Special Counsel Jack Smith said Tuesday that the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot was ‘fueled by lies’ from former President Donald Trump, who he charged today with ‘conspiring to defraud the United States, conspiring to disenfranchise voters and conspiring and attempting to obstruct an official proceeding.’
Smith made a public statement shortly after the federal indictment against Trump was unsealed Tuesday afternoon and encouraged ‘everyone to read it in full.’
‘The attack on our nation’s Capitol on January 6th, 2021, was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy,’ Smith said Tuesday. ‘Described in the indictment, 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 added, though, that the indictment ‘is only an allegation and that the defendant must be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.’
The indictment names only the former president but lists six unnamed co-conspirators. Smith said the investigation into ‘other individuals continues in this case.’
Smith said the ‘men and women of law enforcement who defended the U.S. Capitol on January 6th are heroes.’
‘They are patriots, and they are 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 defined the United States.’
Smith said that ‘since the attack on our Capitol, the Department of Justice has remained committed to ensuring accountability for those criminally responsible for what happened that day.’
‘This case is brought consistent with that commitment and our investigation of other individuals continues in this case,’ Smith said. ‘My office will seek a speedy trial so that our evidence can be tested in court and judged by a jury of citizens.’
Smith thanked members of the FBI working on the investigation with his office, as well as career prosecutors and law enforcement agents ‘from around the country who have worked on previous January 6th investigations.’
Smith’s comments came after Trump was indicted on four federal charges out of the probe, 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 has been ordered to appear in federal court in Washington, D.C., for his arraignment on Thursday, Aug. 3, at 4 p.m.
This is the second federal indictment the former president faces out of Smith’s investigation. Trump, who leads the 2024 GOP presidential primary field, has already pleaded not guilty to 37 counts related to his alleged improper retention of classified records from his presidency.
A Trump campaign spokesperson told Fox News Digital in a statement that ‘this is nothing more than the latest corrupt chapter in the continued pathetic attempt by the Biden Crime Family and their weaponized Department of Justice to interfere with the 2024 Presidential Election, in which President Trump is the undisputed frontrunner, and leading by substantial margins.’
‘But why did they wait two and a half years to bring these fake charges, right in the middle of President Trump’s winning campaign for 2024? Why was it announced the day after the big Crooked Joe Biden scandal broke out from the Halls of Congress?’ the spokesperson wrote.
‘The answer is, election interference!’ the spokesperson continued. ‘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,’ the spokesperson said. ‘These un-American witch hunts will fail and President Trump will be re-elected to the White House so he can save our Country from the abuse, incompetence, and corruption that is running through the veins of our Country at levels never seen before.’