Trump stands accused in a new criminal indictment of fraud against the US for his part in the January 6 insurrection.
This is his third criminal indictment in four months and for liberals it’s the big one – a reckoning at last for seeking to overturn an election and halt the peaceful transfer of power, and thereby violating the most sacred and vital ritual in American democracy.
For conservatives it may be warranted but it’s unavoidably political. The NYT’s estimable and usually po-faced Peter Baker says what’s at stake is no less than the system constructed by the framers of the US Constitution 236 years ago in Philadelphia.
The WSJ, owned by Murdoch but by no means a Trump cheerleader, notes in an editorial there’s no new evidence linking Trump to the Proud Boys and other insurrectionists, and worries that special prosecutor Jack Smith’s indictment could make “any future election challenges, however valid, vulnerable to a partisan prosecutor”. Read the full story.
The indictment’s two key components are in paragraphs 10 b and c, which allege a trick and a fraud respectively.
The trick was to persuade pro-Trump diehards in contested states to pose as electors with the power to certify a second Trump presidency on the understanding they would only be enlisted in support of “outcome-determinative lawsuits within their state” (of which there were none).
The fraud was to use Department of Justice letterhead to allege electoral fraud where there was no evidence of it. The indictment doesn’t name six co-conspirators, but the New York Post gives its best guess.
They almost certainly include ex-New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, the lawyer who claimed without evidence that voting machine makers had given Trump votes to Biden.
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