Prosecutors with special counsel Jack Smith revealed Tuesday that they have proof an “agent” for Donald Trump tried to cause a riot in Michigan to stop the vote count in the 2020 presidential election.
Smith indicted Trump in August for his role in the January 6 insurrection and other attempts to overturn the presidential election. Smith’s team said in a Tuesday court filing that an unindicted co-conspirator, identified only as “Campaign Employee” sent text messages on November 4, 2020, to an attorney working with Trump’s campaign at the TCF Center in Detroit, where ballots were being counted.
“In the messages, the Campaign Employee encouraged rioting and other methods of obstruction when he learned that the vote count was trending in favor of the defendant’s opponent,” prosecutors said.
Joe Biden won Michigan in 2020 with 50.6 percent of the vote. Trump was just a few percentage points behind.
According to the filing, around the same time the employee sent those messages, “an election official at the TCF Center observed that as Biden began to take the lead, a large number of untrained individuals flooded the TCF Center and began making illegitimate and aggressive challenges to the vote count.” Meanwhile, Trump himself began pushing false claims about the TCF Center.
The filing did not indicate whether the campaign employee is one of six unindicted co-conspirators already mentioned in the August indictment. Trump faces one count each of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to corruptly obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against the right to vote.
Once it became clear that he had lost the 2020 election, Trump began pushing the false claim that the vote had been rigged against him. But Trump has repeatedly denied the charges and insisted he did nothing wrong after the 2020 election. He similarly denied Tuesday’s allegations.
Trump’s trial in the federal case is scheduled to begin on March 4, the day before Super Tuesday.