Read the latest on the special counsel probe:
- Former President Donald Trump has been indicted by the grand jury convened by special counsel Jack Smith to investigate Trump and his allies' attempts to overturn the 2020 election.
- Trump has been charged with four counts: conspiracy to defraud the United States "by using dishonesty, fraud and deceit to obstruct the nation’s process of collecting, counting, and certifying the results of the presidential election"; conspiracy to impede the Jan. 6 congressional proceeding; a conspiracy against the right to vote and to have that vote counted; and obstruction of, and attempt to obstruct and impede, the certification of the electoral vote.
- Members of the grand jury met at the courthouse earlier today. The members left around 2 p.m.
- Five of the six alleged co-conspirators, based on details provided in transcripts of testimony to the Jan. 6 Committee and other records, appear to be: longtime Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani; lawyer John Eastman, who helped architect the "fake electors scheme"; attorney Sidney Powell, who helped lead Trump's post-campaign legal efforts; former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, whom Trump considered making his attorney general; and Kenneth Chesebro, another attorney pushing the "fake electors scheme." It is not clear who co-conspirator 6 is.
- Trump announced on July 18 that he received a letter from special counsel Jack Smith notifying him he was the target of a grand jury examining the Jan. 6 riot and the 2020 election.
This event has ended. Read more live coverage of the charges against Trump and his upcoming arraignment here
Giuliani and Powell appear to be among alleged co-conspirators
The remarkable third indictment of former President Donald Trump returned by a federal grand jury on Tuesday includes six, un-named, un-indicted co-conspirators. But it also contains clues to their identities.
Five of the six alleged co-conspirators, based on details provided in transcripts of testimony to the Jan. 6 Committee and other records, appear to be: Former New York City Mayor and longtime Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani; lawyer John Eastman, who spoke at the Jan. 6 rally and helped architect the “fake electors scheme"; attorney Sidney Powell, who helped lead Trump’s post-campaign legal efforts and promoted conspiracy theories; former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, whom Trump considered making his attorney general; and Kenneth Chesebro, another attorney pushing the “fake electors scheme.”
It is not clear who co-conspirator 6 is.
Prosecutors typically don’t name alleged co-conspirators who have not yet been charged with any crimes.
Giuliani says he doesn't 'worry about the Jack Smiths of this world'
In an interview after the indictment, Rudy Giuliani said he wasn't worried by special counsel Jack Smith.
“I don’t worry about the Jack Smiths of this world,” Giuliani said during a Newsmax interview before suggesting the former president's First Amendment rights had been violated.
"You don't get to violate people's First Amendment rights, Smith," said Giuliani, who appears to be co-conspirator 1 in today's indictment.
5 things to know about the special counsel’s indictment of Donald Trump
A grand jury in Washington returned a new four-count indictment criminally charging Trump with his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and subvert lawful votes.
The indictment from special counsel Jack Smith is the result of months of investigating Trump. The grand jury heard testimony for allies, aides and officials all the way up the presidential succession order as former Vice President Mike Pence.
While the third indictment of Trump, the newest charges are likely to land with a more complicated political thud, marking the first time the U.S. criminal justice system has sought to punish a leader for their actions regarding the transfer of power.
DC police encourage vigilance after indictment, ahead of Trump arraignment
The Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., said it is working with federal agencies after Trump was indicted, and asked the public to report anything suspicious.
“The Metropolitan Police Department is working closely with our federal law enforcement partners to monitor the situation and plan accordingly to ensure the safety of DC residents and visitors,” MPD said in a statement today. “MPD encourages the public to remain vigilant."
Trump is scheduled to appear at the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse in Washington on Thursday after being indicted in connection with efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
After Pence rebuffed votes ploy, Trump replied ‘You’re too honest,’ indictment says
On New Year's Day 2021, after Vice President Mike Pence told Trump he had no constitutional authority to reject votes, Trump replied: “You’re too honest,” according to the indictment.
Trump called Pence “and berated him because he had learned that the Vice President had opposed a lawsuit seeking a judicial decision that, at the certification, the Vice President had the authority to reject or return votes to the states under the Constitution,” the indictment reads.
“The Vice President responded that he thought there was no constitutional basis for such authority and that it was improper. In response, the Defendant told the Vice President, “You’re too honest,” the document says.
Hours after that conversation, according to the indictment, Trump tweeted: “The BIG Protest Rally in Washington, D.C., will take place at 11.00 A.M. on January 6th. Locational details to follow. StopTheSteal!”
Trump's GOP 2024 rivals react to indictment
Reactions to today's indictment are rolling in from Trump's opponents in the 2024 GOP primary.
"One of the reasons our country is in decline is the politicization of the rule of law," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted. "No more excuses—I will end the weaponization of the federal government."
Vivek Ramaswamy committed to pardoning Trump. "The corrupt federal police just won’t stop until they’ve achieved their mission: eliminate Trump," his campaign said.
Trump critic Will Hurd, a former Texas congressman, reiterated his stance that Trump's presidential bid "is driven by an attempt to stay out of prison and scam his supporters into footing his legal bills."
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who called on Trump to end his campaign after his second indictment, reiterated that sentiment after today's indictment.
"The latest indictment reaffirms my earlier call that Donald Trump should step away from the campaign for the good of the country. If not, the voters must choose a different path,” he said.
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina said, “I remain concerned about the weaponization of Biden’s DOJ and its immense power used against political opponents."
