Trump Indicted in 1/6 Investigation

Breaking news.

Via WaPo: Trump charged in probe of Jan. 6, efforts to overturn 2020 election.

The four-count, 45-page indictment accuses Trump of three distinct conspiracies, charging that he conspired to defraud the U.S., conspired to obstruct an official proceeding and conspired against people’s rights.


The indictment charges six unnamed and so far uncharged co-conspirators in these efforts. Some of the individuals are easily identifiable, such as Rudolph W. Giuliani, Trump’s former lawyer.

The indictment also alleges that on the night of Jan. 6, after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to try to prevent the formal certification of Joe Biden’s victory, “the White House counsel called the defendant to ask him to withdraw any objections and allow the certification. The defendant refused.”

Much more to come, no doubt.

Consider this an open forum on the subject.

FILED UNDER: 2024 Election, Crime, Democracy, Law and the Courts, Society, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Kathy says:

    I expect a lot of talk on the wingnutsphere about double jeopardy. Not that this needs to be said here, but even if impeachment = criminal trial, the charges are different.

    BTW, in the indictment paragraphs number 11 and 12 make the claim Benito knew 1) he’d lost and 2) there was no fraud. The indictment bases this claim on what the Cheeto’s advisers, lawyers, staff, cabinet secretaries, etc. told him, what they informed him about. Meaning what he actually believes is not relevant, as he had the full information all along.

    Here’s to a speedy trial.

  2. EddieInCA says:

    Moved over from the Open thread.


    I turned on Fox immediately, and you had Andrew McCarthy and Johnathan Turley BOTH telling Brett Baier that the indictments are “less than nothing”. Both of them believe that everything Trump did was protected Free Speech. Once again. Fox viewers are being lied to. Pretty much everyone else is saying it’s a rock solid indictment with very little wiggle room for Trump.

  3. CSK says:

    Trump said that “the Biden Crime Family and their weaponized Justice Department” are persecuting him in ways reminiscent of Nazi Germany.

  4. Mikey says:

    @EddieInCA: The indictment states on page 2 all the things Trump did that he had the First Amendment right to do. The remaining 43 pages detail how and why everything else he did doesn’t qualify.

    Fox lies for ratings and money, as we all know. They are just telling their audience of credulous dupes what it wants to hear.

  5. Mikey says:

    @CSK: Ironic considering it’s his followers who wave swastikas and spout the Nazis’ favorite 14 words.

  6. CSK says:


    Isn’t it?

    By the way, minutes after the indictment was made public, Trump started fund-raising off it.

    See here for his incomparable rhetoric:

  7. Kathy says:

    There are some unnamed co-conspirators in the indictment.

    I hope they’ll get charged as well. There are two reasons for this: 1) taking down Benito is paramount, but taking down those who helped and enabled him is also important. 2) Some of them may no doubt flip on El Cheeto to spare the government the expense of housing and feeding them for several years.

    Also, it’s pretty clear who many of them are. No. 1 is Rudy, No. 2 is Eastman, No. 3 is Powell (the Kraken lawyer). I’m less clear on the rest, and I’m bad with names. But I’ve no doubts many here will be able to identify them.

    BTW, if even one charge results in a guilty verdict and jail time, I propose we begin to build statues of Jack Smith, or at the very least grant him the title Restitutor Orbis.

  8. MarkedMan says:

    I find it astounding that this two bit degenerate wasn’t put behind bars decades ago

  9. Mikey says:

    @Kathy: 4 is Jeffrey Clark, 5 is Kenneth Chesebro. 6 we haven’t figured out yet.

  10. Paul L. says:

    Jack Smith in this indictment quoted a single judge in Trump v. Wisconsin. But I am not allowed to quote the plaintiffs, Soyomayor or RBG in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action because true lawyers would not do that.

    On December 14, the Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected an election challenge by
    the Campaign. One Justice wrote, “[N]othing in this case casts any legitimate doubt that the people of Wisconsin lawfully chose Vice President Biden and Senator Harris to be the next leaders of our great country.”

  11. mattbernius says:

    A lot of analysts ate speculating that 6 is Boris Epshteyn.

  12. dazedandconfused says:


    If no Meadows…he flipped.

