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    HomePoliticsDonald Trump has been indicted in special counsel's 2020 election interference probe

    Donald Trump has been indicted in special counsel’s 2020 election interference probe

    Donald Trump has been indicted on criminal charges by a federal grand jury in a case that strikes at the former president’s efforts to remain in the White House after losing the 2020 election and undermine the long-held American tradition of a peaceful transfer of presidential power.

    Trump is scheduled to appear at the Washington, DC, federal courthouse at 4 p.m. ET on Thursday.

    As part of special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation, Trump was charged with: 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.

    “(F)or more than two months following election day on November 3, 2020, the defendant spread lies that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the election and that he had actually won,” the indictment states.

    “These claims were false, and the Defendant knew they were false,” it adds, referring to Trump. “But the defendant disseminated them anyway – to make his knowingly false claims appear legitimate, create an intense atmosphere of mistrust and anger, and erode public faith in the administration of the election.”

    The plot to overturn the 2020 election shattered presidential norms and culminated in an unthinkable physical assault on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, as Congress met to certify President Joe Biden’s victory. Even before that, Trump engaged in an unprecedented pressure campaign toward state election workers and lawmakers, Justice Department officials and even his own vice president to persuade them to throw out the 2020 results.

    Smith told reporters that he will seek a “speedy trial” and encouraged members of the public to read the indictment.

    “The attack in our nation’s capital on January 6 2021, was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy, and as described in the indictment, it was fueled by lies,” Smith said in a brief statement. “Lies by the defendant targeted at obstructing the bedrock function of the US government nation’s process of collecting, counting and certifying the results of a presidential election.”

    The indictment alleges that Trump and co-conspirators “exploited” the January 6 attack on the US Capitol by continuing efforts to convince members of Congress to delay the certification of the election.

    “As violence ensued, the Defendant and co-conspirators exploited the disruption by redoubling efforts to levy false claims of election fraud and convince Members of Congress to further delay the certification based on those claims,” according to the indictment.

    The indictment also says that Trump had deceived many rioters to believe then-Vice President Mike Pence could change the election results to make Trump the victor.

    Trump has rejected any suggestion he was in the wrong after the 2020 election.

    John Lauro, Trump’s co-counsel in the January 6 case, told Fox News that Trump was indicted for simply saying “what he believed in and the policies and the political speech that he carried out as president.”

    Lauro criticized the charges for being a “regurgitation of the allegations in the January 6th report” and defended his client’s actions on and leading up to January 6th.

    “Nothing was done in a way that wasn’t constitutionally permissible,” Lauro stated. “Nothing about that was obstructive.”

    The White House declined to comment.

    “We would refer you to the Justice Department, which conducts its criminal investigations independently,” White House spokesman Ian Sams said.

    Six unindicted co-conspirators were included in the filing.

    Among the six are four unnamed attorneys who allegedly aided Trump in his effort to subvert the 2020 election. Also included is one unnamed Justice Department official who “attempted to use the Justice Department to open sham election crime investigations and influence state legislatures with knowingly false claims of election fraud.”

    The indictment also mentions an unnamed “political consultant who helped implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding.”

    The first count Trump is facing, conspiracy to defraud the United States, is brought under a statute that can be used to prosecute a broad range of conspiracies involving two or more people to violate US law.

    Two other counts relate to obstruction of an official proceeding – brought under provisions included in a federal witness tampering statute that has also been used to prosecute some of the rioters who breached the Capitol.

    Those counts carry a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment. The appropriateness of using the law to prosecute the rioters has been litigated in the Capitol breach cases.

    Trump also faces a conspiracy against rights charge under a Reconstruction-era civil rights law. The law prohibits two or more people from conspiring to “injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any….the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States.”

    It carries a 10 year maximum sentence of imprisonment, unless the conspiracy results in death.

    Smith’s move to bring charges will test whether the criminal justice system can be used to hold Trump to account for his post-election conduct after he was acquitted in his impeachment trial related to his actions that day.

