Attorney Ray Smith III pleaded not guilty to charges of attempting to overturn the results of Georgia's 2020 presidential election. Photo via Fulton County Sheriff's Office/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Ray Smith III, a lawyer for Donald Trump's former re-election campaign, has pleaded not guilty to 12 charges connected to an alleged criminal racketeering conspiracy aimed at overturning Georgia's 2020 election results in the favor of the former president.
Smith was indicted earlier this month in Georgia's Fulton County along with Trump and 17 other defendants on charges of illegally interfering in the state's 2020 presidential election.
According to court documents, Smith on Monday waived his arraignment and became the first of the 19 defendants to enter a not guilty plea "to each and every charge of the indictment."
Smith faces a dozen charges, including violating Georgia's RICO Act and several counts of making false statements, in connection to the alleged effort to overturn's Georgia's election results. He surrendered himself Wednesday at Fulton County jail, where he was released on a $50,000 bond.
The filing came hours after a Georgia judge scheduled Trump and his 18 co-defendants to be arraigned Sept. 6 in Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta.
Judge Scott McAfee said the defendants will each be arraigned that day, starting with Trump at 9:30 a.m., followed by his former lawyer Rudy Giuliani 15 minutes later. Misty Hampton is scheduled to be the last defendant to be arraigned at 3 p.m.
Trump is facing four indictments, and Judge Tanya Chutkan on Monday scheduled March 4 for the start of his federal trial in Washington concerning charges of attempting to overturn the 2020 election results.
In doing so, Chutkan rejected Trump's ask to push the trial to April 2026, well after the 2024 election in which the former president is a candidate.