Donald Trump indicted over attempts to overturn 2020 election result

Donald Trump faces his most serious charges yet, as Dan Rivers reports

Donald Trump has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges relating to his attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

The former US President has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the US, witness tampering, and conspiracy against the rights of citizens in an effort to overturn 2020 election result.

The indictment also lists six co-conspirators but does not name them.

Trump has been summoned to appear in a Washington DC court on Thursday at 4pm local time (9pm BST) to appear before Judge Moxila Upadhyaya.

The new indictment comes from special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation which centres on whether Trump tried to prevent the transfer of power before and during the riot that took place at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

The indictment is the third criminal case brought against the former president as he seeks to reclaim the White House in 2024.

What new charges does Trump face?

The new charges focus on the turbulent two months after the November 2020 election when Trump refused to accept his loss and spread lies that victory was stolen from him.

The turmoil resulted in the US Capitol riot when Trump loyalists violently broke into the building, attacked police officers and disrupted the congressional counting of electoral votes.

In between the election and the riot, Trump urged local election officials to undo voting results in their states, pressured former Vice President Mike Pence to halt the certification of electoral votes and falsely claimed that the election had been stolen.

1. Obstruction of an official proceeding

The obstruction charge refers to the January 6 2021 joint session of Congress at which electoral votes were counted to certify Biden as the winner.

The same charge has been brought against hundreds of Capitol rioters, with more than 100 convicted at a trial or pleading guilty. 2. Conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding

It is alleged that Trump conspired to obstruct congressional certification of Biden's election win.

3. Conspiracy to defraud the US

The indictment alleges that Trump used “dishonesty, fraud and deceit" to obstruct the counting and certifying of the election results.

The charges stem from what prosecutors say were illegal efforts to subvert the election results and block the peaceful transfer of power.

4. Conspiracy to prevent others from carrying out their constitutional rights

This charge relates the right to vote and have one’s vote counted.

ITV News' crew was the only news organisation inside the Capitol at the time of the riots on January 6, 2021 - watch the full report below

Despite the slate of criminal charges, Trump remains the favourite to win the Republican nomination and is currently polling around the same as current President Joe Biden, who is a Democrat.

It is likely the legal and political calendars could combine next year with Trump due to face federal charges in May in Miami, weeks before the Republican convention to pick their candidate.

While Trump was indicted on Tuesday, Biden instead spent the evening at the cinema watching blockbuster Oppenheimer during a holiday with First Lady Jill Biden in Delaware.

President Joe Biden enjoyed a trip to the cinema on the evening of his predecessor's indictment. Credit: AP

In response to the indictment, Trump's team called the charges "un-American" and "the latest corrupt chapter."

It adds: "The lawlessness of these persecutions of President Trump and his supporters is reminiscent of Nazi Germany."

Trump's 2024 rivals, including Mike Pence and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, have since responded to the news of Trump's latest indictment.

Pence remarked the indictment "serves as an important reminder: anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be President of the United States."

Meanwhile DeSantis said he would "end the weaponisation of the federal government" if elected.

If Trump was convicted in any of the criminal cases against him it would not prevent him from running for president, even if he were in jail.

The federal judge assigned to the election fraud case, US District Judge Tanya Chutkan, has stood out as one of the toughest punishers of Capitol rioters.

Chutkan has sentenced at least 38 people convicted of Capitol riot-related crimes. All 38 received prison terms, ranging from 10 days to over five years, according to an Associated Press analysis of court records.

The first of the other two cases he faces relates to charges in New York where he is accused of falsifying business records about a hush money payoff to a porn actor before the 2016 election. The trial begins in late March.

In Florida, the Justice Department has brought more than three dozen felony counts against Trump accusing him of illegally possessing classified documents after leaving the White House and concealing them from the government. The trial begins in late May.

No date has been set for the latest trial.

He could face a fourth round of criminal charges in Georgia where prosecutors are investigating efforts by Trump and his allies to reverse his election loss to Biden there in 2020.

A decision is expected in the coming days.

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