    The indictment is the second time in two months that Smith has brought charges against Trump. In June, Trump was charged with retention of classified documents and conspiracy with a top aide to hide them from the government and his own attorneys. And separately in March, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg indicted Trump on state charges of falsifying business records.

    Trump has pleaded not guilty in both cases – and is likely to do so again when he’s arraigned on the latest charges.

    Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

    Donald Trump waits to speak at a 9/11 memorial service in 2017.

    Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.

    Trump at age 4. He was born in 1946 to Fred and Mary Trump in New York City. His father was a real estate developer.

    Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.

    Trump, left, in a family photo. He was the second-youngest of five children.

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    Trump, center, stands at attention during his senior year at the New York Military Academy.

    Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

    Trump, center, wears a baseball uniform at the New York Military Academy. After he graduated from the boarding school, he went to college. He started at Fordham University before transferring and later graduating from the Wharton School, the University of Pennsylvania’s business school.

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    Trump stands with Alfred Eisenpreis, New York’s economic development administrator, in 1976 while they look at a sketch of a new 1,400-room renovation project of the Commodore Hotel. After graduating from college in 1968, Trump worked with his father on developments in Queens and Brooklyn before purchasing or building multiple properties in New York and Atlantic City, New Jersey. Those properties included Trump Tower in New York and Trump Plaza and multiple casinos in Atlantic City.

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    In 1979, Trump attends an event to mark the start of construction of the New York Convention Center.

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    Trump wears a hard hat at the Trump Tower construction site in New York in 1980.

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    Trump and his family, circa 1986. Trump was married to Ivana Zelnicek Trump from 1977 to 1990, when they divorced. They had three children together: Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric.

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    Trump uses his personal helicopter to get around New York in 1987.

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    Trump stands in the atrium of Trump Tower.

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    Trump attends the opening of his new Atlantic City casino, the Taj Mahal, in 1989.

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    Trump signs his second book, “Trump: Surviving at the Top,” in 1990. Trump has published at least 16 other books, including “The Art of the Deal” and “The America We Deserve.”

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    Trump and singer Michael Jackson pose for a photo before traveling to visit Ryan White, a young child with AIDS, in 1990.

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    Trump dips his second wife, Marla Maples, after the couple married in a private ceremony in New York in December 1993. The couple divorced in 1999 and had one daughter together, Tiffany.

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    Trump putts a golf ball in his New York office in 1998.

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    An advertisement for the television show “The Apprentice” hangs at Trump Tower in 2004. The show launched in January of that year. In January 2008, the show returned as “Celebrity Apprentice.”

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    A 12-inch talking Trump doll is on display at a toy store in New York in September 2004.

    Bebeto Matthews/AP

    Trump attends a news conference in 2005 that announced the establishment of Trump University. From 2005 until it closed in 2010, Trump University had about 10,000 people sign up for a program that promised success in real estate. Three separate lawsuits — two class-action suits filed in California and one filed by New York’s attorney general — argued that the program was mired in fraud and deception. In November 2016, just days after winning the presidential election, Trump agreed to settle the lawsuits. He repeatedly denied the fraud claims and said that he could have won at trial, but he said that as president he did not have time and wanted to focus on the country.

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    Trump attends the US Open tennis tournament with his third wife, Melania Knauss-Trump, and their son, Barron, in 2006. Trump and Knauss married in 2005.

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    Trump wrestles with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin at WrestleMania in 2007. Trump has close ties with the WWE and its CEO, Vince McMahon. And after being elected president, Trump picked McMahon’s wife, Linda, to serve as the administrator of the Small Business Administration.

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    For “The Apprentice,” Trump was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in January 2007.

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    Trump appears on the set of “The Celebrity Apprentice” with two of his children — Donald Jr. and Ivanka — in 2007.

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    Trump poses with Miss Universe contestants in 2011. Trump had been executive producer of the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants since 1996.

