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Special counsel Jack Smith speaks about the latest indictment against Trump

Updated August 1, 2023 at 9:10 PM ET

For the latest updates on the latest indictment against Trump, follow NPR's live coverage.

Special counsel Jack Smith took to the podium alone on Tuesday after a federal grand jury indicted former President Donald Trump on four counts related to efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Trump has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, witness tampering and conspiracy against the rights of citizens.

"The attack on our nation's Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy. As described in the indictment, it was fueled by lies," Smith said. "Lies by the defendant, targeted at obstructing a bedrock function of the U.S. government."

Before a room of cameras and reporters, he delivered a two-minute statement, then left without taking questions.

While the manner and forum for this speech looked nearly identical to a statement Smith delivered in June after Trump was indicted for his handling of classified documents, the tenor and tone of Tuesday's remarks contained unmissable weightiness.

Smith spoke about the "men and women of law enforcement" who defended the Capitol during the riot, calling them heroes and patriots — and "the best among us."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Emily Olson
Emily Olson is on a three-month assignment as a news writer and live blog editor, helping shape NPR's digital breaking news strategy.