Trump Pleads Not Guilty to Charges He Tried to Overturn Election

In a courtroom in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to charges related to his alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 election and incitement of the attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Trump, who is the frontrunner in the Republican primary leading up to the 2024 election, was arraigned by U.S. Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya, who informed him of the four counts against him and the maximum penalties for each.

Conspiracy to defraud the United States carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, while obstruction of a proceeding and conspiracy each carry sentences of up to 20 years. The fourth count, conspiracy against rights, carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.

Just before 4:30 pm, Trump told the judge he was “not guilty” of each of the four counts.

Trump signed a conditions of release document following the hearing, agreeing to appear in court as directed. The former president has also been charged in recent months with violating national security laws and conspiring to obstruct justice when he took classified documents from the White House after leaving office, and with falsifying business records in a case related to hush money payments made during the 2016 election.

Other potential charges related to a probe of attempts to overturn the 2020 election results could also be announced soon.

“It cannot be stressed enough how much of Trump’s time in the next 15 months could be spent being required, as a criminal defendant, to be present in courtrooms in Miami, Washington, New York and possibly Georgia,” said New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman.

On Thursday, the former president’s next hearing was set for August 28. On August 25 he may be required to appear in court in Florida for the case involving the classified documents.

As Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington tweeted, Special Counsel Jack Smith’s case is expected to hinge largely on evidence that Trump knew he had lost the 2020 election, but continued to attempt to overturn the results.

“Donald Trump didn’t stumble into an attempted coup,” said the group. “He was told again and again that he lost, then chose to push a lie to his supporters and call them to come to D.C. on January 6th. It was all always intentional.”


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