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Trump Indicted for Conspiring to Overturn 2020 Election

What did Donald Trump do wrong in the last two months of his occupation of the White House? According to the new federal indictment handed down against him this afternoon, Trump conspired “to defraud the United States” and “overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election”… and that’s just the first of four counts filed today in the District of Columbia.

Specifically, Trump committed the following acts in support of his criminal conspiracy to subvert the vote, the Constitution, truth, and the peaceful transition of power:

a. 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. That is, on the pretext of baseless fraud claims, the Defendant pushed officials in certain states to ignore the popular vote; disenfranchise millions of voters; dismiss legitimate electors; and ultimately, cause the ascertainment of and voting by illegitimate electors in favor of the Defendant.

b. The Defendant and co-conspirators organized fraudulent slates of electors in seven targeted states (Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin), attempting to mimic the procedures that the legitimate electors were supposed to follow under the Constitution and other federal and state laws. This included causing the fraudulent electors to meet on the day appointed by federal law on which legitimate electors were to gather and cast their votes; cast fraudulent votes for the Defendant; and sign certificates falsely representing that they were legitimate electors. Some fraudulent electors were tricked into participating based on the understanding that their votes would be used only if the Defendant succeeded in outcome-determinative lawsuits within their state, which the Defendant never did. The Defendant and co-conspirators then caused these fraudulent electors to transmit their false certificates to the Vice President and other government officials to be counted at the certification proceeding on January 6.

c. The Defendant and co-conspirators attempted to use the power and authority of the Justice Department to conduct sham election crime investigations and to send a letter to the targeted states that falsely claimed that the Justice Department had identified significant concerns that may have impacted the election outcome; that south to advance the Defendant’s fraudulent elector plan by using the Justice Department’s authority to falsely present the fraudulent electors as a valid alternative to the legitimate electors; and that urged, on behalf of the Justice Department, the targeted states’ legislatures to convene to create the opportunity to choose the fraudulent electors over the legitimate electors.

d. The Defendant and co-conspirators attempted to enlist the Vice President to use his ceremonial role at the January 6 certification proceeding to fraudulently alter the election results. First, using knowingly false claims of election fraud, the Defendant and co-conspirators attempted to convince the Vice President to use the Defendant’s fraudulent electors, reject legitimate electoral votes, or send legitimate electoral votes to state legislatures for review rather than counting them. When that failed, on the morning of January 6, the Defendant and co-conspirators repeated knowingly false claims of election fraud to gathered supporters, falsely told them that the Vice President had the authority to and might alter the election results, and directed them to the Capitol to obstruct the certification proceeding and exert pressure on the Vice President to take the fraudulent actions he had previously refused.

e. After it became public on the afternoon of January 6 that the Vice President would not fraudulently alter the election results, a large and angry crowd—including many individuals whom the Defendant had deceived into believing the Vice President could and might change the election results—violently attacked the Capitol and halted the proceeding. 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 [United States of America v. Donald J. Trump, Indictment, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, filed 2023.08.01, pp. 5–6].

Trump lied continually to push his power trip. When his lies resulted in violence against Congress, he used that violence to push further.

The indictment details Trump’s lies, his fake-elector schemes, his abuse of the Justice Department, his attempt to play the Pence card

On January 1, the Defendant called the Vice President 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 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” [Indictment, 2023.08.01, p. 33].

—and his “exploitation of the violence and chaos” that his lies sowed:

The Defendant, who had returned to the White House after concluding his remarks, watched events at the Capitol unfold on the television in the dining room next to the Oval Office.

At 2:13 p.m., after more than an hour of steady, violent advancement, the crowd at the Capitol broke into the building.

Upon receiving news that individuals had breached the Capitol, the Defendant’s advisors told him that there was a riot there and that rioters had breached the building. When Advisors urged the Defendant to issue a calming message aimed at the rioters, the Defendant refused, instead repeatedly remarking that the people at the Capitol were angry because the election had been stolen [Indictment, 2023.08.01, pp. 39–40].

The indictment notes that even after Trump released his infamous video telling the rioters to go home and remember that they were “very special” and that “we love you”, Trump took advantage of the delay his riot caused to pressure members of Congress to further delay the certification.

Those details underpin all four charges against Trump: conspiring to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding (the certification of the electoral vote), actual obstruction of that official proceeding, and conspiracy against the rights of millions of Americans to vote. The first count can bring a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The second and third counts each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years. The fourth count could add another ten years.


  1. Jake Kammerer 2023-08-01 19:02

    He’s definitely got it coming to him. I hope that Justice delivers Justly! Will be interesting to see the 6 “co-conspirators names , won’t it?!

