Is this a joke?!
On Tuesday, criminal charges were levied against Donald Trump for the third occasion within a four-month span, this time in connection with attempts to reverse the results of the 2020 U.S. election as he seeks to return to the White House next year.
These charges originate from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s examination of claims that Trump, who is leading the race for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election, attempted to undo his loss to Joe Biden, his Democratic opponent.
Just before the indictment was released, Trump announced on his Truth Social media account that he had anticipated this legal action.
He wrote a message referring to “Deranged Jack Smith” and accused him of planning to issue “yet another Fake Indictment” of Trump, whom he called “your favorite President.” He also asserted that the timing of the indictment was designed to draw attention away from harmful testimony earlier in the week regarding alleged misconduct by the Biden family.
As the specifics of the indictment became public, Trump was called to appear before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya at the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse in Washington, scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Testimonies from officials indicate that Trump exerted pressure on them, relying on allegations of extensive voter fraud. This led to the infamous attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, aimed at preventing Congress from confirming Biden’s win.
On July 18, Trump disclosed that he had received a letter from Smith identifying him as a subject in the grand jury investigation surrounding the January 6 event in Washington.
Trump has the distinction of being the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges, casting these legal actions as politically-driven vendettas.
This marks a subsequent set of federal charges by Smith, who was nominated as special counsel by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland last November.
In June, Trump’s plea was not guilty when a federal grand jury in Miami, assembled by the special counsel, indicted him on 37 counts for unlawful possession of classified government information post-presidency and obstruction of justice. He was charged with endangering critical national security secrets.
Recently, prosecutors added three criminal counts to Trump’s charges, increasing the total to 40, and accused him of instructing staff to erase security footage while under investigation for retaining those documents.
Trump’s first legal troubles began in March when he was indicted by a grand jury assembled by the Manhattan district attorney. In April, he pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts, including falsifying business documents related to a payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels concerning a claimed sexual encounter, an encounter he has consistently denied.
Trump, aged 77, is leading the Republican contenders for a rematch against Biden, 80, next year. Biden initiated his re-election campaign in April.
Despite legal and political challenges, Trump has demonstrated resilience. Many within the Republican Party, both officials and supporters, have aligned with Trump, framing the charges as politically biased and part of a Democratic scheme to ruin him politically.