Trump news today: Trump pleads not guilty at arraignment after arrest

Donald Trump lands in Washington DC ahead of arraignment in Jan 6 probe

Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty after being formally arrested and arraigned for conspiring to overturn the 2020 presidential election, in what marks his third – and potentially most serious – criminal case.

The former president was indicted on four charges by a grand jury hearing evidence in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into the alleged conspiracy to overturn the election and the resulting January 6 Capitol riot. The indictment also described six unnamed co-conspirators, now believed to be identified.

Mr Trump made an initial appearance at the E Barrett Prettyman federal courthouse to enter his plea. The government did not seek detention.

The former president has railed against the indictment and is calling for the “fake” case to be moved out of Washington DC where he claims it is “IMPOSSIBLE to get a fair trial”.

He has also promised revenge for what he calls a politicised indictment of “concocted” charges ordered by “Crooked Joe Biden”. In a Truth Social post, he told supporters “IN 2024, IT WILL BE OUR TURN. MAGA!”

The case has been assigned to US district judge Tanya Chutkan, a Barack Obama appointee.

Read Trump’s full indictment from the January 6 grand jury


Trump pleads not guilty

The magistrate judge then ordered the government to fulfil its obligation to turn over exculpatory evidence, after which she formally arraigned former president Donald Trump.

Mr Lauro, the attorney for the ex-president, entered a plea of not guilty on all four counts on his behalf.

Thomas Windom, one of the prosecutors who represented the government at the arraignment, said the government was not seeking pretrial detention for Mr Trump, and said the ex-president had agreed to abide by release conditions that include not communicating with any witness in the case outside the presence of counsel.

Oliver O’Connell3 August 2023 21:26


Andrew Feinberg reports from court:

The court proceedings began at 4.15 pm, with the courtroom standing for the magistrate judge’s entrance. After attorneys for the government and defence introduced themselves. Mr Trump was then asked to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and the judge reminded participants and media of court rules against recording.

Mr Trump was then asked to state his full name.

He replied: “Donald J Trump — John — Donald John Trump”.

Asked for his age, he at first said “seven seven,” then corrected himself and said “seventy-seven”.

After the magistrate judge read the charges and explained the penalties Mr Trump could face if convicted, she advised the ex-president — who she addressed as “Mr Trump” — of his right to remain silent, and his right to an attorney.

After explaining each right, she asked if he understood. Each time, he replied: “Yes” or “yes, I do”.

Oliver O’Connell3 August 2023 21:23


Trump takes oath as proceedings get underway

After Donald Trump takes the oath, Judge Moxila Upadhyaya says she will arraign him today and consider any conditions for his release.

Oliver O’Connell3 August 2023 21:20


Judge Moxila Upadhyaya enters court room

Court is now in session as Judge Moxila Upadhyaya enters the courtroom.

The United States of America v Donald J Trump has been called.

Oliver O’Connell3 August 2023 21:16


A lot is being made of Trump and Smith’s glances and body language

As the court awaits the judge, a lot is being made of Trump and Smith’s glances and body language.

Oliver O’Connell3 August 2023 21:12


Latest from the courthouse

The Independent’s Andrew Feinberg, reporting from the courthouse, writes:

Jack Smith, the Department of Justice special counsel who has supervised the multiple federal investigations that have resulted in criminal charges against the former president, arrived in the courtroom at 3.45 pm, a quarter-hour before the proceedings were set to begin. Mr Smith entered the courtroom with members of his team, but sat at a bench in front of the bar which separated the working part of the courtroom from the spectator area where a small group of reporters had assembled more than an hour before to allow for security screenings by Secret Service.

One member of Mr Trump’s defence team, Evan Corcoran, entered the room four minutes after Mr Smith and sat on a similar bench across the room’s central aisle.

The ex-president entered at 3.51 pm, accompanied by John Lauro, a veteran Washington-based criminal defence attorney, and Todd Blanche, the New York-based lawyer who is leading his defence in the other criminal cases against him.

Mr Trump, wearing his customary red tie, white shirt and dark blue suit, sat impassively between Mr Blanche and Mr Lauro. After the ex-president and his team were seated, Mr Smith was seen glancing over at the defendant and counsel.

Oliver O’Connell3 August 2023 20:56


Trump has entered the courtroom

Former President Donald Trump has now entered the courtroom wearing his customary blue suit and red tie.

He is seated at the defence table alongside his attorneys and was followed into the room by a number of Secret Service agents.

Oliver O’Connell3 August 2023 20:54


Jack Smith is in the courtroom

Unlikely there is any love lost between the two of them.

Oliver O’Connell3 August 2023 20:47


Watch: Trump lawyer speaks about Hunter Biden laptop outside Trump arraignment

Oliver O’Connell3 August 2023 20:40


Analysis: Trump’s latest indictment is a test for America

How far can a president go to cling to power?

Oliver O’Connell3 August 2023 20:40

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