• Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Trump indicted in special counsel’s 2020 election interference probe

Trump indicted in special counsel's 2020 election interference probe


Supporters of President Donald Trump participate in a rally in Washington, DC, on Jan. 6, 2021. 
Supporters of President Donald Trump participate in a rally in Washington, DC, on Jan. 6, 2021.  John Minchillo/AP

Federal prosecutors detailed the “prolific lies” that former President Donald Trump made in the wake of the 2020 election in the indictment document released Tuesday.

According to the indictment, prosecutors said that Trump knowingly pushed false claims of voter fraud and voting machines allegedly switching votes — despite state and federal officials telling the former president the claims were wrong.

“These claims were false, and the Defendant knew that they were false,” the indictment said. “In fact, the Defendant was notified repeatedly that his claims were untrue-often by the people on whom he relied for candid advice on important matters, and who were best positioned to know the facts and he deliberately disregarded the truth.” 

The indictment continues: “The Defendant widely disseminated his false claims of election fraud for months, despite the fact that he knew, and in many cases had been informed directly, that they were not true.”

The US acting attorney general and acting deputy attorney general told Trump that the claim he continued to make in the wake of the 2020 election — that there had been more votes than voters in Wisconsin — was false, the indictment says. Despite this, Trump repeated the false claim, including on January 6, 2021.

In the hours before the US Capitol attack, Trump also repeated the false claim that there had been more than 200,000 illegal votes in Pennsylvania, despite Justice Department officials telling him multiple times the claim was false. 

In Michigan, Trump had said multiple times there was an illegal dump of votes in Detroit in the middle of the night during the 2020 election, despite the Republican House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader at the time telling Trump he was wrong and had lost the state because he “had underperformed with certain voter populations in the state,” the indictment stated.

The indictment cites instances where Trump was informed by members of his administration, lawmakers and courts that his claims were false including; then-Vice President Mike Pence, the director of National Intelligence, senior members of the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, his own staffers, state lawmakers as well as state and federal courts. 

“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 votes counted,” the indictment stated. “He made these knowingly false claims throughout the post-election time period, including … immediately before the attack on the Capitol on January 6.”



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