    Interesting part is item 90, Pence’s statements under oath. At one point Trump told him “You’re too honest” which is evidence of knowing he was being dishonest. He will all but certainly be dragged in to repeat that to the jury.

    I see Mike made a clear statement today that he believes this indictment is warranted, so he’s hopping off the fence.

  13. Kathy says:

    @Paul L.:

    Have you heard the Good News?

    Rejoice! Justice is at hand!

  14. grumpy realist says:

    @Paul L.: Whatever you’re arguing, it makes no sense.

  15. mattbernius says:

    @grumpy realist: Fitting a long standing pattern.

  16. dazedandconfused says:


    I’m hoping it’s Ginni Thomas myself (;

  17. CSK says:

    @Paul L.:


  18. Gustopher says:

    @Paul L.: Pause, breathe, take a moment to collect yourself, and then try writing that again in English rather than Wingnuttese.

    I think you’re using various shorthand phrases that are understood in your usual circles, but not really understood here. (Much as if I were to go to RedState or wherever and mention leopards or the bears in New Hampshire)

  19. CSK says:

    Rudy Giuliani is Co-Conspirator #1.

  20. Gustopher says:

    @Mikey: 14 words you say? The Libertarian Party of New Hampshire (proud benefactor of bears) tweeted this out:

    We must secure the existence of our people and a future for libertarian children

    Nazis, Trolls or Nazi Trolls?

  21. CSK says:

    More Co-Conspirators:
    2. John Eastman
    3. Sydney Powell
    4. Jeffrey Clark
    5. Kenneth Chesebro

  22. Hal_10000 says:

    This indictment is one of the most enraging things I’ve ever read. Clark, apparently, said that if people objected to them overturning the election, they should invoke the Insurrection Act.

    Just utter slimeballs all around.

  23. Raoul says:

    Here is the thing about the freedom of speech defense: one could argue that every conspiracy charge involves a freedom of speech issue, after all, many conspirators do not engage in “overt actions” since they merely discuss things. The way to bridge the gap involves a series of tests. Since conspiracy laws are patently constitutional, I would suggest the Turleys of the world retake Criminal Law, or perhaps they should argue the current status of these laws. Trump and Co. do not appear to be treated any differently from other criminals.

  24. Liberal Capitalist says:

    “Breaking News”.

    Yes, this is so unexpected! How could anyone ever see this ever happening?


    (… lock him up.)

  25. DK says:


    Trump and Co. do not appear to be treated any differently from other criminals.

    The Trump crime family has been treated better than other criminals.

    A bunch of brown people who incited a terror attack on congress to subvert the peaceful transfer of power would be underneath the jailhouse already.

  26. charontwo says:

    .Analysis, why this indictment is smartly done – excellent read (gift linky):


    One charge that was not included in the indictment falls under 18 U.S.C. Section 2383, which makes it a crime to incite, assist or engage in a rebellion or insurrection against the United States or to give aid and comfort to such an insurrection. This charge was part of the referral from the Jan. 6 committee.

    It would have faced some potentially tricky First Amendment issues, to the extent it would have relied on Mr. Trump’s speech at the Ellipse on Jan. 6 to allege that he incited the riot. I believe those issues could be overcome, but the free speech battles over that charge would have been time-consuming and distracting because the speech could be easily characterized as a political rally.

    Seditious conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. Section 2384 is also absent. A number of Proud Boys and Oath Keepers have been convicted of violating that law, which prohibits conspiracies to overthrow the government. But violating the statute requires the use of force. Conviction presumably would require proof that Mr. Trump intended the Capitol riot to take place and that it was not just a political protest that got out of hand. That proof may be there, but the issue could easily become a major distraction.

    There will be those who say any case that does not charge Mr. Trump with insurrection or sedition is a whitewash that fails to hold him properly accountable. I think those critics are wrong. These charges will allow prosecutors to present the sweeping, multistate scheme to overturn the election, with all its different aspects, to the jury and the public. They are serious felony charges that carry hefty penalties.

    Although it might have been psychologically gratifying to see Mr. Trump charged with sedition, the name of the legal charge is less important than the facts that will make up the government’s case.

    This indictment presents detailed and overwhelming allegations. It reflects sound legal and tactical decisions that should allow the government to move quickly and put on a powerful case. The most significant prosecution of Mr. Trump is off to a strong start.

