Donald Trump pleads not guilty to election conspiracy charges in D.C.

Dion Cini stands with a sign that reads "Lock Him Up" prior to the arrival of former President Donald Trump at the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington on August 3, 2023. Trump was indicted on four counts related to his alleged scheme to overturn the results of the 2020 election and instigate the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to four charges alleging he perpetrated a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election, culminating in a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol.

The four charges he pleaded not guilty to include: conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding, and conspiracy against the right to vote.


His plea was reported by The New York Times, NBC News, and CNN.

The former president leaned forward in his chair looking at Judge Moxila Upadhyaya as she read his charges, according to NBC.

This is Trump's third arraignment on criminal charges. In June, Trump was arraigned in a federal court in Florida on charges he kept classified documents after leaving office.

In that case, Trump's lawyers had entered his plea on his behalf. Trump, speaking loudly without the need for a microphone, entered his own not-guilty plea Thursday.


Trump was released on the promise to return to court, without bail being set, but has been ordered not to communicate with any witnesses in the case except through or in the presence of his lawyers.

Upadhyaya warned Trump, as is standard practice, that violation of the conditions of his release means an arrest warrant can be issued for him to be detained. According to CNN, prosecutors did not seek pretrial detention.

The first hearing before Judge Tanya Chutkan, who was assigned to oversee the trial, has been set for 10 a.m. on Aug. 28.

The hearing ended at 4:40 p.m., less than half an hour after it began, and Trump's motorcade left the federal courthouse just before 4:50 p.m.

Unlike after his previous arraignments, Trump is not expected to give a speech, The New York Times reported. Instead, he invited just 18 members of the press to travel in his motorcade to talk before leaving Washington.

He gave uncharacteristically brief remarks at Reagan National Airport after his arraignment in which he called the indictment "persecution" and said it was "a very sad day for America," according to the Washington Post.

"It was also very sad driving through Washington, D.C., and seeing the filth and the decay and all of the broken buildings and walls and the graffiti," he said.


"This is not the place that I left. It's a very sad thing to see it when you look at what's happening."

Trump's motorcade around 3 p.m. brought him to the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse just west of the Capitol, where a violent mob of his supporters attempted to disrupt the certification of President Joe Biden's victory on Jan. 6, 2021.

Special counsel Jack Smith, who lead the months-long investigation that resulted in Tuesday's grand jury indictment, called the conspiracy "an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy."

Trump is seeking the Republican nomination for re-election in 2024.

Earlier Thursday, a few demonstrators supporting and opposing Trump gathered outside the courthouse, where D.C.'s Metropolitan Police had increased security. Dump trucks were parked along the street.

The charges against Trump are unprecedented. The election case marks his third indictment, following federal charges related to the mishandling of classified documents and state charges filed in New York on business fraud relating to hush money payments made to an adult film star. He has pleaded not guilty in those cases.

The latest charging document describes but does not name six unindicted co-conspirators.


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