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CT politicians react to Trump indictment that alleges a campaign of 'fraud and deceit'

An image of President Donald Trump appears on video screens before his speech to supporters from the Ellipse at the White House in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, as the Congress prepares to certify the electoral college votes.
Bill Clark
/
CQ-Roll Call / Getty Images
An image of President Donald Trump appears on video screens before his speech to supporters from the Ellipse at the White House in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, as the Congress prepares to certify the electoral college votes.

The federal indictment of Donald Trump on Tuesday marks the first time that the former president has been formally held accountable for his efforts to overturn his 2020 election defeat. And it adds new details to what was already known about his actions, and those of his key allies, in the weeks leading up to the violent Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection.

The newest charges — Trump's third criminal indictment this year — include conspiracy to defraud the United States government and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, the congressional certification of President Joe Biden's victory. It describes how Trump repeatedly told supporters and others that he had won the election, despite knowing that was false, and how he tried to persuade state officials, his own vice president and finally Congress to overturn the legitimate results.

Connecticut's two Democratic senators were quick to weigh in on the latest indictment of the former president.

Richard Blumenthal said Trump is "innocent until proven guilty."

“No person is above the law — and violations should be pursued no matter how powerful the person is. A grand jury has decided to charge former President Trump after an intensive investigation lasting many months," Blumenthal said in a statement. "Our justice system has an obligation to pursue the facts and law wherever they lead."

Chris Murphy said on Twitter that Trump "knew what would happen" on Jan. 6.

Due to the “dishonesty, fraud and deceit” by Trump and some of his closest allies, the indictment says, his supporters “violently attacked the Capitol and halted the proceeding.” In the attack, his supporters beat and injured police officers and broke through windows and doors, sending lawmakers running for their lives.

At the same time, Trump privately acknowledged his loss. After the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff urged Trump to not take action on a national security issue, Trump agreed, according to the indictment.

“Yeah, you’re right, it’s too late for us,” Trump said during a Jan. 3 meeting. “We’re going to give that to the next guy.”

All the while, he repeatedly tweeted and encouraged his supporters to come to Washington on Jan. 6.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached at pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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