Anti-Defamation League calls Trump campaign's Nazi comparison 'offensive' and 'shameful'
The head of the Anti-Defamation League today called references to Nazi Germany by Trump's campaign inaccurate, offensive and shameful.
“Comparing this indictment to Nazi Germany in the 1930s is factually incorrect, completely inappropriate and flat out offensive,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “As we have said time and again, such comparisons have no place in politics and are shameful.”
Trump’s campaign reacted to the indictment by saying, “The lawlessness of these persecutions of President Trump and his supporters is reminiscent of Nazi Germany in the 1930s, the former Soviet Union, and other authoritarian, dictatorial regimes.”
Over 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis, and members of other groups were also killed.
The ADL and other groups have objected to Trump’s language surrounding Jewish people in the past, including last year when the former president wrote that American Jews must “get their act together” and “appreciate” Israel “before it is too late.” The comments leaned on a trope that American Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the U.S., Jewish groups said.
Read the superseding indictment in the classified documents case
Read the 60-page superseding indictment filed last week against Trump, aide Walt Nauta, and the third person charged, Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliveira.
Kenneth Chesebro appears to be co-conspirator No. 5
Trump-allied lawyer Kenneth Chesebro appears to be unnamed co-conspirator No. 5 in the Trump indictment.
The document describes this person as "an attorney who assisted in devising and attempting to implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding.”
The indictment also discusses “The December 9 Memorandum ('Fraudulent Elector Instructions') in which co-conspirator No. 5 spelled out instructions on how 'fraudulent electors could mimic legitimate electors in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.'"
NBC News has reached out to Chesebro for comment.
The House Jan. 6 committee report named Chesebro as the figure who created “step by step” instructions for fake electors to follow, including in a Dec. 9 memo authored by Chesebro.
The indictment states that co-conspirator No. 5 called an Arizona attorney on Dec. 8, writing that the attorney subsequently wrote an email outlining the conversation he had with the caller about the fake electors’ strategy. That email is reproduced in the indictment.
The New York Times reported on that same email on July 26, 2022, naming Chesebro as the person who floated the theory.
Trump lawyer: 'We will re-litigate every single issue in the 2020 election'
In an appearance on Fox News shortly after the indictment was released, Trump lawyer John Lauro discussed the case, saying, "We now have the ability in this case to issue our own subpoenas, and we will re-litigate every single issue in the 2020 election."
Lauro and fellow Trump attorney Todd Blanche met in Washington with prosecutors from special counsel Jack Smith’s office Thursday morning, three sources with direct knowledge of the situation told NBC News at the time.
Deputy White House counsel told Trump ‘there is no world ... in which you do not leave the White House’
Weeks before the Jan. 6 riot, the deputy White House counsel told Trump flatly he would be leaving the White House on Jan. 20, according to today's indictment.
“There is no world, there is no option in which you do not leave the White House [o]n January 20th,” the deputy counsel told Trump in December, the indictment said.
The quote is in a section where the deputy White House counsel told a person, identified only as “Co-Conspirator 4,” to not take any offer of becoming acting attorney general, and that there had been no fraud that affected the outcome of the election, according to the indictment.
NBC News has reported that co-conspirator No. 4 appears to be Jeffrey Clark, who served as a U.S. assistant attorney general for the civil division between Sept. 5, 2020, and Jan. 14, 2021.
Sidney Powell appears to be co-conspirator No. 3
Sidney Powell, a former federal prosecutor who served on Trump's legal team, appears to be co-conspirator 3 in the Trump indictment.
For example, the indictment notes that co-conspirator 3 sued the governor of Georgia on Nov. 25, 2020, "alleging 'massive election fraud' accomplished through the voting machine company’s election software and hardware." That suit, the indictment says, was filed even though Trump "had discussed Co- Conspirator 3’s far-fetched public claims regarding the voting machine company in private with advisors, the Defendant had conceded that they were unsupported and that Co-Conspirator 3 sounded 'crazy.'"
Powell’s lawsuit and its subsequent dismissal were publicly reported on at the time, and Trump’s statement that Powell sounded “crazy” was part of the January 6 committee’s final report, which included this language: “During the call, Powell repeated the same claims of foreign interference in the election she had made at the press conference. While she was speaking, the President muted his speakerphone and laughed at Powell, telling the others in the room, 'This does sound crazy, doesn’t it?'"
NBC News has reached out to Powell's attorney for comment.
Co-conspirator No. 4 appears to be Jeffrey Clark
The person identified in the indictment as co-conspirator No. 4 appears to be Jeffrey Clark, who served as a U.S. assistant attorney general for the civil division between Sept. 5, 2020, and Jan. 14, 2021.
The indictment referred to the person as a Justice Department official who met with Trump at the White House on Dec. 22, 2020.
"Co-Conspirator 4 had not informed his leadership at the Justice Department of the meeting, which was a violation of the Justice Department’s written policy restricting contacts with the White House to guard against improper political influence," prosecutors wrote.
The indictment continued, "On December 26, Co-Conspirator 4 spoke on the phone with the Acting Attorney General and lied about the circumstances of his meeting with the Defendant at the White House, falsely claiming that the meeting had been unplanned. The Acting Attorney General directed Co- Conspirator 4 not to have unauthorized contacts with the White House again, and Co-Conspirator 4 said he would not."
