The nation has never been here before. In fact, historians are saying this may be the most important criminal case in the history of the United States.
The most important word on which to focus is “conspiracy”.
Late Tuesday afternoon, August 1, former President Donald Trump was indicted by the U.S. District Court (DC) for his alleged actions designed to overturn the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.
Special Prosecutor Jack Smith announced that a federal Grand Jury has returned four federal indictments against the former president for:
- Conspiracy to defraud the United States
- Obstruction of an official proceeding
- Conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding
- Conspiracy-to overthrow the American government by a conspiracy against the right to vote and have one’s vote counted
Most Americans can probably remember exactly where they were and what they were doing two and one-half years ago on January 6, 2021, when Trump incited his followers to go to the United States Capitol and stop the formal counting of the electoral votes to certify the election. Millions of Americans watched in horror and disbelief on television screens as an insurrection of Trump supporters, fueled by baseless lies, almost overtook the U.S. Capitol.
Equally unbelievably, we had heard the then-president incite them, and witnessed as he reveled in the chaos.
The insurrectionists threatened our duly-elected Senators and Representatives, battling Capitol Police in hand-to-hand combat for hours. The man who sent them there, Trump, sat in front of a TV screen in the White House refusing to call them off. When the Capitol was finally secured, our elected legislators returned to the House and completed their Constitutionally-mandated duty.
Smith described the actions of the former president as “a conspiracy fueled by lies.”
The indictment lists at least 30 instances of fraud perpetrated by Trump and his co-conspirators. In fact, it wasn’t just that he lied and pushed a falsehood that was the opposite of what he was told. Trump concocted a criminal scheme to reverse the results and stay in the White House. He tried to subvert the results in seven key states such as Michigan, Arizona, and Georgia.
The indictment is based on testimony before the Grand Jury, of six, un-indicted alleged co-conspirators. Four have been tentatively identified as Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Sidney Powell, and Jeffery Clark (Department of Justice). Two are as yet unknown co-conspirators, one described as “a political consultant”. All appear to have admitted to conspiring with Donald Trump, through multiple efforts, to overturn the 2020 election.
This is the third indictment of the former president, who has already been indicted under charges related to holding top secret documents in violation of the Presidential Records Act, and then willfully concealing top secret documents from federal officials; instructing his Mar-a-Lago staff to play a game of ‘musical boxes’ with the documents by moving them around his resort to hide them.
According to testimony that has been revealed, in the days leading up to January 6, Trump tried to convince former Vice President Mike Pence to reject the states’ electoral ballots and send the election back to the states, where his cohorts were attempting to convince key, Republican-controlled state legislatures to call special sessions to overturn the votes of the people. In the days leading up to January sixth, he accused Pence of not being loyal enough, adding, “You are too honest.”
Trump and his surrogates had a legal right to challenge the results of the election in court. But more than 60 courts rejected his claims that there was anything amiss about the 2020 election. Once those claims were rejected by the courts, the active conspiracies to overturn the election were not just acts of fraud against the voters of this country, they are evidence of corrupt intent to remain in power.
Trump will be arraigned tomorrow, August 3, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in the case known as “United States v. Donald J. Trump; U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan presiding.
This is a developing story — an American president who attempted to undo our democracy. Will he be held accountable?
Ark Valley Voice readers can read the full indictment here.