Jack Smith has contacted Georgia Governor Brian Kemp over Trump’s effort to overturn 2020 election

Sources say former president facing indictment for bid to overturn election

John Bowden
Washington DC
Sunday 23 July 2023 21:40 BST
Trump insists Jan 6 indictment doesn’t ‘frighten’ him

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Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has given insight into the possible scope of special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation of Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

The Republican governor - who survived a Trump-backed attempt to oust him from office last year - told USA Today on Sunday that Mr Smith’s office had contacted him.

However it is unclear what stage Mr Smith’s investigation has reached or whether Mr Kemp’s office had provided, or agreed to provide, evidence or testimony.

“Our office has been contacted by Jack Smith’s office,” the governor’s spokesman said. Mr Kemp’s office declined to comment further when contacted byThe Independent.

News of Mr Smith’s communications with Mr Kemp comes a week after his office reportedly delivered a target letter to Mr Trump’s legal team, a sign that charges are being prepared.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) has indicated that the twice-impeached, twice-indicted former president is central to its investigation into the January 6 attack on the US Capitol and the broader effort by the Trump campaign to overturn the election.

Mr Trump, who is running for re-election in 2024, announced the arrival of that letter on his Truth Social social media platform two days after he supposedly received it.

“On Sunday night, while I was with my family...HORRIFYING NEWS for our country was given to me by my attorneys,” he wrote.

“Deranged Jack Smith...sent a letter (again, it was Sunday night!) stating that I am a TARGET of the January 6th Grand Jury investigation, and giving me a very short 4 days to report to the Grand Jury, which almost always means an Arrest and Indictment.”

The Independent reported, citing sources familiar with the matter, that the letter delivered to Mr Trump informed him that the DoJ is considering charging him with conspiracy to defraud the United States; obstruction of an official proceeding and deprivation of civil rights under colour of law.

It set a deadline of midnight on Thursday for Mr Trump to report to the grand jury and declare whether he would testify or offer his own evidence during the pre-trial stage of the investigation.

Sources have also told The Independent that an indictment could come anytime, now that deadline has passed.

Mr Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election were far from limited to Georgia. His campaign is known to have supported slates of false electors in other states where Mr Trump lost to Joe Biden including Arizona and Wisconsin.

For weeks Mr Smith and the DoJ have been largely silent about the status of the Jan 6 investigation which has already led to the conviction of hundreds of rioters.

If Mr Trump faces trial, it would almost certainly take place during the 2024 election cycle. A separate trial of the former president, involving the alleged illegal retention of classified materials and presidential records, is set to take place next spring.

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