The Jan. 6 committee’s final report cited Clark’s Dec. 22 meeting with Trump and noted that it was strictly against DOJ policy as well. The committee stated that then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen spoke to Clark by phone on Dec. 26.
"[Clark’s] meeting with President Trump and Representative [Scott] Perry on December 22nd was a clear violation of Department policy, which limits interactions between the White House and the Department’s staff," the committee's report said.
NBC News has reached out to Clark for comment.
Pence: 'Anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be president'
Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, suggested that Trump's indictment signaled the former president had put his own ambitions ahead of the Constitution.
“Today’s indictment serves as an important reminder: anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be President of the United States," Pence said in a statement. “On January 6th, Former President Trump demanded that I choose between him and the Constitution. I chose the Constitution and I always will."
Trump repeatedly pressed Pence to overturn his 2020 election loss as he presided over the proceedings on Jan. 6 certifying President Joe Biden's victory.
"The former president is entitled to the presumption of innocence but with this indictment, his candidacy means more talk about January 6th and more distractions," Pence said in today's statement.
“I will have more to say about the government’s case after reviewing the indictment," he said.
McCarthy, Republicans react with attacks on Hunter Biden
Reacting to the Trump indictment, Speaker Kevin McCarthy and members of his GOP leadership team, perhaps predictably, took aim at President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
"Biden’s DOJ tried to secretly give Hunter broad immunity and admitted the sweetheart deal was unprecedented And just yesterday a new poll showed President Trump is without a doubt Biden’s leading political opponent,” McCarthy tweeted. “Everyone in America could see what was going to come next: DOJ’s attempt to distract from the news and attack the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, President Trump."
“House Republicans will continue to uncover the truth about Biden Inc. and the two-tiered system of justice,” he added.
Another top Trump ally on the Hill, House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., echoed McCarthy in accusing the DOJ of trying to distract from testimony just a day earlier from one of Hunter Biden’s business associates, Devon Archer.
“Less than 24 hours ago, Congress heard testimony from Hunter Biden’s longtime business partner that Joe Biden joined Hunter’s business calls over 20 times. This directly contradicts Biden’s lie that he never discussed business with his son,” Stefanik said, calling today's indictment against Trump a "sham" to "distract" from "one of the greatest political corruption scandals in history.”
Judge assigned to Trump case ruled against him in 2021
Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, who has been assigned the Trump indictment case, previously ruled that the Trump administration had to turn over documents related to Jan. 6 in a November 2021 case.
The House Jan. 6 committee had subpoenaed the Trump administration for documents related to the attack on the Capitol. Trump tried to assert executive privilege, but Chutkan ruled against him twice.
Rudy Giuliani appears to be co-conspirator 1
Rudy Giuliani, Trump's former personal attorney, appears to be co-conspirator 1, based on previous testimony and other records.
For example, the indictment alleges that in December 2021, then-Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers asked co-conspirator 1 to furnish evidence of "outcome-determinative" election fraud, for which the individual responded with "words to the effect of, 'We don’t have the evidence, but we have lots of theories.'"
Bowers attributed a similar quote to Giuliani on the record in the January 6 House Select Committee’s fourth public hearing.
In a statement in response to the apparent similarities, Giuliani adviser Ted Goodman claimed "someone is leaking intentionally misleading information to the press as part of a sloppy effort at gathering additional information."
"The mayor has not been contacted by the Special Counsel’s office, and he has no reason to believe that he will," Goodman said.
In a second, follow-up statement, Goodman said: “Every fact Mayor Rudy Giuliani possesses about this case establishes the good faith basis President Donald Trump had for the actions he took during the two-month period charged in the indictment."
The indictment, he said, "eviscerates the First Amendment and criminalizes the ruling regime’s number one political opponent for daring to ask questions about the 2020 election results, and "underscores the tragic reality of our two-tiered justice system — one for the regime in power and the other for anyone who dares to oppose the ruling regime."
Robert Costello, Giuliani's attorney, issued a statement tonight saying, “It appears that this indictment alleges that Mayor Giuliani is co-conspirator #1. Every fact that Mayor Giuliani possesses about this case establishes the good faith basis President Trump had for the actions he took during the two month period charged in the indictment."
He also echoed Trump's remarks by calling the indictment "election interference."
Schumer and Jeffries: This indictment is the 'most consequential thus far'
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries issued a joint statement calling today's indictment "the most serious and most consequential thus far."
"The third indictment of Mr. Trump illustrates in shocking detail that the violence of that day was the culmination of a months-long criminal plot led by the former president to defy democracy and overturn the will of the American people," they said.
Trump's former obsession with Twitter looms large in charges
The indictment contains at least 16 references to Trump's use of Twitter, now known as X, which later banned him for inciting violence.
Citing his tweets, retweets and quote tweets, the indictment paints a picture of Trump privately and repeatedly endorsing claims of election fraud and lawsuits that sought to overturn the results. Meanwhile, the allegations say, he often privately admitted they were false.
It also documents how he used Twitter to rally supporters to the Capitol on Jan. 6. Twitter suspended and then banned his account after he tweeted a video to his supporters telling them that they were “very special” and should go home but not recanting his claims that the election was fraudulent.
From special counsel to trial: How a federal criminal case progresses
Special counsel obtained notes of some of Pence's meetings with Trump, indictment says
The special counsel obtained contemporaneous notes former Vice President Mike Pence took on his meetings with Trump, according to the indictment, which cites the notes as evidence underpinning its case.
