Donald Trump due in court for arrest, arraignment today after Jan. 6 indictment

WASHINGTON – Former President Donald Trump prepared Thursday to travel to Washington to plead not guilty to charges that he tried to steal the 2020 election, his third court arraignment in four months.

Trump warmed up for this federal court appearance by calling for the trial to be moved from heavily Democratic Washington, D.C., to a more Republican-friendly place like West Virginia.

“This Indictment is all about Election Interference!!!” said the front-running Republican candidate on his Truth Social website.

The former president, who is spending the summer at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., is expected to depart from there around 1 p.m. The arraignment in D.C. is scheduled for 4 p.m.

A grand jury in Washington indicted Trump on Tuesday on charges of conspiring with aides to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden, efforts that led to the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021.

His two other indictments: A state case in New York involving hush money payments and a federal case in Florida alleging obstruction of justice and improper retention of classified documents.

Who is Moxila A. Upadhyaya?

Trump will appear this afternoon before federal Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya to enter his plea. He is expected to answer not guilty to the four charges he faces.

Once the trial begins, Trump faces U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. A nominee of President Barack Obama, Chutkan has presided over other cases related to the January 6, 2021 insurrection. She is the only judge in D.C. who has given longer sentences to these defendants than what was requested by the Department of Justice.

-Savannah Kuchar

Arraignment meaning: Why Trump is in D.C. court today

An arraignment is when formal charges against an accused defendant are read by a judge. This takes place during a defendant’s first appearance before a judge, where they are told about the specific charges they are facing.

Trump on Thursday will be asked how he wants to plead to the official charges. The former president is expected to plead not guilty as he has in two previous indictments.

The judge will then decide if bail is required. They can also choose to set no bail, which would allow Trump to be immediately released without being placed in jail.

– Olivia Munson and Rachel Looker

Trump indictment in full

Trump is facing four charges in the election interference indictment:

  • Conspiracy to defraud the United States

  • Conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding

  • Obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding

  • Conspiracy against rights

Read the indictment here and below.

-Rachel Looker

Will Trump’s arraignment be televised?

No. Cameras and other broadcasting equipment are not allowed inside federal courtrooms, meaning today’s proceedings will not be televised.

His June arraignment in Miami, where he faced felony charges related to the mishandling of classified documents, was also not televised for the same reason.

-Savannah Kuchar

Arrest development: The third time around for Donald Trump

If you’re keeping score, this will be Trump’s third arrest this year.

A formal arrest is part of the arraignment process, as happened with Trump in New York state court in early April over hush money charges and in Florida federal court in June on allegations involving classified documents.

Three arrests – and counting, possibly.

A state grand jury in Atlanta is considering an indictment and arrest of Trump over efforts to reverse his election loss in Georgia.

-David Jackson

‘This one could possibly negatively affect him’

Stephen Corson, 66, estimates he has stood on the corner outside the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse in Washington 40 times in the last few months.

On the day of Trump’s indictment, he plans to stand there all day. This indictment is different, he said.

“I think this one could possibly negatively affect him,” he said of Trump’s third indictment ahead of the 2024 election. “It’s like I’ve said to everybody, if they don’t knock him off of these indictments this election, they might just say he can’t run soon.”

Corson has spent every night in Washington, D.C. outside of the prison where rioters from the Jan. 6 Capitol attack have been detained. He holds a two-hour vigil each night protesting what he says has been their unfair treatment.

To him, Trump’s third indictment differs from the past two.

“It’s in the federal city. They’re making a big deal out of it. They’re allowing it to fester and grow and be a big deal,” he said.

– Rachel Looker

Trump supporters balk at indictment charges

Daniel Demoura, 32, of Boston, a supporter of former President Donald Trump, is seen outside the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse on Aug 3, 2023. Former President Donald Trump is set to be arraigned on four charges related to the 2020 election. Federal prosecutors are accusing Trump of undermining American democracy by organizing a wide-ranging conspiracy to steal the 2020 election that prosecutors allege fueled a brazen and historic insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Daniel Demoura, 32, of Boston, a supporter of former President Donald Trump, is seen outside the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse on Aug 3, 2023. Former President Donald Trump is set to be arraigned on four charges related to the 2020 election. Federal prosecutors are accusing Trump of undermining American democracy by organizing a wide-ranging conspiracy to steal the 2020 election that prosecutors allege fueled a brazen and historic insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Hours before Donald Trump arrived for his third indictment, a smattering of Trump’s supporters gathered outside the courthouse in Washington to support the former president and criticize the charges Trump faces.

Daniel Demoura, 32, stood outside the courthouse clad in a t-shirt that read “free the J6 political prisoners.”

“The people have their own freedom of choice to do whatever they want and protest,” Demoura told USA TODAY, saying the mob that breached the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, made their own choices and weren’t incited by Trump. “I’m here, Trump didn’t tell me to come. I came because I support the man.”