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    In 2012, Trump announced his endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

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    Trump speaks in Sarasota, Florida, after accepting the Statesman of the Year Award at the Sarasota GOP dinner in August 2012. It was shortly before the Republican National Convention in nearby Tampa.

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    Trump appears on stage with singer Nick Jonas and television personality Giuliana Rancic during the 2013 Miss USA pageant.

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    Trump — flanked by US Sens. Marco Rubio, left, and Ted Cruz — speaks during a CNN debate in March 2016. Trump dominated the GOP primaries and emerged as the presumptive nominee in May of that year.

    Nancy Borowick for CNN

    Members of the Trump family pose for a photo in New York in April 2016. Behind Trump, from left, are daughter Tiffany, daughter-in-law Vanessa, granddaughter Kai Madison, son Donald Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner, daughter Ivanka, wife Melania, son Eric and daughter-in-law Lara.

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    Trump speaks during a campaign event in Evansville, Indiana, in April 2016. After Trump won the Indiana primary, his last two competitors dropped out of the GOP race.

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    Trump delivers a speech at the Republican National Convention in July 2016, accepting the party’s nomination for president. “I have had a truly great life in business,” he said. “But now, my sole and exclusive mission is to go to work for our country — to go to work for you. It’s time to deliver a victory for the American people.”

    Donald Trump/Twitter

    Trump apologizes in a video, posted to his Twitter account in October 2016, for vulgar and sexually aggressive remarks he made more than a decade ago regarding women. “I said it, I was wrong and I apologize,” Trump said, referring to lewd comments he made during a previously unaired taping of “Access Hollywood.” Multiple Republican leaders rescinded their endorsements of Trump after the footage was released.

    Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    Trump walks on stage with his family after he was declared the election winner in November 2016. “Ours was not a campaign, but rather, an incredible and great movement,” he told his supporters in New York.

    Win McNamee/Getty Images

    Two days after winning the election, Trump meets with President Barack Obama at the White House. Three days after mocking Trump as unfit to control the codes needed to launch nuclear weapons, Obama told his successor that he wanted him to succeed and would do everything he could to ensure a smooth transition. “As I said last night, my No. 1 priority in the next two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our president-elect is successful,” Obama said.

    Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    Trump shares a meal in New York with Mitt Romney in November 2016. Trump and his transition team were in the process of filling high-level positions for the new administration, and Romney was reportedly in the running for secretary of state. That job ended up going to Rex Tillerson.

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    Trump arrives for his inauguration ceremony in January 2017.

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    Trump is joined by his wife and his five children as he takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts. Melania is holding a family Bible and a Bible that belonged to former President Abraham Lincoln. Next to Melania, from left, are Trump’s children Barron, Donald Jr., Ivanka, Tiffany and Eric.

    Andrew Harrer/Pool/Getty Images

    Trump shakes hands with FBI Director James Comey during a White House reception in January 2017. Trump fired Comey a few months later, sweeping away the man who was responsible for the FBI’s investigation into whether members of Trump’s campaign team colluded with Russia in its election interference. The Trump administration attributed Comey’s dismissal to his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server.

    Jonathan Ernst/Reuters/Newscom

    Trump has a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, one of several world leaders he talked to after taking office. Joining Trump in the Oval Office, from left, were Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, senior adviser Steve Bannon, press secretary Sean Spicer and national security adviser Michael Flynn.

    Evan Vucci/AP

    Trump, in front of a portrait of his 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton, surprises visitors who were touring the White House in March 2017. The tour group, including many young children, cheered and screamed after the president popped out from behind a room divider.

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    Trump watches as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, right, administers the judicial oath to Neil Gorsuch during a White House ceremony in April 2017. Gorsuch was chosen by Trump to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016. Holding the Bible is Gorsuch’s wife, Marie Louise.

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    Trump points at Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, while hosting Kislyak and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, at the White House in May 2017. The meeting with Lavrov was the highest-level encounter between the US administration and Moscow since Trump’s inauguration.

    Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Royal Council/Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    From right, President Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi attend an inauguration ceremony for the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology. The facility is in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. See more photos from Trump’s first foreign tour in May 2017

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    Trump looks up at the sky during the total solar eclipse in August 2017. He eventually put on protective glasses as he watched the eclipse with his wife and their son from the White House South Portico.

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    Trump talks with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer during a meeting in the White House Oval Office in September 2017. The end result of that meeting was Trump bucking his own party and siding with Democrats to support a deal that would ensure passage of disaster relief funding, raise the debt ceiling, and continue to fund the government into December.

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    Trump, accompanied by the first lady, puts on a bomber jacket that he received from US forces in Tokyo in November 2017. Trump was on a five-nation tour of Asia that lasted nearly two weeks.

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    Trump gestures during his State of the Union address in January 2018. Trump declared that the “state of our union is strong because our people are strong. Together, we are building a safe, strong and proud America.”

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    Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron walk to the Oval Office before a meeting at the White House in April 2018. Speaking before US lawmakers from both the Senate and the House, Macron pressed the United States to engage more in global affairs, contrasting with the steps the Trump White House has taken toward isolationism since he came into office.

    Tom Brenner/The New York Times/Redux Pictures

    Three Americans released by North Korea are welcomed at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland by Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in May 2018. Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak-song and Kim Sang Duk, also known as Tony Kim, were freed while Pompeo was visiting North Korea to discuss Trump’s upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

    Jesco Denzel/Bundesregierung via Getty Images

    In this photo provided by the German Government Press Office, German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with a seated Trump as they are surrounded by other leaders at the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, in June 2018. According to two senior diplomatic sources, the photo was taken when there was a difficult conversation taking place regarding the G7’s communique and several issues the United States had leading up to it.

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    Trump sits with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their historic summit in Singapore in June 2018. It was the first meeting ever between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader. At the end of the summit, they signed a document in which they agreed “to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” In exchange, Trump agreed to “provide security guarantees” to North Korea.

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    A close-up of Trump’s shirt cuff reads “45” as he speaks during a Cabinet meeting in June 2018.

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    Trump announced in July 2018 that Brett Kavanaugh, foreground, was his choice to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who retired at the end of the month. Kavanaugh, who once clerked for Kennedy, was confirmed in October 2018.

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    Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Trump shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the end of their summit in Helsinki, Finland, in July 2018. Afterward, Trump said he believed it had significantly improved relations between the two countries. “Our relationship has never been worse than it is now. However, that changed as of about four hours ago. I really believe that,” Trump said during a joint news conference. The Putin meeting was the last part of Trump’s weeklong trip to Europe.

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    Rapper Kanye West stands up during his Oval Office meeting with Trump in October 2018. West and football legend Jim Brown had been invited for a working lunch to discuss topics such as urban revitalization, workforce training programs and how best to address crime in Chicago.

    Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    A White House staff member reaches for the microphone held by CNN’s Jim Acosta as he questions Trump during a news conference in November 2018. Later that day, in a stunning break with protocol, the White House said that it was suspending Acosta’s press pass “until further notice.” A federal judge later ordered the White House to return Acosta’s press pass.

    Alex Brandon/Pool/Reuters

    Donald and Melania Trump join former US presidents and their wives at the state funeral of George H.W. Bush in December 2018. In the front row, from left, are the Trumps, Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter.

    Doug Mills/The New York Times/Redux

    Trump and Vice President Mike Pence meet with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer at the White House in December 2018. In the meeting, part of which was open to the press, Trump clashed with Schumer and Pelosi over funding for a border wall and the threat of a government shutdown. Parts of the federal government did eventually shut down. The shutdown lasted a record 35 days.

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    Pelosi and Pence clap during Trump’s State of the Union address in February 2019. Because of the record-long government shutdown, Trump’s speech came a week later than originally planned.

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    Trump boards Air Force One in Kenner, Louisiana, in May 2019.

