Trump Issues ‘Not Guilty’ Plea On All Indictment Counts

President Trump pleaded not guilty on all counts related to his alleged role in the Capitol Hill disorder on January 6, 2021. The charges were Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding, Conspiracy Against Rights, Obstruction of and Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding, and Conspiracy to Defraud the United States.

Special counsel Jack Smith, who leads the investigations into the former President’s conduct on behalf of the Department of Justice, also referred to six alleged co-conspirators in the 45-page document. One of the co-conspirators is believed to be former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani, who is described as “an attorney who was willing to spread knowingly false claims.” Trump attorneys Sidney Powell and John Eastman are also believed to be part of the indictment. Both are accused of publicly backing claims that the 2020 election was stolen from President Trump.

The fourth co-conspirator is likely to be former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, who allegedly attempted to use his position at the DOJ to open “open sham election crime investigations.” Speculation about the fifth person points toward Kenneth Chesebro, a pro-Trump attorney, while number six remains a mystery to most analysts.

The indictment describes alleged co-conspirator number six as a “political consultant who helped implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding.”

Mr. Trump is accused of conspiring with others to knowingly interfere with and disrupt the transfer of power to President Joe Biden. Legal experts suggest that the case will rest upon whether the former President truly believed he had won the election or knew he lost but was refusing to hand over the keys to the White House. 

This issue is however up for debate and some experts say it won’t be necessary to prove he knew he lost. One lawyer said, “Trump clearly knew that without his unlawful actions, Congress was going to certify Biden as the winner of the election. That’s all the corrupt intent you need.”