trump indictment

The Craziest Details From the Trump January 6 Indictment

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

More than two years after the attack on the Capitol by a group of his supporters, Donald Trump has been charged for his efforts to overturn the election he lost.

The 45-page document is a sprawling account of Trump’s attempt to steal the presidency that includes a level of detail much deeper than the findings of the January 6 committee’s inquiry. Particularly shocking is his alleged conduct, along with six co-conspirators, to execute a plot immediately before and during the riot — especially the pressure campaign against Vice-President Mike Pence. Below are the most shocking details turned up by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith’s team.

Jeffrey Clark was ready to quell anti-Trump protests with force

Three days before the attack on the Capitol, then-deputy White House counsel Patrick Philbin tried to dissuade then–DOJ official Jeffrey Clark (co-conspirator 4 in the indictment) from assuming the role of acting attorney general, emphasizing that if Trump remained in office, there would be “riots in every major city in the United States.” Clark responded: “Well, [Deputy White House Counsel], that’s why there’s an Insurrection Act.”

Pence’s chief of staff was worried Trump was endangering his life

Pence’s chief of staff was worried that Trump was putting the vice-president in physical danger with the continued push to get Pence to overturn the election results from Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania during his ceremonial duties at the Capitol.

Trump to Pence: ‘You’re too honest’

Trump constantly browbeat Pence in hopes of enlisting him in the illegal attempt to hold onto power after losing the 2020 election — even on Christmas and New Year’s Day. Pence repeatedly told him the truth, that he had no legal power to overturn the election, and Trump allegedly told him he was “too honest.” It’s potentially an indication that Trump knew he was lying when he pressured Pence to reject electoral votes for Joe Biden.

Trump edited false claims about Pence into his Stop the Steal speech

After Pence rejected Trump on the morning of January 6, Trump reinserted language that had been taken out of his speech at the Stop the Steal rally preceding the Capitol riot.

Hours later, Trump tweeted that Pence “didn’t have the courage” to overturn the election as his own supporters stormed the Capitol and threatened to hang the vice-president.

Pence was taking notes the whole time

As Trump pressured the vice-president to join the illegal attempt to keep him in power, Pence, the indictment states, was keeping “contemporaneous notes” of Trump’s refusal to accept the truth.

Giuliani pressured a senator after the Capitol riot

Co-conspirator 1, who is clearly identifiable as Rudy Giuliani, called a senator on the night of January 6 as part of a pressure campaign to slow down the election certification as the riot outside cooled.

That night, while Giuliani was lobbying senators, White House counsel Pat Cipollone asked Trump to “withdraw any objections and allow the certification,” according to the indictment. Trump refused.

Trump’s team was still pressuring Pence after the Capitol riot

Even after the president’s supporters stormed the Capitol, threatening to kill Pence, Trump adviser John Eastman (co-conspirator 2) was trying to get Pence to delay the election certification.

Trump allegedly knew his election-fraud claims were made up

The indictment says in painstaking detail that Trump was informed by multiple parties — including White House lawyers, his campaign, the DOJ, and the intelligence community — that there was no merit to his claims of massive voter fraud against him.

Even Trump’s campaign knew they were trafficking in ‘conspiracy sh*t’

Much of the indictment concerns the Trump campaign’s efforts to contest the rightful vote in Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. But with state officials constantly informing them that there was no fraud, his team in Georgia became frustrated with the lack of evidence provided by Trump and Rudy Giuliani (co-conspirator 1).

The campaign adviser then wrote in an email: “When our research and campaign legal team cant back up any of the claims made by our Elite Strike Force Legal Team, you can see why we’re 0-32 on our case. I’ll obviously hustle to help on all fronts, but it’s tough to own any of this when it’s all just conspiracy shit beamed down from the mothership.”

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