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    Trump shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as the two meet at the Korean Demilitarized Zone in June 2019. Trump briefly stepped over into North Korean territory, becoming the first sitting US leader to set foot in the nation. Trump said he invited Kim to the White House, and both leaders agreed to restart talks after nuclear negotiations stalled.

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    Trump officially launched his re-election campaign with a rally in Orlando in June 2019.

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    Trump speaks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House in June 2019.

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    Trump shares a laugh with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a working breakfast at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, in August 2019.

    Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    In September 2019, Trump shows an apparently altered map of Hurricane Dorian’s trajectory. The map showed the storm potentially affecting a large section of Alabama. Over the course of the storm’s development, Trump erroneously claimed multiple times that Alabama had been in the storm’s path.

    Tom Brenner/Reuters

    Money sticks out of Trump’s back pocket as he boards Air Force One in Mountain View, California, in September 2019.

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    Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg watches Trump as he enters the United Nations to speak with reporters in September 2019. Thunberg, 16, didn’t mince words as she spoke to world leaders during the UN Climate Action Summit. She accused them of not doing enough to mitigate climate change: “For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away?” Trump later mocked Thunberg on Twitter.

    Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meets with Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September 2019. A day earlier, the White House released a transcript of a conversation that Trump had in July with Zelensky. According to the transcript, Trump repeatedly pushed for Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden, a former vice president and potential 2020 political rival. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Biden. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she would be opening a formal impeachment inquiry on Trump. Trump has insisted he did nothing wrong in his phone call with Zelensky, saying there was “no pressure whatsoever.” The House impeached him in December, and the Senate acquitted him in February.

    Shealah Craighead/The White House via Getty Images

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi points at Trump during a contentious White House meeting in October 2019. Democratic leaders were there for a meeting about Syria, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said they walked out when Trump went on a diatribe and “started calling Speaker Pelosi a third-rate politician.” Pelosi said, “What we witnessed on the part of the president was a meltdown.” Trump later tweeted this photo, taken by White House photographer Shealah Craighead, with the caption “Nervous Nancy’s unhinged meltdown!” Pelosi then made it the cover photo for her own Twitter account.

    Matt Rourke/AP

    Trump and the first lady watch as a US Army carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Chief Warrant Officer 2 David C. Knadle in November 2019. Knadle, 33, was killed in a helicopter crash while serving in Afghanistan.

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    Trump holds his notes while speaking to the media in November 2019. Trump repeatedly said he told Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, that he wanted “nothing” on Ukraine. “I say to the Ambassador in response: I want nothing, I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo,” Trump said, reading from notes that appeared to be written in Sharpie. “Tell Zelensky, President Zelensky, to do the right thing.”

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    The Trumps greet Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II during a NATO reception held at Buckingham Palace in December 2019.

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    Faith leaders pray with Trump in Miami during a rally for evangelical supporters in January 2020.

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    Trump meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, in the White House Oval Office in January 2020. At right is Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

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    Trump pumps his fist after signing a new North American trade agreement in January 2020. The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump railed against during the 2016 campaign.

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    Trump delivers the State of the Union address in February 2020, a day before the Senate acquitted him in his impeachment trial. There was tension throughout the speech with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. At the beginning, Trump appeared to snub her for a handshake. At the end, Pelosi ripped up her copy of the speech.

    Oliver Contreras/Pool/Abaca Press/Reuters

    Trump holds up a newspaper at the National Prayer Breakfast in February 2020. It was a day after he was acquitted in his impeachment trial.

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    Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally in Phoenix in February 2020.

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    Trump holds a news conference about the coronavirus outbreak in February 2020. He defended the White House’s response to the outbreak, stressing the administration’s ongoing efforts and resources devoted to combating the virus.

    Doug Mills/The New York Times/Redux

    Trump looks at a coronavirus model while touring the National Institutes of Health in March 2020.

    Doug Mills/Pool/Reuters

    Trump addresses the nation from the White House Oval Office in March 2020. Trump said he was sharply restricting travel to the United States from more than two dozen European countries, a drastic step he framed as an attempt to contain the coronavirus.

