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Former US President Donald Trump pleads not guilty to charges that he tried overturning the 2020 election

On August 3, former US President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to the charges that he engaged in criminal conspiracies to overturn the 2020 election results. Prosecutors believe that Trump took advantage of the disarray of January 6 to overturn his electoral loss. Trump is the first former president to ever face criminal charges, and he’s been indicted in three separate cases over the past four months.


Trump  faces four charges: conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction; and conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted. The special counsel said in the indictment that Trump ‘was determined to remain in power’ after losing the 2020 election and orchestrated a plan to overturn the results of the election, leading to the January 6 attack on the Capitol. 

United States of America vs. Donald J. Trump only lasted a little under a half hour, with Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya presiding over the case.  Judge Upadhyaya reminded Trump that while he was released, he was required to not violate any laws, he must appear in court, and that he must not talk to any witnesses about the case, unless it is an attorney. 

This was the third time this year that Trump has faced a criminal arraignment. He also has three upcoming trials in New York: a civil trial in October over allegedly fraudulent practices in his real estate business, a second civil trial in January in which he is accused of defaming a woman who accused him of rape, and a criminal trial in March in which he is accused of falsifying records to cover up payments to an adult-film actress.

Unlike the other three cases, this hearing was held in the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, a building where countless officials, lawyers, and witnesses have met to revisit the assault on Congress. This building has functioned as an agent of accountability for the January 6 attacks, and it is now hosting Trump’s criminal arraignment in which he is pleading guilty. 

As Trump left the hearing, he remarked how DC had deteriorated since he left office: “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 next court appearance will be at 10am on August 28 before US District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, though Trump has the ability to choose whether he will appear in person. 

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