July 14, 2024

Trump Indicted for Third Time Over Capitol Protests Amid 2024 GOP Presidential Lead

President Donald J. Trump disembarks Marine One at Valley International Airport in Harlingen, Texas Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, and boards Air Force One en route to Joint Base Andrews, Md. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
President Donald J. Trump disembarks Marine One at Valley International Airport in Harlingen, Texas Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, and boards Air Force One en route to Joint Base Andrews, Md. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Former President Donald J. Trump was indicted for the third time on Tuesday over his alleged involvement in the January 6, 2021, Capitol protests. The indictment follows previous indictments in New York and Florida, adding to the legal challenges faced by the 45th President of the United States ahead of the 2024 presidential elections.

Trump was indicted on four federal charges, including conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding; and conspiracy against rights. Trump will appear in federal court on August 3.

Trump and his supporters have alleged that the Biden Department of Justice is unfairly treating the former president and aims to force him to drop out of the presidential run. He is currently leading in the polls and is expected to win the GOP presidential primaries mid-next year. Previous indictments have only boosted his popularity.

The latest charges stem from the events that unfolded on January 6, 2021, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, resulting in chaos and disrupting the Congressional certification of the 2020 election results.

Federal authorities have been investigating the former president’s role in the events leading up to and during the Capitol breach.

This is the second federal indictment the former president faces from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation.

Two previous indictments in New York and Florida

On March 30, 2023, Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury for his alleged role in a scandal relating to hush money payments made to the pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 U.S. presidential election. That made him the first U.S. president to be indicted. Trump faces 34 felony charges of falsifying business records in the first degree, carrying a maximum sentence of 136 years if convicted on all counts.

Trump has also been indicted on 40 felony counts, marking the first federal indictment of a former U.S. president. The indictment, filed in the federal district court in Miami by the office of the Jack Smith special counsel investigation, alleges Trump’s mishandling of classified documents after his presidency.

The original indictment, announced on June 8, 2023, brought forward 37 counts against Trump, with 31 under the Espionage Act. In addition to the espionage-related charges, the former president also faces accusations of making false statements and engaging in a conspiracy to obstruct justice.

A superseding indictment, issued on July 27, added three additional counts against Trump, intensifying the legal challenge he now confronts.

During his arraignment on June 13, Trump stood before the court and pleaded not guilty to all charges. Alongside him, his personal aide and valet, Waltine Nauta, also appeared in court on July 12 and pleaded not guilty. The Mar-a-Lago maintenance chief, Carlos De Oliveira, is scheduled to be arraigned on August 10, as the case involves multiple parties.

The presiding judge has set a pretrial hearing for May 14, 2024, with the trial itself scheduled to commence on May 20, 2024. The high-profile case, officially titled United States of America v. Donald J. Trump, Waltine Nauta, and Carlos De Oliveira, has captured the nation’s attention as it delves into allegations of serious legal violations by the 45th president of the United States and those in his close circle, at a time when he is the front runner in the GOP presidential run.

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