(The Center Square) – Former President Donald J. Trump is facing four new federal charges accusing him of conspiracy and obstructing the 2020 general election.
The 45-page indictment, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, said that despite having lost, Trump was determined to remain in power.
The former president is accused of spreading lies about the election “to make his knowingly false claims appear legitimate, create an intense national atmosphere of mistrust and anger, and erode public faith in the administration of the election,” the indictment read.
The indictment lists unnamed co-conspirators identified as four attorneys, a Justice Department official and a political consultant.
Trump was told by senior campaign advisors and others that no evidence of election fraud was found, according to the indictment.
“The Defendant widely disseminated his false claims of election fraud formonths, despite the fact that he knew, and in many cases had been informed directly, that they were not true,” the indictment said. “The Defendant’s knowingly false statements were integral to his criminal plans to defeat the federal government function, obstruct the certification, and interfere with others’ right to vote and have their vote counted.”
The focus was on seven states– Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to the indictment. The indictment includes several references to social media posts and public statements made by Trump. The day after a phone call with the Georgia Secretary of State where the former president said he needed to “find” 11,780 votes, Trump said publicly the state official “he has no clue.”
Trump made claims that ballots were dumped in Detroit, that there were more voters than votes in Pennsylvania, and that 36,000 non-citizens voted in Arizona, according to the indictment.
The former president also repeatedly tried to get Vice President Mike Pence to reject the electoral college votes, in one meeting called Pence “too honest,” the indictment said.
The indictment also accused Trump of exploiting the “violence and chaos at the Capitol” on Jan. 6, 2021 by telling the crowd that Pence could refuse to certify the election.
“When you catch somebody in a fraud, you’re allowed to go by very different rules,” Trump told the crowd.
The indictment said Trump called several members of Congress asking them to delay the certification.
The four new charges are 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.
The four charges carry a maximum of 55 years in prison if served consecutively, according to NBC News.
Trump said in a post on Truth Social, “These un-American witch hunts will fail and President Trump will be re-elected to the White House.”
The former president is due in court for an arraignment on Thursday.
Special Counsel Jack Smith said in a news conference Tuesday he will be seeking a “speedy trial” on the charges.
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