(Sky News) Donald Trump is facing four criminal charges relating to attempts to overturn the 2020 election result as prosecutors try to tie him to the January 6 storming of the US Capitol building by his supporters.
The 45-page court document focuses on alleged schemes by the former Republican president and his allies to subvert the transfer of power and keep him in the White House despite his loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
Trump has maintained the result of the November 2020 election was incorrect, with many of his supporters and confidants also expressing doubts about the vote.
But special counsel Jack Smith has alleged Trump’s lies “fuelled” the January 6 insurrection in Washington DC in 2021 where rioters attacked the Capitol in a bid to stop Congress from certifying the election result.
And prosecutors also claim he “exploited” the assault by refusing his advisers’ suggestion to send a message directing the rioters to leave the building, after a rally and fiery speech by him earlier that day.
Trump has been summoned to appear before a federal magistrate judge in the city on Thursday. It is the third time in four months he has been criminally charged even as he campaigns to regain the presidency next year.
The latest indictment alleges he conspired to prevent politicians from certifying Mr Biden’s victory and to deprive voters of their right to a fair election.
Five people died during or after the attack, including four protesters and one police officer, and about 140 officers suffered injuries, according to the Department of Justice (DoJ).
Trump faces four charges:
• Conspiracy to defraud the US
• Conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding
• Obstruction of, and attempt to obstruct, an official proceeding
• Conspiracy against rights.
Prosecutors have stated Trump lost the 2020 election but he was “determined to remain in power” and for two months he “spread lies” that there had been fraud and that he had won.
“These claims were false and the defendant knew they were false… but the defendant repeated and widely disseminated them anyway,” said the indictment.
Six alleged co-conspirators are mentioned in the document, but they haven’t been charged. While they are not named in the filing, Sky’s US partner NBC News has identified five of them.
One of them appears to be Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s closest allies and his former personal lawyer. The others are said to be John Eastman, Sidney Powell, Jeffrey Clark and Kenneth Chesebro, with the sixth unknown.
Some of them are accused of erroneously suggesting that former vice president Mike Pence could object to certifying the results of the 2020 election – and making baseless accusations that Trump “embraced and amplified”.