Windom, and Molly Gaston.

The magistrate judge has assigned the first hearing for 10 a.m. August 28th, at which the U.S. district judge assigned to the case, Tanya Chutkan, will set a trial date.


On Tuesday, the Grand Jury convened by special counsel Jack Smith charged Trump with four felony counts: conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding; and conspiracy against rights.

These charges are separate from those Trump faces about his mishandling of classified documents after leaving the White House.

Jack Smith, the special counsel who has led the Trump investigation for months, issued a short statement in reference to the charges.

“The attack on our nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy,” said special counsel Jack Smith. “As described in the indictment, it was fueled by lies. Lies by the defendant, targeted at obstructing a bedrock function of the U.S. government.”

Smith continued, “Since the attack on our Capitol, the Department of Justice has remained committed to ensuring accountability for those criminally responsible for what happened that day. This case is brought consistent with that commitment, and our investigation of other individuals continues.”


When these four federal charges are broken down, they primarily allege the following:

The conspiracy to defraud charge refers to Trump’s attempts to spread misinformation regarding the 2020 presidential election, which he knew was false, in order to discredit legitimate votes.

Conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding refers to organized planning by Trump and allies surrounding the discounting of votes.

The third charge centers on actions after the election to stop the official congressional proceeding. The last charge essentially addresses Trump’s actions against the rights of citizens to vote and have that vote counted.

As affirmed by the special counsel’s statement, the indictment is only an allegation and until trial, the defendant must be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Smith also asserted his office “will seek a speedy trial” so the evidence can be tested in court and “judged by a jury of citizens.”

As indicated by Jack Smith’s statement, additional members of Trump’s team are likely to face charges as well.

Although Trump is the sole defendant in this latest indictment and he is the only individual charged, the 45 page court document labels six people as co-conspirators in the indictment, although they are not identified by name.


As consistent with previous reactions, Trump is shading these charges as a sham, calling the indictment “fake.”

Trump posted on Truth Social accusing the “Deranged Jack Smith” of interfering with the presidential election of 2024 and putting out “yet another Fake Indictment” purposely in the middle of his campaign.

A formal statement was issued by Trump’s campaign labeling these actions “election interference” and a “continued pathetic attempt by the Biden Crime Family and their weaponized Department of Justice” to interfere with the 2024 presidential election.


This marks the third indictment the former president has faced. Trump has also been charged with retaining top secret documents at Mar-a-Lago in addition to issuing “hush money” to Stormy Daniels to silence her from sharing information about their affair during his 2016 campaign.

On top of these indictments, Trump also faces a civil case over business practices in New York and a potential election tampering charge in Georgia. These cases all occur on the heels of the E. Jean Carroll case in which Trump was found liable for battery and defamation in May, awarding $5 million in damages to Caroll.

A second defamation trial is scheduled to begin on January 15th, 2024, in which Caroll will amend her lawsuit to include additional claims Trump made at a CNN town hall.

At this point, Trump is still considered the front-runner for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election, yet this standing may be in jeopardy.

The most current Marist poll may signify Trump’s mounting legal woes are finally having an effect on the candidate. Republicans and GOP-leaning independents who said they believed Trump had done nothing wrong dropped from 50% to 41% since June. The same group also dropped from 64% to 58% when questioned whether they were more likely to support Trump or another candidate in his continued run for president.

How Trump will fare in the polls after these charges is yet to unfold. If the same patterns as before are followed, his numbers are unlikely to drop substantially – some even expecting another spike as a result.

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