Sources familiar with the matter said that former President Donald Trump will plead not guilty in federal court on Thursday to all four federal counts stemming out of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into 2020 electoral interference and the Capitol Riot on January 6, 2021.
Trump, the GOP’s frontrunner for 2024, has been charged with conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to obstruct, obstruction and attempted obstruction of an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.
Trump traveled to Washington D.C. from his Bedminster resort, N.J. on Thursday. His first appearance in court was at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
US Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhaya is presiding over Thursday’s proceedings. Tanya Chutkan, a judge in the state of Washington, will preside. Chutkan was a former public defender and assistant before President Barack Obama appointed her to the bench. She has handled several cases that involved individuals who entered Capitol Hill on January 6, 2009.
Trump said on his Truth Social that late Wednesday, the case would “hopefully be moved to a neutral venue such as the politically-unbiased State of West Virginia!”
Trump wrote on Twitter that it was “IMPOSSIBLE” to have a fair trial, as Washington, D.C. is 95% anti-Trump. I’ve called for a federal TAKEOVER to restore our Capital to Greatness. It is a national and international embarrassment. This indictment is about Election Interference !!!”
The indictment stems from Smith’s investigation of whether Trump or other officials or entities, interfered with a peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 presidential elections. This includes the certification of Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, 2021.
The rioters who support Trump broke into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, during a joint meeting of Congress in order to certify that the Electoral College result was in favor of Biden.
The House of Representatives wrote articles of impeachment on him for inciting insurrection in the wake of the Capitol Riot of January 6, making him the only president to have been impeached twice in history, but he was ultimately acquitted.
The second federal indictment that the former president is facing stems from Smith’s investigations. Trump, the GOP’s 2024 presidential frontrunner, has already pleaded no contest in federal court to 37 counts relating to his alleged improper storage of classified documents from his time as president.
These charges include conspiracy to obstruct the justice system, false statements, and willful retention. As part of the superseding indictment that resulted from this probe, Trump was also charged with three additional counts.
Trump is the only former U.S. president to be charged with federal crimes.
The former president again posted to his Truth Social on Thursday morning. He accused the Biden administration of bringing criminal accusations against him in order to drain money from his presidential campaign for 2024.
It’s not my problem that Crooked Joe Biden (my political opponent from the Democrat Party) has instructed his Attorney General to charge my leading (by far!) Trump stated that the Republican nominee and former president of the United States should be charged with as many crimes as possible to force him to spend a lot of money defending himself. The Dems do not want to run against my opponent, or else they wouldn’t be doing this unprecedented weaponization of “Justice.” But VERY SOON IN 2024, IT WILL BE OUR TIME. MAGA!”
Trump, the Republican frontrunner for president, has spent at least $42.8 million this year. A large portion of that amount was used to cover his rising legal costs. The former president is sitting on $31.8 million in cash.
In April, Trump pleaded no contest to 34 counts stemming directly from the investigation of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Trump is accused by the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg of falsifying records relating to payments for hush money made during the 2016 election campaign.