Updated Aug 1, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump indicted for 3rd time

Republican presidential candidate former President Trump speaks at the Faith and Freedom Road to Majority conference. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Former President Trump was indicted on four counts Tuesday by a grand jury convened by special counsel Jack Smith over alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Why it matters: The indictment, unsealed Tuesday, is the latest legal peril faced by Trump, the 2024 GOP frontrunner, and forces Republicans to reengage with Jan. 6.

Driving the news: Trump was charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.

  • "Despite having lost, the Defendant was determined to remain in power," the indictment reads.
  • The indictment said that Trump had co-conspirators to "assist him in his criminal efforts to overturn" the election. It goes on to reference six co-conspirators — including four attorneys, a former Department of Justice official and a political consultant — without naming them.
  • Prosecutors had been investigating Trump's involvement in the U.S. Capitol riot and his efforts to undermine President Biden's 2020 election win.

What they're saying: Smith said during a news conference Tuesday that the "attack on our nation's Capitol on January 6, 2021, was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy" that was "fueled by lies."

  • He said the department's "investigation of other individuals continues" and that his office would seek a speedy trial.

Trump's lawyer, John Lauro, said on Fox News after the indictment was unsealed Tuesday that it's "a terribly tragic day that we find ourselves in, where political speech now has been criminalized."

Of note: The Trump campaign capitalized on his third indictment by sending out an email advertising for a "Limited-Edition 'I STAND WITH TRUMP' T-Shirt" that features Tuesday's date on it.

Catch up quick: Smith's inquiry extended far beyond Trump's words on the day of Jan. 6, 2021.

  • Testimony had been supplied by virtually every figure involved in Trump's months-long campaign to overturn the election — and thousands of pages of new evidence are still streaming in.
  • Trump had teased his latest potential indictment last month, writing on Truth Social that he received a letter from Smith notifying him that he was a target of the grand jury's probe.

Context: Trump pleaded not guilty in June to 37 felony counts in a probe related to retaining classified information and obstruction of justice. He now faces 40 counts in that case, according to a superseding indictment last week.

In a separate case, Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records in a Manhattan criminal court related to hush money payments during his 2016 presidential campaign.

  • Prosecutors allege that Trump conducted a "catch and kill" scheme including the $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Meanwhile, Trump faces a separate inquiry related to his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia, where Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is nearing a decision on Trump's alleged efforts to subvert results in the state.

What's next: Trump was summoned to appear before Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya at a Washington, D.C., courthouse at 4pm on Aug. 3, per the DOJ. He will appear "either virtually or in person," Lauro told CNN Tuesday evening.

  • The case adds more potential court dates to Trump's calendar, where trials are scheduled to align closely with key events during the election next year.

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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