On Jan. 4, 2021, Trump met with the then-vice president, Pence's chief of staff and Pence's legal counsel, the indictment says. Citing Pence’s notes, it alleges that Trump and co-conspirator 2 "knowingly made false claims of election fraud" in the meeting and asked Pence to either challenge or reject the legitimate electors from seven states.
"When the Vice President challenged Co-Conspirator 2 on whether the proposal to return the question to the states was defensible, Co-Conspirator 2 responded: 'Well, nobody’s tested it before,” the indictment says. "The Vice President then told the Defendant, 'Did you hear that? Even your own counsel is not saying I have that authority.' The Defendant responded, 'That’s okay, I prefer the other suggestion' of the Vice President rejecting the electors unilaterally.”
Here are the 7 states where Trump and co-conspirators allegedly organized fraudulent slates of electors
The indictment refers to seven states that Trump and co-conspirators targeted to organize fraudulent slates of electors: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
The slates were allegedly tasked with mimicking the procedures that legitimate electors were expected to follow under the Constitution and other federal and state laws.
“Some fraudulent electors were tricked into participating based on the understanding that their votes would be used only in the Defendant succeeded in outcome-determinative lawsuits within their state, which the Defendant never did,” the indictment states.
Trump and co-conspirators allegedly used the false electors in an effort to transmit false certificates to Pence or other government officials to be counted at the Jan. 6 certification proceeding.
Split screen: Biden watches 'Oppenheimer' amid Trump turmoil
Biden is settling in to watch "Oppenheimer" as Trump world reels from the indictment.
Biden, who is currently on vacation in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, is seeing the blockbuster movie with first lady Jill Biden, according to the White House. "Oppenheimer" is three hours long, so don't expect to see the president for a bit.
Garland calls the probe 'the largest investigation' in DOJ's history
In brief remarks outside an event in Philadelphia tonight, Attorney General Merrick Garland said that career employees of the Justice Department "engaged in what has become the largest investigation in our history."
"In order to underline the department’s commitment to accountability and independence, Mr. Smith and his team of experienced principled career agents and prosecutors have followed the facts and the law wherever they lead," Garland, who appointed Jack Smith as special counsel in November, told reporters. "Any questions about this matter will have to be answered by the filings made."
Officers who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6 react to indictment
Current and former officers who defended the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot are reacting to today's indictment.
Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges, who was crushed by a pro-Trump mob in a tunnel leading to the Capitol on Jan. 6, tweeted: "Today’s indictments have been a long time coming, but in so many ways they only mark the beginning. Regardless, I’m grateful for Jack Smith, his team, and all who aided the investigation for getting us here. I look forward to the trial; may it be as speedy as it is consequential."
Aquilino Gonell, who was injured in the Jan. 6 riot as a Capitol Police sergeant, tweeted: "Republican officials who my colleagues and I risked our lives to defend while they were running for their lives in fear on Jan 6, today, are defending and condoning the actions of the former guy. The indictment reflects what he did before, during and after the assault."
Former Capitol Police Officer Winston Pingeon tweeted: "I want Justice for what my fellow officers and I endured while defending democracy on January 6th. One step closer."
Pingeon also shared a photo of him clad in defense gear with the Capitol in the background.
Pence's chief of staff alerted Secret Service about the VP's safety after Trump threat
Prosecutors said in the indictment that on Jan. 5, 2021, Trump met alone with Vice President Mike Pence.
"When the Vice President refused to agree to the Defendant’s request that he obstruct the certification, the Defendant grew frustrated and told the Vice President that the Defendant would have to publicly criticize him," the indictment said.
"Upon learning of this, the Vice President’s Chief of Staff was concerned for the Vice President’s safety and alerted the head of the Vice President’s Secret Service detail."
‘Today is the beginning of Justice': Jan. 6 committee members react
Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of only two Republicans who served on the House Jan. 6 committee, said that Trump “is a cancer on our democracy” and “Today is the beginning of Justice.”
“On the 1/6 Committee, we uncovered proof that Donald Trump not only knew what was happening at the Capitol, but encouraged it,” Kinzinger, a vocal Trump critic who represented a district in Illinois, said on social media.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who chaired the Jan. 6 committee, wrote: “Today’s charges are consistent with those the Select Committee referred to the Special Counsel last year, and successful prosecutions will not only bring accountability but also help prevent something like January 6th from ever happening again.”
Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., who was also on the House Jan. 6 committee, weighed in on the indictment as well.
"The January 6th Capitol attack was an assault on our democracy, and everyone involved must be held accountable, including Donald Trump," he wrote. "In our country, nobody is above the law."
Prosecutors give new details about Trump's efforts to delay the election certification even after hours of violence
While Trump is not charged in the indictment with inciting the Jan. 6 riot, the indictment alleges that he exploited the riot despite knowing there was no evidence to support his claims of election fraud.
The indictment presents key new details about efforts by Trump and co-conspirator 1 to reach members of Congress on the evening of Jan. 6 to carry out his plan to delay the certification. Prosecutors didn't identify the lawmakers by name but said:
- Trump, through White House aides, attempted to reach two U.S. senators at 6 p.m.
- From 6:59 p.m. until 7:18 p.m., co-conspirator 1 placed calls to five U.S. senators and one member of the House.
