It was to be expected that Donald Trump, the former president of the United States, would plead not guilty in Fulton County. District Attorney Fani Willis accused Trump and 18 other defendants of a litany of offenses under Georgia’s Racketeer-Induced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, alleging that the defendants attempted to overturn the 2020 election.
Trump did not appear in court before the Atlanta judge to enter his plea.
WSB Radio reported that Trump was scheduled for his arraignment on September 6. Although he was the first defendant to appear, it was expected he’d waive his right to appear.
Trump entered his plea via Steven Sadow, a lawyer. CNN reported that Sidney Powell, Trevian Kautti, and Trevian Kutti also used waivers to enter their pleas. CNBC reported that Rudy Giuliani will be the first defendant to be arraigned, on September 6, starting at 9:30 a.m. The rest of the defendants will be arraigned shortly thereafter.
In the waiver, Trump said: “I reviewed the charges of the Indictment and understand the nature of offenses that I am charged with, as well as my rights to attend the arraignment.” “I understand my rights and freely and voluntarily waiver my right to attend the arraignment of the Indictment, as well as to hear it read out in court.”
“As evidenced by my signature below, I do hereby waive formal arraignment and enter my plea of NOT GUILTY to the Indictment in this case,” the waiver concludes.
Willis attempted to set the date of March 4, 2024, for all defendants’ trials. However, two of Trump’s co-defendants, Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell, have requested speedy trials, citing their 6th Amendment rights. Under Georgia law, these trials must start by the first week in November. It’s doubtful that the judge will order a speedy trial for all of the defendants because of the sheer amount of evidence in the case.