September 30, 2023

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Lies, accomplices and Pence’s role: 6 highlights from the Trump impeachment

Lies, accomplices and Pence’s role: 6 highlights from the Trump impeachment

Weight, buzz, media attention and security measures aside, tonight’s impeachment trial against former President Trump in Washington should be fairly straightforward in general. Justice Moxila A. Upadhyay will have to answer to the Trump charges — he may plead not guilty — and then the terms of his release (which may be minimal). It also remains to be seen whether Trump will try to delay or move the defense case there.

On his own social network, Donald Trump has already responded furiously to the allegations against him. “The world is now seeing the corruption, corruption and failure that has taken place in the United States over the past three years,” he said. “America is a country in decline, but we will make it great again.”

The indictment is the result of a massive investigation by Attorney Jack Smith into the 2020 election and the events following the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. A federal grand jury spent months hearing from dozens of witnesses.

But what does that 45-page document actually say? We select 6 key or significant elements for you:

1. Not one but four charges

The text actually has not 1, but 4 main charges:

1. “Conspiracy to defraud America”: According to attorney Jack Smith, he did this by attempting to undermine the federal election system through lies, deceit and fraud.

More than 2 months after election day, he spread lies about election fraud that decided the outcome and claimed that he actually won.

From Donald Trump’s impeachment

2. and 3. “conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding” and “obstructing and attempting to obstruct an official proceeding” refer to his attempts to disrupt the election count and certification process.

4. “Conspiracy Against Rights”: How Trump Tried to Abolish American Voters’ Rights to Fair Elections

2. Trump lied, but he knows he’s lying

On introduction, Smith is immediate Up to that point: Trump lost the 2020 presidential election, but “despite that loss, he was determined to stay in power”. “More than 2 months after Election Day, he spread lies about election fraud that decided the outcome and claimed he actually won. Those were false claims and he knew they were false.”

This is also discussed in detail in the document. For example, it follows the entire list of key figures in the government and the state apparatus who told Trump there was no evidence of election fraud anywhere. And even in his own camp there were occasional suspicions that – as one senior campaign official put it in an email at one point – “the conspiracy is getting off the mother ship”.

The indictment also contains an interesting summary of the lies that Trump tried to spread after the election. For example, he said Georgia had more than 10,000 dead voters, 205,000 more than voters in Pennsylvania, or tens of thousands of duplicate ballots in Nevada. But all those claims were quickly debunked.

3. Six persons named as “co-conspirators”.

According to the indictment, six people allegedly helped Trump influence the outcome of the 2020 election. They are not named, but numbered, but at least five of them are easy to identify.

Trump personally spread unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud by his lawyer John Eastman and his lawyer Sidney Powell, who planned to cast false electoral votes in 7 states. Conversations said they were “crazy” but trumpeted it publicly anyway.

Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump.


Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Additionally, Geoffrey Clarke, a former Justice Department official, wanted to set up a malpractice trial to overturn the election results. Attorney Kenneth Chesbro is also considered a co-conspirator because he helped push the plan through fraudulent electoral votes.

The sixth and last mentioned is a political consultant involved in a botched election scheme. His name was not immediately available.

4. Former Vice President Pence gets off to a good start

For Mike Pence, Trump’s former vice president (now Republican presidential candidate), the accusation is a boost. Trump wanted to bring him in, so he used his ceremonial role during the certification process to correct those results. Despite the intense pressure put on him, Pence did not budge. Trump chose to pit him against Pence as one of the targets of an angry mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Mike Pence.

The indictment also repeatedly uses Pence’s detailed notes about conversations Trump had with him. They are clearly helping lawyer Jack Smith reconstruct what happened behind the scenes of the Trump camp and how Trump tried to persuade his vice president to carry out his plans. The pressure on him to read the charge sheet would have been immense.

5. A windfall for Trump (and it came from Republicans)

Pence was the only one who refused to accept Trump and his allies’ song about election fraud. The indictment names many others who did not believe Trump’s claims and turned against him. Mostly they were members of Trump’s party.

Brad Raffensberger repeatedly pointed out Trump’s false claims and the fact that what he asked of him was illegal and punishable.

For example, Brad Raffensberger, chairman of Georgia’s 2020 presidential election, was asked to “find” 11,780 votes to swing the election in Trump’s favor. Ruffensberger repeatedly pointed to the false claims he made to Trump and the fact that what he asked of him was illegal and punishable.

The Republican governors of Georgia and Arizona, as well as some Republicans from Michigan, clearly opposed Trump.

6. Attorney Jack Smith insists that “free speech” and fraud are not the same thing

Attorney Jack Smith readily acknowledged that Trump has the right to question the election and challenge the results. But it had to be done legally. Trump tried it too, but without success.

You’ll notice that Smith has already anticipated Trump’s potential defense that many of his statements fall under free speech. The lawsuit alleges that Trump’s “knowingly false statements were an integral part of his criminal schemes to subvert the operation of the federal government, interfere with the certification of elections, and interfere with the rights of others to vote and count their votes.”

Read: Opinions and statements used to facilitate a crime do not come under the Constitution’s freedom of expression.

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