- Co-conspirator 6 attempted to confirm phone numbers for six U.S. senators whom Trump had directed co-conspirator 1 to call and attempt to enlist in further delaying the certification.
- In one call, co-conspirator 1 left a voicemail for a U.S. senator that said, "We need you, our Republican friends, to try to just slow it down so we can get these legislatures to get more information to you. And I know they’re reconvening at eight tonight, but the only strategy we can follow is to object to numerous states and raise issues so that we get ourselves into tomorrow — ideally until the end of tomorrow."
- In another message intended for another U.S. senator, co-conspirator 1 claimed that Pence's "actions had been surprising and asked the senator to “object to every state and kind of spread this out a little bit like a filibuster[.]"
What the polls say about the Jan. 6 investigation — and another Trump indictment
It’s too soon to know how Trump’s indictment Tuesday over his actions following the 2020 election could affect him politically. But recent polling does show how the public feels about his conduct.
Trump was indicted on four federal charges relating to his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen and his alleged attempts to stop the results from being certified.
Here’s a look at what recent polling says about how the American public views the circumstances surrounding Trump’s actions and the possibility of an indictment over that conduct.
Former MPD Officer Mike Fanone reacts to Trump indictment
Mike Fanon, a former officer for the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department, who was assaulted by rioters during the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capital reacted to Trump's latest legal woe Tuesday.
“Donald Trump spent his entire lifetime f---ing around and he’s about to find out," Fanone said in a statement to NBC News. "I’d like to think that in some small way I played a part in all this.”
More details on co-conspirators
While the co-conspirators are not named in the indictment, some details are provided on their background and role in the alleged effort to overturn the 2020 election results.
According to the indictment, the six co-conspirators consisted four attorneys, one Justice Department official, and a political consultant.
- "Co-Conspirator 1," is described as an attorney "who was willing to spread knowingly false claims and pursue strategies" that Trump's 2020 campaign attorneys would not pursue.
- "Co-Conspirator 2," is described as an attorney who "devised" and tried to implement a strategy to leverage then-Vice President Mike Pence's largely ceremonial role in overseeing the the certification of Joe Biden's electoral victory on Jan. 6 to "obstruct the certification of the presidential election."
- "Co-Conspirator 3," is described as an attorney whose election fraud claims Trump privately acknowledged to others sounded “crazy," but that Trump "embraced and publicly amplified" nonetheless.
- "Co-Conspirator 4," is a Justice Department official who worked on civil matters, according to the indictment, and joined Trump in attempting to use the agency to "open sham election crime investigations and influence state legislatures with knowingly false claims of election fraud."
- "Co-Conspirator 5," is described as an attorney who helped devise and attempt to implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors
- "Co-Conspirator 6," is described as a political consultant who played a role in implementing a plan to submit false slates of presidential electors.
Jack Smith says Jan. 6 was 'unprecedented assault' on American democracy
Special Counsel Jack Smith just delivered brief remarks on the indictment.
Speaking for roughly three minutes, he referred to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack as "an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy."
"It was fueled by lies, lies by the defendant targeted at obstructing a bedrock function of the U.S. government: the nation's process of collecting, counting and certifying the results of the presidential election. "
Smith said that his office would seek a "speedy trial."
He also praised the law enforcement who protected the Capitol during the attack.
"They're patriots and they're the very best of us. They did not just defend a building or the people sheltering in it," Smith said. "They put their lives on the line to defend who we are as a country and as a people. They defended the very institutions and principles that define the United States."
Who is Judge Moxila Upadhyaya, the judge presiding over Trump's court appearance on Thursday?
Trump will appear before Judge Moxila Upadhyaya, a federal magistrate judge in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Upadhyaya, born in India and later raised in Missouri, was appointed to the D.C. District court in 2022, and she has heard cases concerning disability benefits and Social Security, among others, according to her court biography. Before joining the bench, Upadhyaya practiced commercial and administrative law at Venable LLP, a large corporate law firm, where she became a partner.
In her practice, she primarily focused on “complex commercial disputes,” according to the firm’s website, and her clients included private universities, hospital systems. Upadhyaya's work at Venable to try to free prisoners who claim their innocence helped earn the firm the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project’s Defender of Innocence Award in 2009.
Upadhyaya previously clerked for the D.C. Court of Appeals and later for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, where she now presides, and studied law at American University, according to her official bio. She will preside over Trump's initial court appearance.
John Eastman is unindicted co-conspirator No. 2, his lawyer says
In a statement to NBC News, an attorney for John Eastman confirmed that his client was unindicted co-conspirator No. 2 from today's indictment.
Eastman was as a member of Trump's legal team that attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election. He authored a memo that claimed then-Vice President Mike Pence could overturn Joe Biden's victory during the Jan. 6, 2021, proceedings in Congress.
Eastman's attorney, Harvey Silverglate, reiterated that he plans to send a memo to the special counsel outlining why he believes Eastman is innocent.
More than 1,069 people have been arrested so far in Jan. 6 cases
In the more than two years since a mob of Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol, more than 1,069 people have been arrested on charges stemming from the riot, according to the Justice Department.
The department announced the figure today in the arrest of a Kentucky man who allegedly participated in the “heave-ho push” against law enforcement officers that day.
Of those arrested, more than 350 have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, the Justice Department said. DOJ is still investigating the riot and those involved, it said.