  2. larry kurtz 2023-08-01 19:14

    So, if South Dakota’s two Republican senators are backing a candidate not Herr Trump for POTUS what is keeping them from trying him in the Senate and ban him from running for federal office again? Because they’re pu$$ies.

  3. P. Aitch 2023-08-01 20:37

    Rudy Giuliani – John Eastman – Sidney Powell – Jeffrey Clark – Kenneth Chesebro are 1 – 5. – CNN NEWS

  4. Dee 2023-08-01 20:44

    Couldn’t have happened to a better bunch of deplorable lowlife grifters that don’t belong in the human race.

  5. Arlo Blundt 2023-08-01 21:31

    Sidney Powell, the Pillow Man, John Eastman, the retired CEO of Big Lots, the incredible Rudy…this is just a short list of the people who Trump called on for guidance as he formed his plot to stay in Power in his deranged mind.Judgement??? He had none. Morality?? He had none. Insane Megalomania?? He had plenty.

  6. John 2023-08-01 21:46

    Let’s not forget Small Johnson, US Representative. Small Johnson had the opportunity to be a statesman by supporting the trump impeachment. Instead, Small Johnson voted to be a republican and not an American.
    Our nation MUST learn from the Nixon pardon. Nixon’s pardon re-created a rule of men, not a rule of law. Trump, and his accolades, must be held responsible. No pardons. No special dispositions. None.

  7. DaveFN 2023-08-01 21:58

    Lock him up.

  8. grudznick 2023-08-01 22:48

    Lar, stop being such an out-of-state name-caller. It is fellows like you that give a bad reputation to Mr. H’s blogging place. You don’t know what your boy John is going to do.

  9. Mike Zitterich 2023-08-01 23:37

    Wow, none of these indictments will stick, they have no case, you cannot prove TRUMP did or said no such thing. HE made no attempt to steal an election, nor did he make any attempt to cause the riots. Democrats are wacked on this so called theory. They are scared %%%-less.

  10. grudznick 2023-08-01 23:49

    Good tight blogging, Mr. Zitterich. Outside of your oddball ALLCAPS, grudznick approves of your blogging here.

    PS: I have a friend wanting a used car. He’ll email tomorrow.

  11. grudznick 2023-08-01 23:50

    PPS: It’s not our good, common friend Bob.

  12. SuperSweet 2023-08-02 01:00

    The conspirators and other witnesses are all Republicans. I don’t see any Democrats involved in this thing. The pubs did themselves in.

  13. Richard Schriever 2023-08-02 05:06

    No Democratic theories involved z and g. Entirely based on recorded (e-mail, phone, text) and sworn under oath statements – all of it – every word of it – from Trump’s own team.

  14. jerry 2023-08-02 05:13

    Mike Z,, Marie Antoinette used the same logic as you. Let them eat cake indeed. So sad for our country though with having to go through the extreme embarrassment the Thune and Rounds did to us. They could have impeached his sorry arse and that would have been that. Thune and Rounds, are a stain on the Republican Party, whatever that is.

  15. jerry 2023-08-02 05:18

    Melania is now having her stylist shop orange chiffon outfits for her. At $100,000.00, the rubes should have something to show for their grift support.

  16. Bonnie B Fairbank 2023-08-02 08:29

    This is a huge leap from the subject, but Trump really, really needs to die. The world wide enormous amount of harm this sociopath has caused deserves nothing less; imagine the relief and joy of billions of people if he choked to death on two Big Macs and two Filet-o-Fish sandwiches. And, NO, I’m not threatening; just wishfully fantasizing. Hey, Melania would look simply stunning in black Herve Pierre and Louboutin stilletos, and could play the grieving widow magnificently. She probably mentally rehearses it to fall asleep.

    He’s never going to have a moment of clarity and realize what a giant, bloated, blubbery turd he is, nor will he quiety retire to the Mar-a-Lago library and blow his imaginary brains out with his grandfather’s imaginary Webley pistol in a fit of belated remorse. Nevertheless, both death scenarios are fun reveries, and, yes, I’m a callous person when it comes to monumental sh*tbag’s fates.

  17. Donald Pay 2023-08-02 08:31

    Anyone think Trump had enough on the ball to think up all these various conspiracies by himself? Absolutely not. Trump is no intellectual/legal mastermind. At best, Trump is a mouth that lies with enough brazenness that a certain number of low-intelligence folks become enthralled, and a will to power. Those low-intelligence folks worship him, just like the same types of folks in Germany worshiped Hitler.

