Donald Trump Pleads Not Guilty to New January 6 Charges
The former president now faces 78 criminal charges.
By: James Fite | August 4, 2023 | 574 Words
Former President Donald Trump appeared Thursday, August 3, before Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya, pleading not guilty on four new charges from special counsel Jack Smith. The new charges come from allegations that Trump is responsible for protesters overcoming security and entering the halls of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Mr. Trump arrived at the E. Barrett Prettyman courthouse in Washington, DC, for his latest arraignment after 3 p.m. Judge Upadhyaya entered the courtroom and began the hearing at 4:16. After swearing in the former president, the judge read out the charges and informed Mr. Trump of his rights as the defendant. He then pleaded not guilty to all four counts. After the judge reminded Mr. Trump that it’s a crime to attempt to influence jurors, the former president was released on the condition that he does not communicate with any of the witnesses “except through or in the presence of counsel.”
The next court appearance has been set for 10 a.m. on August 28. This next appearance will be before US District Court Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, an appointee of former President Barrack Obama. She has presided over other January 6 cases, and she has a reputation for handing out some of the harshest sentences to people charged for the January 6 incident, which the left calls a riot and an insurrection.
The new 45-page indictment, which was unsealed Tuesday, accuses the former president of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction, and conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted.
“Despite having lost, the defendant was determined to remain in power,” the indictment read. “So for more than two months following election day on November 3, 2020, the Defendant spread lies that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the election and that he had actually won. These claims were false, and the defendant knew that they were false.”
The Ever-Historic Donald Trump
Both the presidency and aftermath of Donald Trump have been filled with historic firsts, but several of those have not been positive in nature. He was the first president to be impeached twice. He was then the first former president to be brought up on federal criminal charges – making the second and now third indictments historical firsts, as well. In total, the former president now faces 78 criminal charges across three separate jurisdictions.
Mr. Trump has pleaded not guilty in each of his indictments so far. He posted Tuesday on his social media platform, Truth Social, calling the latest set “fake charges.” The former president’s campaign to take back the White House doesn’t seem to have slowed at all. While nothing legally prevents him from running and even winning the presidency after being convicted and even sentenced, the most likely approach by Trump’s legal team at this point is to attempt to either get charges dropped entirely or at least drag out the process until after election day. Should Trump win re-election, the DOJ falls once again under his control, and he will have the power to end any federal prosecutions against himself and even pardon himself of any federal crimes he might have committed, either knowingly or unknowingly.
Trump’s supporters – and, perhaps most importantly, his donors – have seemingly been supercharged by the indictments. They’ve responded to each attack with stronger support and more money, hoping to see Trump be the historic second president to win re-election in non-consecutive terms.