Rudy Giuliani has not been contacted by special counsel, spokesperson says
A spokesperson for Giuliani told NBC News today that the former New York City mayor and ex-Trump attorney "has not been contacted by the Special Counsel's office, and he has no reason to believe that he will."
Giuliani helped lead the legal challenges to Trump's loss in the 2020 election.
Prosecutors list high-profile officials who told Trump there was no mass election fraud
Prosecutors say a number of high-profile government officials had informed Trump repeatedly that there was no evidence to support his claims of election fraud in 2020, including:
- Vice President Mike Pence
- Senior leaders at the Department of Justice appointed by Trump
- The director of national intelligence
- The agency at the Department of Homeland Security that oversees cybersecurity
- Senior White House attorneys selected by Trump
- State legislators and officials, some of whom were Trump's allies
- State and federal courts
The indictment also pointed out that senior staffers on Trump's campaign informed him that on Nov. 7, 2020, he had only a 5 to 10% chance of "prevailing in the election."
Prosecutors argue Trump exploited violence at the Capitol after it started to unfold
Under the first count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S., federal prosecutors argue that once violence began at the Capitol on Jan. 6, Trump exploited the situation.
The indictment says that Trump continued to blast out claims of election fraud after the riot began unfolding.
"As violence ensued, the Defendant and co-conspirators exploited the disruption by redoubling efforts to levy false claims of election fraud and convince Members of Congress to further delay the certification based on those claims," prosecutors wrote in the indictment.
Special counsel to speak shortly
Special counsel Jack Smith will deliver remarks at 6 p.m. ET.
Trump case assigned to Judge Tanya S. Chutkan
The Trump case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, according to the court docket. Chutkan, an Obama appointee, is the only federal judge in Washington, D.C., who has sentenced Jan. 6 defendants to sentences longer than the government had requested.
White House and Biden campaign decline to comment
The Biden campaign declined to comment on the indictment.
On the administration side, White House Counsel spokesman Ian Sams said, "We would refer you to the Justice Department, which conducts its criminal investigations independently."
Read the full indictment against Trump over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election
Former President Donald Trump has been charged with four counts in the 45-page indictment against him. The full text of the indictment follows.
Indictment says there are six co-conspirators
There are six unnamed and unindicted co-conspirators in the indictment.
"The Defendant and co-conspirators used knowingly false claims of election fraud to get state legislators and election officials to subvert the legitimate election results and change electoral votes for the Defendant's opponent, Joseph R. Biden, Jr., to electoral votes for the Defendant," the indictment says.
Trump summoned to appear on Thursday
Trump is expected to be arraigned at the D.C. district court on Thursday, Aug. 3 before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya.
Trump has been charged with four federal counts, including 'conspiracy to defraud' the U.S.
Trump has been charged by the Department of Justice with the following four counts:
- A conspiracy to defraud the United States "by using dishonesty, fraud and deceit to obstruct the nation’s process of collecting, counting, and certifying the results of the presidential election," according to the special counsel's office. This count carries a 5-year maximum sentence.
- A conspiracy to impede the Jan. 6 congressional proceeding at which the collected results of the presidential election are counted and certified. This count carries a 20-year maximum sentence.
- A conspiracy against the right to vote and to have that vote counted. This count carries a 10-year maximum sentence.
- Obstruction of, and attempt to obstruct and impede, the certification of the electoral vote. This count carries a 20-year maximum sentence.
Trump has been informed of his indictment
A spokesperson for Trump confirmed that the former president has been notified of his indictment.
Trump indicted by the federal grand jury probing his effort to overturn the 2020 election
Former President Donald Trump has been indicted by a federal grand jury investigating his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, according to the indictment.
Trump campaign compares DOJ prosecutions to Nazi Germany and Soviet Union
The Trump campaign railed against the Department of Justice and President Joe Biden in a statement released shortly after an indictment was returned against an unnamed person by the grand jury investigating him.
The campaign described the effort as part of a witch hunt and questioned why it would take more than two years "right in the middle of President Trump’s winning campaign for 2024" to bring charges in the 2020 election case.
"The answer is, election interference! The lawlessness of these persecutions of President Trump and his supporters is reminiscent of Nazi Germany in the 1930s, the former Soviet Union, and other authoritarian, dictatorial regimes. President Trump has always followed the law and the Constitution, with advice from many highly accomplished attorneys," it said.
Trump takes aim at Biden in social media post
Shortly after predicting that the special counsel was poised to indict him today, Trump took aim at President Joe Biden in a post on his social media website.
"Also, why are they putting out another Fake Indictment the day after the Crooked Joe Biden SCANDAL, one of the biggest in American history, broke out in the Halls of Congress??? A Nation In Decline!,” Trump wrote.
Grand jury delivers sealed indictment
A sealed indictment was delivered to a D.C.-based magistrate judge that did not include any names.
It was presented to the judge by an individual believed to be the foreman of the grand jury investigating Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The prosecutor who accompanied the foreman was Molly Gaston.
The government requested the indictment be filed under seal and a summons be issued to the unnamed defendant, a request that was granted by Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya. This comes as Trump says he expects to be indicted by Smith.
Grand jury foreman in magistrate's courtroom
The man who is believed to be the foreman for the grand jury has entered the magistrate's courtroom.
De Oliveira's team was notified in advance of forthcoming indictment
Before he was charged last week, Carlos De Oliveira’s legal team was informed that the government intended to seek an indictment, a source familiar with the matter told NBC News.
