Trump says expects indictment in Capitol riot probe

Former US President Donald Trump. Reuters/File

Former US President Donald Trump said that he expected to be charged in connection with the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, potentially intensifying his legal challenges as he runs for the White House once again. 

Trump, currently the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is already facing criminal charges for mishandling classified government documents after leaving office. 

Taking to his Truth Social platform, he revealed that he received a letter from special counsel Jack Smith saying that he is a target of the January 6 Grand Jury investigation. 

While the specific charges are unclear, Trump characterised the investigation as a “witch hunt” and a politicised abuse of law enforcement. Trump’s fiery speech prior to the Capitol attack and his efforts to overturn the 2020 election are under scrutiny.

Notably, more than 1,000 individuals have been arrested in connection with the Capitol attack, with charges ranging from illegal entry to assaulting law enforcement officers or resisting arrest. Some members of far-right groups such as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers have been convicted of seditious conspiracy. Trump’s advisor indicated that he would decline to appear before the grand jury investigating the events of January 6.

The potential indictment has generated a range of responses. Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, who is also seeking the 2024 Republican nomination, dismissed the possibility as a “distraction.” Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy accused President Joe Biden of using the justice system to target his primary opponent. Democratic Representative Adam Schiff criticised McCarthy’s remarks, labeling them “pathetic.” The ongoing investigations into Trump’s actions also extend to Georgia, where prosecutors are examining whether he illegally attempted to overturn the 2020 election results in the state.

As Trump awaits his legal fate, he continues to maintain his innocence in various cases, including charges related to hush money payments made prior to the 2016 election. While the start date for the trial related to the mishandling of classified documents is proposed for December, Trump’s defense attorneys have requested a delay until after the 2024 White House vote.

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