Federal prosecutors accuse Donald Trump of sending supporters to riot at US Capitol in 2021

Former US President Donald Trump Picture: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Former US President Donald Trump Picture: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Published Dec 6, 2023


Washington - Federal prosecutors have accused former US President Donald Trump of a long pattern of lying about elections and encouraging violence.

They said he "sent" supporters to the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, to criminally block the election results, The Washington Post reported.

In a new court filing, prosecutors working for special counsel Jack Smith went further than they did in their August indictment in attempting to tie Trump to the riot. They said that at Trump's criminal trial in Washington, currently scheduled for early March, they intend to introduce evidence of his acts before the November 2020 presidential election, and his subsequent alleged threats, to establish his motive, intent and preparation for attempting to subvert Joe Biden's legitimate election victory, according to The Washington Post.

In a nine-page filing, the prosecutors alleged that: "Evidence of the defendant's post-conspiracy embrace of particularly violent and notorious rioters is admissible to establish the defendant's motive and intent on January 6 -- that he sent supporters, including groups like the Proud Boys, whom he knew were angry, and whom he now calls 'patriots,' to the Capitol to achieve the criminal objective of obstructing the congressional certification."

They said: "At trial, the government will introduce evidence of this conduct -- including the defendant's public endorsement and encouragement of violence -- and further will elicit testimony from witnesses about the threats and harassment they received after the defendant targeted them in relation to the 2020 election."

Meanwhile, Trump spokesman Steven Cheung in a written statement, accused Smith of trying to interfere in next year's presidential election, in which Trump is the leading candidate for the Republican nomination. Even though it is not unusual for prosecutors to make public new evidence and allegations as a trial approaches, Cheung criticized the government for "trying to include claims that weren't anywhere to be found" in the August indictment.

Trump "will not be deterred and will continue speaking truth to corrupt, weaponized power and law enforcement," Cheung said.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to the four charges he faces in DC. He is accused of plotting to defraud the federal election process, obstructing Congress's certification of the vote in the 2021 Capitol attack and depriving Americans of their civil right to have their votes counted, as per The Washington Post.

The former US President separately faces a federal indictment in Florida over his alleged retention and mishandling of classified documents after leaving the White House and alleged obstruction of government efforts to get them back; a state trial in Georgia on charges of trying to obstruct that state's election results; and a New York state business fraud prosecution accusing Trump of covering up a hush money payment made during his 2016 election campaign. He has denied all wrongdoing.

Asian News International