The source said that before De Oliveira was indicted last week, his defense team was provided an opportunity to explain why in their view the charges should not be filed. They then made that argument in writing, the source said.
While no formal target letter was sent by the special counsel, the outreach by the government amounted to similar advance notification, the source said.
Trump predicts special counsel's office will indict him
Trump posted just before 4:45 p.m. on Truth Social that he thinks special counsel Smith will file an indictment against him today.
"I hear that Deranged Jack Smith, in order to interfere with the Presidential Election of 2024, will be putting out yet another Fake Indictment of your favorite President, me, at 5:00 P.M. Why didn’t they do this 2.5 years ago? Why did they wait so long? Because they wanted to put it right in the middle of my campaign. Prosecutorial Misconduct!" he wrote.
Fulton County sheriff says department is 'ready' for potential Trump charges
Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat told reporters on Tuesday that he and his team are "ready" to confront any security concerns if the local district attorney investigating Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election, Fani Willis, opts to pursue charges.
Labat said the department has received “dozens” of personal threats as the local district attorney’s charging decision looms, but he claimed the department is not aware of any credible threats from extremist groups. If and when Trump is indicted here, Labat said his department will create a designated space for protesters to gather.
“If an indictment came today, we will be ready,” Labat said. “We look forward to an opportunity to show the world that we are ready.”
Alleged attempt to delete video could damage Trump argument that he was entitled to classified documents
The latest charges in the classified documents probe, which accuse Trump and his staff of trying to delete surveillance camera video, provide prosecutors with a significant new tool to bolster their story to the jury.
According to the superseding indictment, after Trump was served with a grand jury subpoena to return the classified materials, Carlos De Oliveira allegedly told the director of IT at the club that “‘the boss’ wanted the server deleted.”
The former president’s defense has consistently taken some form of “I had the right to possess the documents (despite no longer being president).”
But if prosecutors can prove he and others engaged in a conspiracy to delete video to thwart federal efforts to locate the documents, that adds a new dimension to the story that was missing previously.
Prosecutors aren’t required to prove a defendant’s motive, but attempting to delete the video (assuming the Justice Department can show that) would strengthen the overall obstruction case, as well as provide evidence toward Trump’s consciousness of guilt over the alleged retention of the classified materials.
Michigan prosecutors charge Trump allies in felonies involving voting machines and illegal 'testing'
A former Republican attorney general candidate and another Trump supporter have been criminally charged in Michigan in connection with accessing and tampering with voting machines after the 2020 election, according to court records.
Matthew DePerno, a Republican lawyer who was endorsed by Trump in an unsuccessful run for Michigan attorney general last year, was charged with undue possession of a voting machine and conspiracy, according to Oakland County court records.
Daire Rendon, a former Republican state representative, was charged with conspiracy to commit undue possession of a voting machine and false pretenses.
Both were arraigned remotely this afternoon, according to Richard Lynch, the court administrator for Oakland County’s 6th Circuit.
Trump and Nauta's arraignment set for Aug. 10
Trump and aide Walt Nauta's arraignment on the superseding indictment in the classified documents case is set for Aug. 10 at 10 a.m. ET at a federal courthouse in Fort Pierce, Florida, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Shaniek Mills Maynard, according to a filing today.
The Special Counsel’s Office noted in the superseding indictment last week that it would not oppose defendants Trump and Nauta waiving their appearance at an arraignment on the superseding indictment.
Trump receives deposition notice in his $500 million lawsuit against Michael Cohen
In a filing yesterday, Cohen’s attorneys scheduled the deposition for Sept. 6 at a law office in Miami.
“I look forward to Donald’s deposition under oath and proving the frivolous nature of the lawsuit,” Cohen told NBC News in a statement.
The deposition notice comes after Trump sued Cohen in April, alleging that his former lawyer turned critic spread falsehoods, violated attorney-client privilege and unjustly enriched himself.
Trump attacks Smith in post about Mar-a-Lago classified documents case
In a short post on Truth Social, Trump said just before 3 p.m. ET today, "The security tapes being deleted was a made up lie by deranged Jack Smith! Election interference."
He was referring to the new superseding indictment that the special counsel's office filed against Trump and two others last week, which presented evidence that the three of them — including Trump — conspired to try to delete security footage from Mar-a-Lago.
Members of the grand jury appear to have left for the day
The grand jury appears to have left for the day. Jurors were spotted leaving the grand jury area starting around 2 p.m. ET.
Grand jury watch hits a paws
As we wait for any news out of the grand jury, Bika the dog is doing great work keeping an eye on things outside the courthouse.
Trump’s past indictments spurred online fundraising boosts
Trump’s previous two indictments led to spikes in his online fundraising, according to a new fundraising report filed Monday — but the jump was much smaller for the second one.
While Trump’s campaign touted fundraising boosts after both indictments, the new report from Republicans’ main online fundraising platform shows how Trump’s supporters rallied more energetically after his first indictment in Manhattan for an alleged hush-money scheme, rather than the federal indictment related to his handling of classified documents.
The new report from WinRed, which was filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission, shows that Trump raised around $13.5 million in the week after a Manhattan grand jury indicted Trump on March 30 for allegedly making hush money payments to an adult film star during his 2016 campaign.
Grand jury returns from lunch
Members of the grand jury having returned from their lunch break and have resumed their meeting.
