FACT CHECK: Is Donald Trump Facing The Death Penalty As A Result Of His Latest Indictment?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter, purports former President Donald Trump is facing the death penalty as a result of his latest indictment.

Verdict: False

Conspiracy against rights, one charge Trump faces, is eligible for the death penalty, but only in instances of death or aggravated sexual abuse, among others. Check Your Fact reviewed the latest indictment, and it does not mention the death penalty.

Fact Check:

Trump pleaded not guilty to the four charges outlined in his latest indictment during his Aug. 3 arraignment, according to CNN. Following his arraignment, the former president was released on bond, CNBC reported.

“DEATH PENALTY: There is little doubt that a DC jury will convict Trump of the felonies Biden’s DOJ has leveled against him. The only question is whether Trump will be sentenced to death. Trump can run from prison ONLY if he’s alive,” the X post, viewed over 26,000 times, purports. The post includes a link to an Aug. 1 article from Breitbart about Trump’s latest indictment.

The claim is false, however. Check Your Fact reviewed Trump’s latest indictment, and the former Republican president faces charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.

While the conspiracy against rights charge is eligible for the death penalty, this only occurs in certain instances, such as death, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, among others, according to 18 U.S. Code § 241. The claim that Trump faces the death penalty is not mentioned anywhere in the text of the 45-page indictment.

Likewise, there are no credible news reports supporting the claim. If Trump was truly facing the death penalty as a result of his latest indictment, multiple media outlets would’ve covered it, yet none have. In addition, Trump has neither referenced the claim on his official website nor his TRUTH Social account. (RELATED: Has Donald Trump Spent Over $40 Million On His Legal Defense?)

Furthermore, the Breitbart article also indicates the death penalty only applies to offenders of 18 U.S. Code § 241 if death results from the offender’s actions. The article then mentions how Trump has been blamed for the deaths of Ashli Babbitt and the “unrelated deaths of several protesters and Capitol Police officers” during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in 2021.

Check Your Fact has contacted a Trump spokesperson and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter