By Staff Writer
He’s been slapped with a federal indictment but former US president Donald Trump remains defiant that the ‘deep state’ is mounting a witch-hunt against him.
In the latest of his legal troubles, the flamboyant ex-resident faces a series of charges linking him to the riot and assault on the US Congress on January 6th 2021. His supporters tried to block the transition of power after the November 2020 presidential elections which Republican Mr Trump lost to Democrat Joe Biden.
In an historic move, on Tuesday August 1st Donald Trump was indicted by the US Justice Department on felony charges for his role in seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
The 45-page indictment against Mr Trump accuses him of “conspiracy to impair, obstruct, and defeat the federal government function through dishonesty, fraud and deceit”. A grand jury in Washington DC charged him with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, conspiracy against rights and obstruction of, and an attempt to obstruct an official proceeding.
The four charges have maximum sentences ranging from five to 20 years in prison.
The charge sheet also refers to six co-conspirators which it did not name but are said to be four lawyers, a justice department official and a political consultant.
In a social media comment attributed to him, Mr Trump has called the charges against him “ridiculous”.
His campaign team has said, “President Trump will not be deterred by disgraceful and unprecedented political targeting!”
It’s the latest in a series of constantly emerging legal wrangles in which the controversial former American president is embroiled.
The former president has another federal indictment against him on charges related to removing classified documents from the White House when he reluctantly left office. On that he has been charged with ‘willfully defying Justice Department demands that he return classified documents, enlisting aides in his efforts to hide the records, as well as telling his lawyers that he wanted to defy a subpoena for the materials stored at his residence.’
He is also facing criminal charges in New York after a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict him over hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels in the days before the 2016 presidential election.
In all, Mr Trump who has become the first sitting or former US president, formally charged with serious criminal offences, now has 78 criminal counts overall in three different cases.
Meanwhile, prosecutors in Georgia are also investigating whether he illegally pressured officials there to discard Mr Biden’s electoral victory, and prosecutors in Atlanta are also looking into whether to indict Mr Trump on charges related to the 2020 presidential election.
However, he is currently the frontrunner in the Republican Party’s process of deciding its candidate for next year’s presidential election.
And around that swirls the constitutional maelstrom of whether Mr Trump can run for office under these circumstances - and if he can, and wins, whether he can serve as president if convicted…or even pardon himself.