Trump’s legal woes are costing his political operation millions of dollars
Trump’s legal woes may not be eating into his lead among GOP primary voter, but they’re costing his political operation millions of dollars.
Trump’s Save America PAC has spent more than $20 million on legal fees alone — doling out payments to more than 40 different law firms — in the first six months of 2023, according to new campaign finance reports filed yesterday with the Federal Election Commission.
Legal expenditures accounted for two-thirds of the PAC’s total spending from January through June.
Grand jury appears to break for lunch
The grand jury hearing evidence in the special counsel's probe of Trump's attempts to overturn the election appears to be breaking for lunch. NBC News has spotted members of the jury walking down the courthouse stairs and toward the cafeteria.
Grand jurors typically receive a one-hour lunch break, and their days usually begin at 9 a.m. and end at 5 p.m., according to the D.C. court website.
Newly indicted Trump employee appears in Florida court, delays plea without a local lawyer
MIAMI — The Mar-a-Lago property manager charged in a new indictment alongside Donald Trump in the alleged mishandling of classified government documents after the former president left office was unable to enter a plea in court on Monday after being unable to secure a Florida-based lawyer.
Carlos De Oliveira, 56, wearing a navy suit and glasses, entered the Miami court just after 10 a.m., accompanied by his attorney John Irving.
It was the first sighting of De Oliveira, who stands about 5’8” with salt and pepper hair, since last week’s superseding indictment in the special counsel’s documents case.
The judge read the four charges against De Oliveira and his rights before setting the signature bond at $100,000. Because De Oliveira has not secured local counsel to represent him in Florida, he was asked to return for his arraignment next month.
In other Trump legal problems...
Discussing his comments in the "Access Hollywood" tape during the taped deposition in October, Trump said, "Historically that’s true with stars. If you look over the last million years, that’s largely true, unfortunately, or fortunately."
Susan Hoffinger, the executive assistant district attorney, wants to use the recorded deposition in the hush money case against Trump in his upcoming trial set for March. Trump’s attorneys have argued that the subpoena for the video should be quashed because it's "overbroad"; "an attempt to fish for impeachment material;" and the material is subject to a protective order in the Southern District of New York.
Judge Juan Merchan, who will oversee the trial, said the subpoena is not overbroad or inappropriate. He said the DA's office has demonstrated that the request seeks items that are relevant and material to the proceedings.
The decision on whether the tape is handed over is now up to Judge Lewis Kaplan who oversaw the E. Jean Carroll trial. He has given Trump and Carroll until Wednesday to respond. Roberta Kaplan, attorney for Carroll, told NBC News, “We will do whatever the judge orders."
Georgia judge rejects Trump bid to halt Fulton County election probe
A Georgia judge yesterday denied an attempt by Trump to halt Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation into whether the former president and his allies interfered in the state’s 2020 presidential election, calling his allegations of wrongdoing in the probe “overwrought.”
In a nine-page ruling, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney found that neither Trump nor Cathleen Latham, a Trump “alternate elector” challenging the probe, had legal standing to block the investigation at this point.
He said their claims are “insufficient” because “while being the subject (or even target) of a highly publicized criminal investigation is likely an unwelcome and unpleasant experience, no court ever has held that that status alone provides a basis for the courts to interfere with or halt the investigation.”
The ruling is the second against Trump on the issue in two weeks. The Georgia Supreme Court denied a similar request from Trump on July 17. A third petition to the Fulton County Superior Court is pending, with a hearing scheduled for Aug. 10.
Trump TV ad depicts investigations as political attacks
A new Trump TV ad elevates a series of accusations that Republicans have waged against President Joe Biden and his family amid investigations into the former president.
In the ad, which was captured by AdImpact and aired on Fox News this morning, a narrator accuses Biden of being “caught in a bribery scandal,” and of “acting just like a corrupt third-world dictator.”
It shows photos of the prosecutors leading investigations into Trump — special counsel Jack Smith, New York Attorney General Letitia James, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis — while the narrator says: “Biden has unleashed a cadre of unscrupulous government bureaucrats he controls to act like rabid wolves and attack his greatest threat, launching one of the greatest witch hunts in history.”
Fulton County DA receives vulgar hate mail ahead of potential Trump indictment
The DA in Fulton County, Georgia, Fani Willis, is urging the county's commissioners to “stay alert” and “stay safe” ahead of potential indictments this month, according to an email obtained by NBC News.
The letter to commissioners, which was first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, includes a copy of a profane email Willis says she received last Friday, calling her the n-word and a “Jim Crow Democrat whore.”
She describes the vulgar email as “not very unique. In fact, it is pretty typical and what I have come to expect. ... I expect to see many more over the next 30 days."
Willis emphasized this weekend that her office is "ready to go" and plans to announce charging decisions by Sept. 1 in a probe of Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.
Grand jury arrives at the federal courthouse in D.C.
Members of the D.C. grand jury hearing evidence and testimony in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into 2020 election interference are arriving at the courthouse and heading up to the third-floor grand jury area.
Trump faces additional charges in Mar-a-Lago documents case
The federal indictment, filed in the Southern District of Florida, alleges that Trump was part of a scheme to delete security video and that a newly charged defendant — who was identified as a property manager at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence — told another employee that “the boss” wanted the server deleted.
That employee, Carlos De Oliveira, who was a maintenance supervisor at Mar-a-Lago, was charged Thursday. His lawyer, John Irving, declined to comment.