The indictment is the third federal indictment against the former US president.
Donald Trump was previously charged with falsifying business records in an alleged attempt to cover up hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and his alleged mishandling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate.
Former US President Donald Trump submitted not guilty pleas to all four criminal charges stemming from the third indictment tied to alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
This latest indictment charges that the former President, along with six unnamed co-conspirators who have not yet been charged, worked to overturn election results in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by organizing a group of “fraudulent slates of electors” in those states.
Trump was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding; and a conspiracy against the right to vote. The judge informed Trump that he could face up to five years in prison for the first account; 20 years for the second charge; 20 years for the third charge and up to ten years for the fourth.
Trump appeared before a federal magistrate judge in Washington DC on Thursday, answered basic questions from the judge and was informed about the charges against him. Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The magistrate judge has set the first hearing for August 28 at 10 am local time, which will be presided over by Judge Tanya Chutkan, who has recently gained a reputation for being tough on defendants from the January 6, 2021 riots.
The other two days offered by the magistrate were August 21 and August 22. The first GOP Presidential Primary debate is scheduled for August 23.
Chutkan has told the government that it has seven days to set a trial schedule. Trump’s legal team will then have an additional seven days to respond to that schedule.
Chutkan indicated that she intends to set a trial date during the August 28 hearing.
Special prosecutor Tom Windom asked for a speedy trial, something the Trump team objected to saying it needed time to review the evidence. The Judge only said that the court will ensure a “fair trial” but did not elaborate on the timing.
Trump was not required to post bail and was released on his own recognizance, under the conditions that he does not violate any federal or state laws, appears in court when required and does not communicate about the case to anyone he knows to be a witness except through counsel.
In the fall of 2021, Chutkan ruled that the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 riots could access a trove of evidence including call logs, memos, internal strategy papers and more from Trump’s advisors as part of the investigation. Much of that evidence was referenced in the indictment Trump plead not guilty to on Thursday.
In March, Trump was charged with falsifying business records in a Manhattan federal court over allegations that he improperly accounted for hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels meant to keep her from talking about an alleged affair she says she had with the then-candidate Trump.
Then in June, Trump was charged with 37 additional felony accounts related to his alleged mishandling of classified documents, including attempts to conceal evidence, at his Mar-a-Lago estate.
As was the case in the previous indictments, the former President was fingerprinted and provided personal information to the court but he was not placed in handcuffs and did not have a mugshot taken.
Hours before he arrived in Washington DC, Trump made light of the situation on his Truth Social account, posting Thursday morning that “I NEED ONE MORE INDICTMENT TO ENSURE MY ELECTION!”
Before boarding a plane leaving Washington, Trump said the indictment is something that “when you look at what’s happening, this is a persecution of a political opponent. This was never supposed to happen in America,” he said, adding that he is leading Biden in the polls by “a lot.”
Trump called it added that it was “a very sad day for America.”
“If you can’t beat them you persecute them or prosecute them, we can’t let this happen in America,” Trump told reporters at Reagan National Airport.
A Sputnik reporter outside the courthouse heard a person who was inside the courtroom saying that Trump appeared “very humble” during the hearing, adding that the normally boisterous former President “didn’t say much unless he was asked a question by the judge.”