    What I’m interested in is the motley group of co-conspirators. One of the likely ones is Kenneth Chesebro, who interacted a lot with Wisconsin Republicans. Pardon, no pun intended, for using all caps: THESE FOLKS TRIED TO STEAL MY VOTE. For real. I take it personally, as someone who has voted in every election since I was of age to vote. I’d like to see these folks all put in the same jail cell that Trump is going to be housed, where they can engage in real buttlicking.

    When Donald Trump talks about Jack Smith coming for YOU, he is talking about the buttlicking, small-time political apparatchiks who thunk up and carried out this effort. I’d like to see this prosecution get down to the state level. The Michingan Attorney General is taking on the Republican fake electors. Good for her. Wisconsin’s AG has yet to act on our group of buttlicking electors, but I hope he does. Nothing would be better than to put all these two-bit politios in jail. Think about that, Mike Z.

  18. e platypus onion 2023-08-02 08:52

    It is magat tools like Zit, John Dale and Goatzilla that sully the name of DFP! If magats in congress allow drumpf to stay out of prison, they should all be tried and forbidden from public office ever again. They aren’t patriotic Americans.

  19. Dicta 2023-08-02 08:56

    Who are you going to believe, a man with a severe and persistent mental illness like Mike Z., or your lying eyes? Yeah, Trump spread election conspiracy claims, begged his followers to come to DC saying it would be wild, and tried to pressure the VP into overturning the will of the people, but who cares when you have BPD and a blog?

  20. Ryan 2023-08-02 10:52

    Two big yuge points:

    First big yuge point: A federal judge, appointed by trump, issued the search warrant at the request of the FBI director who was appointed by trump. The search warrant was executed by an attorney with the department of justice who was appointed by trump, who charged trump with violating a law that trump himself passed. Not one witness involved is a democrat. Trump’s lawyers. His employees. His appointees. Their words. Their actions. And yet the cult screams: “what a DEM WITCH HUNT!” haha morons.

    Second big yuge point: Trump could face a death sentence according to the additional factors noted in the charge of Conspiracy Against Rights, because: “if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death”


  21. Mike Lee Zitterich 2023-08-02 15:26

    Some Democrats just cant learn to keep their mouths shut when they are ahead. They resort to name name calling, insults, and death threats. Shame on some of you.

  22. Ryan 2023-08-02 15:49

    mike proudly supports treason, fraud, corruption, adultery, and religious gaslighting and then he’s got the stones to come in here crying about SHAME ON YOU hahaha take some personal inventory, mike, because shame is not a word we expected you to know.

  23. chris 2023-08-02 15:50


    You’ve gone from denial to anger in a little over 12 hours. I am predicting you will reach the acceptance stage by end of thursday.

    [… Mike Zitterich 2023-08-01 23:37

    Wow, none of these indictments will stick, they have no case, you cannot prove TRUMP did or said no such thing. HE made no attempt to steal an election, nor did he make any attempt to cause the riots. Democrats are wacked on this so called theory. They are scared %%%-less. …]

  24. e platypus onion 2023-08-02 16:30

    Zit needs an intervention by white coated fellas with a strait jacket or three.

  25. larry kurtz 2023-08-02 17:01

    Tom Kirkman was Secretary of Health and Human Services when the entire federal government died in a massive attack on the US Capitol during the State of the Union address. As designated survivor he is immediately sworn in as POTUS then cast into the crocodile-infested swamp that is US politics.

    Every day brings a new crisis heaped onto national tragedy while the White House assembles a new federal government as state governors appoint new senators and arrange for the elections needed to rebuild the House of Representatives. The Supreme Court of the United States is slowly and achingly refilled amid the rubble of American democracy where an untested former academic sorts through the conspiracy that took down the federal establishment.

    A Republican former POTUS is an antagonist with ties to the conspiracy who beguiles then thwarts President Kirkman at nearly every opportunity and Democrats prove to be equally treacherous.

    The West Wing is a virtual war zone as staff with their own story arcs scramble to prop up a beleaguered chief executive widowed in a suspicious car crash while a few trusted aides investigate then uncover the Russia-backed billionaire who destroyed the Capitol and blamed Islamic militants.

    Often prophetic, it’s as if Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, Patrick Davis and Brad Parscale memorized the entire script then put every villainous catastrophe they concoct into play. In the penultimate episode there is even a racist who engineers a virus to sterilize or kill people of color to erase the Democratic voter base — the defining feature of the Trump term.

