Former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges related to his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Trump arrived in Washington, D.C., about an hour before his hearing, and was driven directly to the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse.
Inside the courthouse, Trump went through the formal procedures for a defendant ahead of the hearing.
Scripps News producer Sam Lisker, who was inside the courtroom for the hearing, said Trump appeared frustrated when U.S. Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadyaha showed up about 20 minutes late. After entering a not-guilty plea, Trump's conditions of release were set. Trump was informed that he can't break any laws or speak about the case with any potential witnesses. He did not have to turn over his passport.
Trump was indicted on Tuesday on four counts, including conspiracy charges and obstructing or impeding the certification of the electoral vote.
Special counsel Jack Smith is leading the investigation into the alleged scheme to overturn the election and the events of January 6, 2021, when a group of Trump's supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop Joe Biden from being certified as president.
Smith was in the courtroom for Thursday's hearing, Lisker said.
The special counsel alleges that Trump orchestrated a scheme to stop the peaceful transfer of power after losing the 2020 presidential election.
Trump was told that his next hearing in this case is scheduled for Aug. 28, but he doesn't have to appear in person.
Before boarding his plane, Trump called the entire ordeal a "persecution of a political opponent.”
The remainder of the case will be handled by Judge Tanya Chutkan, who has already presided over numerous individuals' sentencing in connection with the Capitol riot.
Unlike the insurrection, only a handful of Trump supporters were seen outside the D.C. courthouse. No major disturbances were reported.
This is the third time Trump has entered a not-guilty plea in a criminal case this year.
He was indicted in April on 34 counts in New York for allegedly falsifying business records to conceal potentially damaging information ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
In June, Trump was indicted on 37 federal counts in a classified documents case.
Trump could face a fourth indictment in the coming days. He’s under investigation in Georgia for meddling in the 2020 presidential election. The criminal cases come as Trump is running to become president again. He is the overwhelming favorite to win the Republican nomination and take on President Joe Biden in the general election.
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