“Prosecutors Intend to Show Long Pattern of Threats and Baseless Claims by Trump”


When former President Donald J. Trump goes on trial on charges of plotting to overturn the 2020 election, federal prosecutors intend to tell a sweeping story, informing the jury about everything from his support for the far-right Proud Boys to his decade-long history of making baseless claims about election fraud, according to court papers unsealed on Tuesday.

The prosecutors said in the papers that they also planned to offer evidence about how Mr. Trump and his allies had threatened his adversaries over the years and encouraged violence against them. And they indicated that they intended to tie Mr. Trump more closely to the violence that erupted at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, than the indictment in the case initially suggested.

Moreover, the prosecutors said they planned to demonstrate how the former president had continued to display “steadfast support” for the people involved in the events of Jan. 6 — among them, Enrique Tarrio, the former leader of the Proud Boys, and a group of inmates at the District of Columbia jail who call themselves the “Jan. 6 Choir.”

“The defendant’s embrace of Jan. 6 rioters is evidence of his intent during the charged conspiracies, because it shows that these individuals acted as he directed them to act,” the prosecutors wrote. “Indeed, this evidence shows that the rioters’ disruption of the certification proceeding is exactly what the defendant intended on Jan. 6.”…

The election subversion indictment accuses Mr. Trump of three overlapping conspiracies, reaching from around Election Day 2020 to the day the Capitol was attacked. They include illegally seeking to reverse his loss to President Biden, to deprive millions of people of their right to have their vote counted and to disrupt the lawful transfer of power.

But the papers unsealed on Tuesday with a handful of redactions suggest that prosecutors want to tell the jury a far broader story. That narrative encompasses what they describe as Mr. Trump’s expansive history of using lies, acts of retaliation and threats of violence to get what he wants.

The prosecutors, for instance, told Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, who is overseeing the case, that they planned to show the jury a Twitter post that Mr. Trump wrote in November 2012. The message, they said, made “baseless claims” that voting machines had switched votes from Mitt Romney, who was then the Republican Party’s presidential candidate, to President Barack Obama.

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