Trump indictment looms as grand jury meets in January 6 probe

Location - A federal grand jury met Thursday to hear more evidence in the special counsel probe of the January 6 attack on the Capitol and former US president Donald Trump's sweeping effort to overturn the 2020 election.

Former President Donald Trump is moving closer to indictment in a federal grand jury probe into the January 6 attack and his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Former President Donald Trump is moving closer to indictment in a federal grand jury probe into the January 6 attack and his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.  © REUTERS

The panel could hand up an indictment of Trump anytime after the former president was hit Sunday with a letter naming him as a target in the sprawling investigation.

But most legal analysts believe Special Counsel Jack Smith will wait to seek charges in part because he might want to give Trump’s lawyers a chance to ask for a meeting to convince him not to file charges.

Trump says the target letter he got gave him until Thursday to testify before the grand jury, an option legal analysts say he is unlikely to take because of the danger of further incriminating himself.

Trump woos gun lobby at weekend NRA gathering: "Democrats want to take their guns away"
Donald Trump Trump woos gun lobby at weekend NRA gathering: "Democrats want to take their guns away"

The grand jury heard testimony Thursday from a relatively junior Trump campaign aide who was with the former president on January 6.

William Russell, a former White House aide who now works for Trump’s presidential campaign, made a second appearance before the panel.

It’s not known why Russell was called back or what he might have added to the probe.

Trump accused of violating multiple federal statutes

Special Counsel Jack Smith (l.) is reportedly focusing on Trump's plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Special Counsel Jack Smith (l.) is reportedly focusing on Trump's plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election.  © MANDEL NGAN, GIORGIO VIERA / AFP

The grand jury, which operates in secret, has already heard testimony from dozens of witnesses, including many of Trump’s closest aides and once-trusted lieutenants, in the wide-ranging and fast-moving investigation.

The target letter sent to Trump reportedly mentions three federal statutes that he is accused of violating including a conspiracy to defraud the United States, depriving people of their rights, and witness tampering.

The possible charges mentioned in the letter suggest Smith’s team is focused more on the broad plot to overturn the election as opposed to leading or inciting the actual violence on January 6.

Trump last month became the first ex-president in American history to be criminally charged when he was indicted in connection with a separate probe regarding mishandling of classified documents that he took when he left the White House.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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