    Republican 44th POTUS, Texan Cornelius Moss is a conniving, deceitful traitor who ultimately runs against Kirkman. Tom is a committed social justice warrior who grows into the office as a fiercely independent anti-partisan politician who’s not afraid of a fight — the betrayal of his late wife’s transgender sister notwithstanding.

    Donald Trump’s designated survivors were VA Secretary David Shulkin (2017), Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue (2018), Secretary of Energy Rick Perry (2019) and Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt in 2020 — a veritable Who’s Who of Earth haters.

    Honestly? I’m terrified the GOP will assassinate our POTUS and VPOTUS then install the Republican Speaker of the House who would name Herr Trump his Veep then step down so having Kevin McCarthy second in line for presidential succession should scare the spit out of every American.

  26. Arlo Blundt 2023-08-02 17:16

    Sidney Powell and Eastman came up with the “fake electors” and then Pence will defer the selection of electors to the State :Legislatures, a kind of double barreled conspiracy requiring the participation of hundreds of people. The retired founder and CEO of Big Lots Inc was along as a potential funder. . They were snuck into the White House, with Rudy, but the incredible Rudy opted out of the meeting with Trump because he thought Sidney’s scheme was a “long shot” and he was waiting for the meeting to start in the famous Situation Room and he said “Its really neat to sit in there. I’d never been there. So I thought I’d stay and let the others pitch Trump in his office.” Rudy might have ducked a bullet by staying away from that meeting. He’s crazy….but he isn’t Sidney Powell crazy.

  27. O 2023-08-02 17:24

    Once Trump is finally convicted (this time, no partisan Senate will be his jury), there will be a split in the GOP much like the split in the Democratic Party after the Civil Rights Act. The big difference this time is I cannot bet on which faction of the GOP will get to keep the moniker and where will the exiled GOP go. Unlike when the GOP warmly accepted the Southern, racist Dixi-crats, the Democrat party will not be a haven for either side of this split.

  28. Arlo Blundt 2023-08-02 18:27

    I think you’re right O. We may be in a period where viable 3rd and 4th Parties emerge. The threat is the most extreme right wing party, in that scenario, may have the majority.

  29. e platypus onion 2023-08-02 18:37

    Always remember and never forget, for the first 2 years of the Biden Administration, Biden and AG Garland were of the belief drumpf could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not get charged with a crime. What changed? Rumour has it Sem led congressionbal committees found the evidence to prosecute drumpf and crime family.

  30. Richard Schriever 2023-08-02 20:48

    I agree – O has got a handle on this.

  31. ABC 2023-08-02 21:42

    Thune , Rounds, and Dirty Johnson all carried water for Trump, who after trials, could sentenced to federal or state prison with secret service protection.

    There is only one Party in South Dakota, the party of Nixon and Trump.

    Is there not 5 people in this state who want to create. Progressive Party, and elect Governors and Legislators? The Democratic Party is gone.

  32. O 2023-08-02 21:51

    ABC, I agree about there being one party — in effect — in SD. My proposal still is for EVERYONE to register Republican. If EVERYONE were in one party, then there is NO party. Absent political identification, candidates would have to stand on merit and issues.

  33. Donald Pay 2023-08-02 21:52

    O thinks along the lines that I do. And Arlo has one way that it could land. I think, though, that the extreme right wing party would not have a majority in most states or in the nation.

  34. Dicta 2023-08-02 23:27

    Let me make this abundantly clear: I am not pointing out mental illness as name calling. I honestly believe Mike is mentally ill and I think participation in political discussion forums like these are not healthy for him. You’re not well, Mike, and you have to have at least SOME sense of that.

  35. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-08-03 05:09

    Mike Z, on what basis do you declare the facts laid out in the indictment unprovable? Mike Pence says they happened. Other members of Trump’s circle have testified under oath that they happened. The indictment appears to lay out a number of factual statements that make the case for criminal conspiracy to tell lies, foment violence, disrupt Congress, and subvert the 2020 election.

    But at least we agree that the facts, if proven in a court of law, do constitute illegal activity for which the defendant should be sentenced to prison. We all hate election fraud and undermining of the Constitution.

  36. larry kurtz 2023-08-03 17:44

    The Republican Party of New Mexico said at the time they worked with the Trump campaign to file the suit and it backed lawsuits by Republicans in other states to overturn election results where Trump lost. This included four New Mexicans—according to a database by NPR—two of whom pleaded guilty, one of which, then-Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin, pleaded not guilty and was convicted and one of which was found not guilty of all charges.There is no indication of whether New Mexico is pursuing charges against five Republicans who filed as electors for Trump. Biden easily won New Mexico’s five electoral votes in 2020, 54.3 percent to 43.5 percent.

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