  27. charontwo says:

    has an excellent annotation of the Trump indictment. Very helpful to read it for yourself. Kudos to
    and others who put it together. Gift link below

  28. Paul L. says:

    Just pointing out your double standard. Prosecutors are smart legal geniuses for using the same argument that shows you are a member of cult.
    WRONG!! bad legal theory and arguments: Quoting dicta to show that the last 4 females appointed to Supreme court by Democrats believe the 14th amendment and due process protections from it do not apply to white people.

    CORRECT!! Smart and savvy legal theory and arguments: Prosecutors quoting dicta in the Trump indictments. Like DA Bragg mentioning the Trump Access Hollywood tape in his indictment.

  29. @Paul L.: Honestly, you still aren’t making any sense. I seriously don’t understand what you are trying to say, save in the vaguest of ways.

  30. Paul L. says:

    Neal Katyal argues before the Supreme court that the government can take anyone’s money and assets are any time.

  31. Rick Smith says:

    @Mikey: A lot of things Trump accuses others of doing are things that he does proudly.

  32. Kathy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Maybe St. Elon Cisgender Mars Phobos etc. etc. has given up on AI, and is now testing out bots with genuine stupidity?

  33. charontwo says:

    @Paul L.:

    I saw no reference to either Neal Katyal or your claimed argument at that link, my inference is that you are full of s**t.

  34. Joe says:

    @Paul L.:
    Like charontwo said, but this article is about the Court ruling unanimously exactly the opposite of your statement.

  35. SC_Birdflyte says:

    The mills of justice grind exceedingly slow, yet also exceedingly fine.

  36. Paul L. says:

    Looks like someone deepfaked this voice here in the oral arguments of Tyler v. Hennepin County?
    Neal Kumar Katyal

    Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court: This Court should affirm Judge Colloton’s opinion for three reasons.

    First, Petitioner lacks standing.

    I’ll outline two other points and then return to standing as it’s jurisdictional. Second, on the merits, the law here falls within a long tradition that stretches back before the republic, was present at the founding, and is confirmed by the very page of Henry Black’s tax treatise that Petitioner block quotes. This Court in Texaco made clear that a — when a property right is extinguished due to an owner’s failure to comply with reasonable conditions on ownership, there is no taking that requires compensation.

    That’s this case. Petitioner failed to act after repeated notice for five years.

    Because owners can act to avert this result, this Court has not called such actions takings, as Nelson underscores. And, third, Petitioner’s theory would declare many state statutes today unconstitutional and create practical problems akin to what Justice Sotomayor referred to, including forcing governments to act as real estate agents and fiduciaries, and even forcing them to pay claims immediately at forfeiture, well before a property is sold. The merits of this case are no doubt difficult, but I don’t believe standing is, so I want to start there. Petitioner — the face of the complaint does not contain allegations that show standing.

    Petitioner’s right to say we didn’t make this argument before, we should have.

    But standing is jurisdictional.

    It can’t be waived. And, here, it’s missing. Petitioner’s theory of injury is she had a right to equity, which she defines as “her financial interest in the property after deducting encumbering liens.” But her complaint just says excess funds existed after the sale, not excess funds belonging to her.

    She never alleges she had equity, let alone a plausible claim to it. And the lack of these allegations infects the entire valence of this case, creating a dangerous reality distortion field. Everything Petitioner claims about the law and what’s in her briefs is about the harm of taking her equity, but the complaint just doesn’t allege that.

  37. charontwo says:

    @Paul L.:

    Neal Kumar Katyal did not write the NYT analysis I linked to, so I fail to see the relevance of an ad hominem attack on Katyal to either the NYT piece referenced or any other aspect of this thread’s topic (the recent indictment).

    A bit of an OT diversion, no?

  38. Paul L. says:

    Your link is to a Neal Katyal post

    The @nytimes has an excellent annotation of the Trump indictment. Very helpful to read it for yourself. Kudos to @charlie_savage and others who put it together. Gift link below

    Link directly or to an archive.

  39. charontwo says:

    @Paul L.:

    Link directly or to an archive.

    Neal Katyal tweet contained an NYT gift link, thus I did not need to use up one of my own limited gift links.

    Such petty behavior, not impressed.