6:07 p.m. ET, August 1, 2023
Trump faces charge dealt against many January 6 rioters
The first count former President Donald Trump is facing, conspiracy to defraud the United States, is brought under a statute that can be used to prosecute a broad range of conspiracies involving two or more people to violate US law.
Two of the counts Trump is facing relate to obstruction of an official proceeding — brought under provisions included in a federal witness tampering statute that has also been used to prosecute some of the rioters who breached the Capitol on January 6
Those counts carry a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment. The appropriateness of using the law to prosecute the rioters has been litigated in the Capitol breach cases.
Trump also faces a conspiracy against rights charge under a Reconstruction-era civil rights law. The law prohibits two or more people from conspiring to “injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any….the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States.”
It carries a 10 year maximum sentence of imprisonment, unless the conspiracy results in death.