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    Instead of a handshake, Trump and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar greet each other with a bow as Varadkar visited the White House in March 2020. Because of the coronavirus outbreak, the White House canceled a St. Patrick’s Day reception that Varadkar was slated to attend.

    Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Trump introduces Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, after Trump declared the coronavirus pandemic to be a national emergency in March 2020.

    Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty Images

    A close-up of Trump’s notes shows where the word “Corona” was crossed out and replaced with “Chinese” as he speaks about the coronavirus at the White House in March 2020. After consulting with medical experts and receiving guidance from the World Health Organization, CNN determined that the term “Chinese virus” is inaccurate and considered stigmatizing.

    Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

    Trump ripped into NBC News’ Peter Alexander, seated, during a White House coronavirus briefing in March 2020. Alexander had asked Trump whether he was giving Americans “false hope” by touting unproven coronavirus drugs. Toward the end of the exchange, Alexander cited the latest pandemic statistics showing thousands of Americans are now infected and millions are scared. Alexander asked, “What do you say to Americans who are scared?” Trump shook his head. “I say that you are a terrible reporter,” he replied. “That’s what I say.” The president then launched into a rant against Alexander, NBC and its parent company, Comcast. “You’re doing sensationalism,” Trump charged. 

    Erin Schaff/Pool/Getty Images

    Trump hands a pen to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell during a bill-signing ceremony for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act in March 2020.

    Alex Brandon/AP

    Trump leaves the White House Rose Garden following a coronavirus briefing in April 2020. During the briefing, Trump threatened to leave after Playboy correspondent and CNN analyst Brian Karem attempted to ask a question about social distancing. “Quiet. Quiet.” Trump said. When Karem continued to ask his question Trump interjected, “If you keep talking, I’ll leave and you can have it out with the rest of these people. If you keep talking, I’m going to leave and you can have it out with them. Just a loudmouth.” It wasn’t the first time Trump had lashed out at a reporter during a coronavirus briefing. He has vented his frustrations on several occasions.

    from Twitter/Rep. Jackie Speier

    Trump wears a face mask while visiting a Ford plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in May 2020. But it was during a part of the tour where reporters were not allowed. “I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,” he said. This photo was tweeted by US Rep. Jackie Speier. Press photos from the tour showed Trump without a mask.

    Alex Brandon/AP

    Trump tours the Ypsilanti Ford plant, which was making ventilators and personal protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Dr. Anthony Fauci looks down as Trump speaks in the White House Rose Garden in May 2020. Trump was unveiling Operation Warp Speed, a program aimed at developing a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year.

    Patrick Semansky/AP

    Trump holds a Bible outside St. John’s Episcopal Church during a photo op in Washington, DC, in June 2020. Part of the church was set on fire during protests the night before. Before Trump’s photo op, police cleared out peaceful protesters with rubber bullets, tear gas and flash bangs.

    Doug Mills/The New York Times/Redux

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    Evan Vucci/AP

    Trump plays catch with former New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera as he greets youth baseball players on the South Lawn of the White House in July 2020.

    Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

    Tom Brenner/Reuters

    Supporters look on as Trump delivers remarks at a rally in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in August 2020.

    Evan Vucci/AP

    Trump is accompanied by the first lady as he arrives for his nomination acceptance speech in August 2020. “I stand before you tonight honored by your support, proud of the extraordinary progress we have made together over the last four incredible years, and brimming with confidence in the bright future we will build for America over the next four years,” Trump said in his speech, which closed the Republican National Convention.

    Doug Mills/The New York Times/Redux

    Lightning flashes as Trump exits Air Force One in August 2020. He was returning from a campaign rally in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

    Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

    Trump tours an area affected by civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in September 2020.

    J. Scott Applewhite/AP

    Trump and the first lady pay respects to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September 2020. The president was booed as he appeared near the coffin.

    Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/Reuters

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    Secret Service agents stand on the South Lawn of the White House as the president is flown to Walter Reed Medical Center on October 2, 2020. He stayed at the hospital for three nights, receiving medical treatment after his Covid-19 diagnosis.

    Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

    Trump briefly left the hospital to wave to his supporters from the back of an SUV. A Secret Service agent is seen in the front seat wearing a full medical gown, a respirator mask and a face shield.

    Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Redux

    Despite his doctors saying he was “not out of the woods yet,” Trump removes his mask for a photo-op upon returning to the White House.

    Alex Brandon/AP

    Trump, in his first public event since he was diagnosed with Covid-19, gives a campaign-style speech from the balcony of the White House on October 10, 2020.

    Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Trump tosses face masks to the crowd as he takes the stage for a campaign rally in Sanford, Florida, on October 12, 2020.

    Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

    Trump speaks to NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie at his town-hall event in Miami in October 2020. Trump and Biden held separate town halls instead of debating each other in a town-hall format. The schedule change came about after Trump was diagnosed with the coronavirus. The Commission on Presidential Debates proposed a virtual debate, but Trump refused to take part and Biden went ahead with plans for his own town hall. Trump’s campaign later arranged its own town hall — on a different network, during the same hour.

    Patrick Semansky/AP

    Trump speaks during his second debate with Biden. Because the first debate quickly descended into a glorified shouting match, the Commission on Presidential Debates instituted an unprecedented change this time around: The candidates had their microphones cut off while their opponent responded to the first question of each of the debate’s six segments.

    Evan Vucci/AP

    Trump walks with first lady Melania Trump after a day of campaign rallies in Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska in October 2020.

    Evan Vucci/AP

    Trump speaks at the White House after Election Day came and went without a winner. Trump attacked legitimate vote-counting efforts in his remarks, suggesting that attempts to tally all ballots amounted to disenfranchising his supporters. He baselessly claimed a fraud was being committed. “Frankly we did win this election,” he said, despite millions of votes still outstanding. A few days later, Biden was projected as the actual winner.

    Joshua Roberts/Reuters

    Trump plays golf in Sterling, Virginia, in November 2020. He was at the course when Joe Biden was projected as the winner of the presidential election.

    Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

    Trump, days after losing the presidential election, prepares to deliver an update on the administration’s coronavirus efforts. He inched closer to acknowledging he would not be president after January 20, though he stopped well short of recognizing his loss. “This administration will not be doing a lockdown,” he said. “Hopefully whatever happens in the future — who knows which administration it will be? I guess time will tell — but I can tell you this administration will not go to a lockdown,” Trump said in the White House Rose Garden.

    Jacquelyn Martin/AP

    Trump arrives to speak to supporters at a rally in Washington, DC, in January 2021. His speech included calls for his vice president to step outside his constitutional bounds and overturn the results of the election. A short time later, Trump supporters breached the US Capitol while Congress was meeting to certify the Electoral College’s votes for president and vice president. The Capitol was put on lockdown and the certification vote was paused after the rioters stormed the building.

    Gerald Herbert/AP

    Trump talks to the media at the White House one day before he was impeached for a second time. Ten House Republicans joined House Democrats in voting for impeachment, exactly one week after pro-Trump rioters ransacked the US Capitol. The impeachment resolution charged Trump with “incitement of insurrection.” Trump likened the impeachment push to a “witch hunt.” He said the speech he gave to his supporters on January 6, the day the Capitol was breached, was “totally appropriate.” He was acquitted on February 12, 2021.

    Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

    Trump waves goodbye as he boards Marine One for the last time in January 2021.

    Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

    Trump gives a farewell speech at Joint Base Andrews before heading to Florida and skipping the inauguration of Joe Biden. “I will always fight for you,” he said in front of a crowd of family and friends. “I will be watching. I will be listening, and I will tell you that the future of this country has never been better. I wish the new administration great luck and great success. I think they’ll have great success. They have the foundation to do something really spectacular.”

    Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

    Trump acknowledges his children and other family members on the tarmac of Joint Base Andrews.

    Michael Reaves/Getty Images

    Trump acknowledges his supporters after landing in West Palm Beach, Florida, on his last day in office.

    Erin Schaff/The New York Times/Redux

    Travis Dove/The New York Times/Redux

    Trump speaks at a Republican convention in Greenville, North Carolina, in June 2021. During his speech, Trump baselessly claimed that his election defeat was “the crime of the century.”

    Joe Raedle/Getty Images

    Trump points while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2022.

    Mark Abramson/The New York Times/Redux

    Trump is seen in the reflection of a camera lens as he appears at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in May 2022. Trump — and other GOP leaders who spoke at the event in Houston — rejected efforts to overhaul gun laws, and they mocked Democrats and activists calling for change.

    Julia Nikhinson/AP

    Trump gestures as he departs Trump Tower in New York in August 2022. He was on his way to the New York attorney general’s office, where he invoked the Fifth Amendment at a scheduled deposition. Trump was to be deposed as part of a more than three-year civil investigation into whether the Trump Organization misled lenders, insurers and tax authorities by providing them misleading financial statements. Trump and the Trump Organization have previously denied any wrongdoing.

    Gaelen Morse/Reuters

    Trump holds a rally in Youngstown, Ohio, in September 2022. The former president used his endorsement to help US Senate candidates emerge from crowded Republican fields.

    Maddie McGarvey/The New York Times/Redux

    Trump delivers remarks at a fire station in East Palestine, Ohio, in February 2023. Trump has criticized the Biden administration’s handling of the train derailment disaster in East Palestine.

    Seth Wenig/Pool/AP

    Trump sits with his defense team at his arraignment in New York in April 2023. The former president pleaded not guilty to 34 felony criminal charges of falsifying business records. It is the first time in history that a current or former US president has been criminally charged.

    John Bazemore/AP

    Trump speaks at a Georgia Republican Party convention in Columbus on Saturday, June 10. This was Trump’s first campaign stop since his federal indictment over his alleged mishandling of classified documents after leaving office.

    The new special counsel indictment comes as Trump remains the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. The first two indictments have done little to impact his standing in the race.

    Trump’s March indictment marked the first time in US history that a former president had faced criminal charges. Now there are three separate, concurrent cases where the president is facing felony allegations, which are all going to play out as Trump seeks to return to the White House in 2024 following his loss to Biden in 2020.

    The so-called fake electors plot was an unprecedented attempt to subvert the Electoral College process by replacing electors that Biden had rightfully won with illegitimate GOP electors.

    Trump supporters in seven key states met on December 14, 2020, and signed fake certificates, falsely proclaiming that Trump actually won their state and they were the rightful electors. They submitted these fake certificates to Congress and to the National Archives, in anticipation that their false claims would be embraced during the Electoral College certification on January 6.

    At the time, their actions were largely dismissed as an elaborate political cosplay. But it eventually became clear that this was part of an orchestrated plan.

    “Under the plan, the submission of these fraudulent slates would create a fake controversy at the certification proceeding and position the Vice President-presiding on January 6 as President of the Senate to supplant legitimate electors with the Defendant’s fake electors and certify the Defendant as president,” the indictment states.

    Senior Trump campaign officials orchestrated the fake electors plot and directly oversaw the state-by-state mechanics – linking Trump’s campaign apparatus to what originally looked like a hapless political stunt by local Trump supporters.

    Federal investigators have subpoenaed the fake electors across the country, sent FBI agents to interview witnesses about their conduct, and recently granted immunity to two fake electors from Nevada to secure their grand jury testimony.

    In Michigan, the state’s attorney general charged the 16 fake electors who signed certificates falsely claiming Trump won Michigan in the 2020 election with multiple felonies. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is also expected to ask a grand jury this month to bring charges related to efforts in Georgia to subvert the election results.

    This story is breaking and will be updated.



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