For the third time in four months Donald Trump has been charged in a criminal case. This time it’s for plotting to overturn the 2020 presidential election result. What are the allegations against him?
Donald Trump is due to appear in court in Washington DC later where he is expected to formally enter a plea of not guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud the US, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, an attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.
In a damning 45-page document released on Tuesday prosecutors set out their case against the former president.
At its heart it alleges that he orchestrated a widespread conspiracy to overturn the 2020 presidential election, which created “an intense national atmosphere of mistrust and anger”.
The indictment lays out a detailed timeline of events and all of Trump’s attempts to change the outcome of the election.
On the first page it says that “despite having lost, the defendant was determined to remain in power. So for more than two months following election day on November 3, 2020 the defendant spread lies that there had been fraud in the election and that he actually won. These claims were false and the defendant knew they were false. But the defendant repeated and widely disseminated them anyway.”
It recounts dozens of Trump’s alleged lies as well as the pressure he put on Republican state officials to change the vote tallies.
It says the president and his co-conspirators tried to convince Mike Pence to “use his ceremonial role at the January 6 certification proceeding to fraudulently alter the election results.” Pence refused.
On the day of the certification Donald Trump encouraged thousands of his supporters to march on the US Capitol.
In the chaos that followed 7 people died. More than 1,000 people have been arrested for their part in the violence, but so far all attempts to incriminate Trump have failed.
The lead prosecutor was keen to stress that he is innocent until proven guilty, but the former president will surely be concerned. If convicted, some of the charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Although it would not bar him from being president.
Today’s episode was written and mixed by Rebecca Moore.