Trump investigation: Jan. 6 charges could add to legal heap

Washington –

Payment of hush fee. Confidential records. And now his efforts to overturn the 2020 election that led to the Capitol storming. Donald Trump already faces criminal charges in New York and Florida, but an investigation into his struggle to hang on to power after his election loss appears to be reaching its climax, increasing legal risks. facing.

A targeted letter sent to Trump by Special Counsel Jack Smith suggests that he may soon be indicted on new federal charges, making him the frontrunner in the race for the Republican nomination for the White House. The ex-president, who is fighting to get his money back, is adding to the notable situation with a possible prison sentence. .

Smith’s extensive investigation into the turbulent weeks between Trump’s election loss and his supporters’ storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021 appears to be coming to an end, just as another incident is on the horizon. there may be. A grand jury, sworn in this month in Georgia, is likely to consider whether to indict Trump and his Republican allies for trying to reverse his election loss in the state.

President Trump denied wrongdoing in all lawsuits and dismissed the charges as malicious efforts to harm the 2024 election campaign.

Here’s a rundown of the Jan. 6 investigation, Trump’s case, and what happens next.

What’s your January focus? 6 probe?

Led by Smith, who was appointed Attorney General Merrick Garland in November, both in self-interviews and in closed-door grand juries, many former White House officials, Trump supporters, lawyers, He interrogated state election officials. Washington door. Among those who testified before the grand jury that would ultimately lead to indictment was President Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence, who rejected the election victory for President Joe Biden. He has frequently spoken out publicly about efforts to pressure him to

Smith’s team suggested that President Trump’s personal lawyers order the U.S. military to seize state voting machines late at night Dec. 18, 2020, in an unprecedented effort to pursue Trump’s falsehoods. He appears to be interested in a White House meeting that one of his aides called “unsettled.” Allegations of voter fraud. In a video shown by a US House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attacks, a White House lawyer said he thought the idea was “crazy.” Judges, including one Trump appointed, have dismissed Trump’s allegations of voter fraud.

Smith also testified against a plan by Trump aides to ask electors in battleground states to sign a certificate claiming that Trump, not Biden, won the state. Fake electoral certificates were mailed to the National Archives and Congress and used by some Republican lawmakers to justify delaying or blocking election verification.

Smith’s team is also interested in the story of Georgia election worker Ruby Freeman, who along with her daughter accused Trump and his allies of removing fraudulent ballots from a suitcase in Georgia. He said he lived in fear after receiving death threats after being falsely accused. Interest is high, according to a person familiar with the investigation, who spoke on condition of anonymity about the ongoing criminal investigation.

what happens next?

It’s unclear when Smith’s investigation will end. President Trump said he was invited to appear before a grand jury this week, but those under investigation are not required to testify, and very few will agree to testify. A grand jury will convene in secret and ultimately vote on whether there is enough evidence to indict him. A federal grand jury is made up of about 16 to 23 people, and requires the consent of at least 12 to pass an indictment.

The charges Mr Trump could face include conspiring to defraud the United States and obstructing the official process of congress certifying Mr Biden’s election victory, legal experts said. Hundreds of the more than 1,000 people accused of federal crimes in the Jan. 6 riots will face obstruction charges, which carry up to 20 years in prison.

If indicted in the Jan. 6 case, Trump could face a difficult jury in Democratic-majority Washington state. Its residents, many of whom work in the Capitol, have been sitting front row in the chaos that erupted after Mr. Trump called out to his supporters. “Fight desperately”.

Many of the Jan. 6 rioters have tried unsuccessfully to move the trial outside the capital, claiming that Trump supporters would not get a fair trial there. Only two defendants were acquitted of all charges at trial, and their trials were decided by judges rather than juries. In the most serious Jan. 6 case ever filed, a jury accused the leaders of two far-right extremist groups, the Oathkeepers and the Proud Boys, of what prosecutors said was a conspiracy to block the transfer. He was found guilty of sedition conspiracy and other charges. The transition of power from Trump to Biden. More than 600 other defendants on January 6 pleaded guilty to federal crimes.

What about Trump’s other lawsuits?

Last month, President Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 federal felony charges of illegally storing classified records in his Mar-a-Lago, Fla., mansion and refusing to return government demands for their return. A judge in the case heard arguments on Tuesday about whether the trial in Florida should take place before or after the 2024 election. Prosecutors are seeking a trial date in December, but Trump’s lawyers are pushing for an indefinite delay, arguing he will not get a fair trial during the presidential campaign.

In New York state court, another Trump case, filed by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, is set to begin in March, right in the middle of the primary election. The lawsuit alleges that there was a plan to bury the affair allegations that arose during his first appointment. White House campaign. President Trump has pleaded not guilty in the case to 34 felony counts of falsifying internal business records of his own private firm for hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels. President Trump was trying to move the case to federal court, but a judge ruled Wednesday to block it.

In Georgia, Fanni Willis, the Fulton County District Attorney who is investigating efforts by President Trump and his allies to reverse an election loss in the state, said two grand jurors who sat down earlier this month said the I am planning to sue one of them. Willis suggested an indictment would likely be in August. A separate special grand jury, which had no prosecuting powers and was dissolved in January, filed a report containing recommendations for Mr. Willis. Most of the report remains confidential so far, but the commission’s chief, who declined to be named, said a special grand jury recommended indicting several people.

Meanwhile, in Michigan on Tuesday, the state’s attorney general falsely accused 16 Republicans who played false electors of President Trump in 2020 from being legitimate electors despite Biden’s victory. He filed a felony charge of forgery for submitting a certificate of


Mr. Richer reported from Boston.

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