-Ken Tran

‘The guy is a con artist:’ Chris Christie supporter knocks Trump

Domenic Santana, 61, of Miami, holds a sign with a fake image of Donald Trump outside the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse on Aug 3, 2023. Former President Donald Trump is set to be arraigned on four charges related to the 2020 election. Federal prosecutors are accusing Trump of undermining American democracy by organizing a wide-ranging conspiracy to steal the 2020 election that prosecutors allege fueled a brazen and historic insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Domenic Santana, 61, of Miami, holds a sign with a fake image of Donald Trump outside the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse on Aug 3, 2023. Former President Donald Trump is set to be arraigned on four charges related to the 2020 election. Federal prosecutors are accusing Trump of undermining American democracy by organizing a wide-ranging conspiracy to steal the 2020 election that prosecutors allege fueled a brazen and historic insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Domenic Santana, 61, said he believes Trump should have been imprisoned and is not fit to hold office. Santana said he also appeared outside the courthouse where Trump was arraigned in Miami, Florida, last month in the classified documents case against him.

“The reality is the guy is a con artist,” Santana said. “He’s gotten away with it.”

Santana – a supporter of 2024 GOP candidate Chris Christie – said he supports the former New Jersey Gov. because he says what he means and means what he says.

“We got to look at another game plan to be able to beat Trump at his own game and since he plays dirty, I’m telling the Democrats to wake up, change parties and vote on the Republican primaries for Christie and get Trump out of there,” Santana said.

Sudiksha Kochi

When is Trump getting arraigned?

The former president is expected in court at 4 p.m. Thursday.

In anticipation of his arrival, television production trucks and cameras continued to line the street Thursday morning outside the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse. Security increased overnight outside the courthouse and fences appeared around the perimeter of the building, as former President Donald Trump is expected to make his first appearance in the case related to his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 president election results. Journalists are currently being let into the courthouse as they attempt to gain access to a seat in the courtroom or into the overflow room for members of the media. — Miles J. Herszenhorn

What does indicted mean?

An indictment is a formal charging document that’s used when it’s believed a person committed a crime. It includes charges against a person and should be filed before a case can move forward in a court, David Weinstein, a former federal and state prosecutor, previously told USA TODAY.

An indictment means a grand jury decided that there’s “more likely than not” enough evidence – based on testimony – to move forward with charging a person, Weinstein said. In a federal court, all cases proceed via indictment.

Marina Pitofsky

Supporters of former President Donald Trump are seen outside the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse. Former President Donald Trump is set to be arraigned on four charges related to the 2020 election on Aug. 3, 2023. Federal prosecutors are accusing Trump of undermining American democracy by organizing a wide-ranging conspiracy to steal the 2020 election that prosecutors allege fueled a brazen and historic insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump are seen outside the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse. Former President Donald Trump is set to be arraigned on four charges related to the 2020 election on Aug. 3, 2023. Federal prosecutors are accusing Trump of undermining American democracy by organizing a wide-ranging conspiracy to steal the 2020 election that prosecutors allege fueled a brazen and historic insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Trump’s third arraignment: Here’s what we know

-Phillip Bailey

Where is the Trump arraignment? Elijah Barrett Prettyman Courthouse

Trump’s appearance today at the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse will be the latest historic moment in a federal courthouse that saw the Watergate trials and was home to parts of the Iran-Contra affair.

Seven men, including two former White House aides, involved in the political scandal that led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation stood before Chief Federal District Judge John Sirica there. The courthouse also saw trials in the Iran-Contra affair, the 1980s scandal in which senior officials from President Ronald Reagan’s administration were found guilty of facilitating secret and illegal arms sales.

The building was named in 1997 after a chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and originally constructed in the mid-1900s in D.C.’s Judiciary Square.

– Savannah Kuchar

‘We’ve come on the best day’

Coleby Adkin, 18, a tourist from Nottingham, England, said her family decided to walk past the courthouse on their way to a tour of the Capitol because they saw the television cameras. “It’s pretty weird, to be fair, because we’ve not had anything like this in England,” said Adkin while watching a protestor wave a “Trump or Death” flag. “We’ve come on the best day to come to DC,” she added. After watching the theatrics outside the courthouse, Adkin said her desire to attend college in the U.S. has only increased. “It’s crazy,” she added. “I hope to come back here.”

— Miles J. Herszenhorn

Bill Barr on Trump indictment

Bill Barr told CNN last night the former president “knew well that he had lost.”

“We’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg on this,” Barr said. “I think there is a lot more to come, and I think they have a lot more evidence as to President Trump’s state of mind.”

Barr was attorney general during the Trump administration, years after serving in the position under President George H. W. Bush. He rejected Trump’s defense that he was simply exercising his right to free speech talking about the 2020 election.

“He brought this on himself,” Barr said. “This is one of the reasons I oppose him for the Republican nomination, because he has this penchant for engaging in these reckless acts that create calamitous situations and then undercut the cause he’s supposed to be leading.”

-Savannah Kuchar

Trump: It would be ‘very dangerous’ to put me in prison

Worries about violence permeate the atmosphere at the federal courthouse in Washington.

As the ex-president prepares to plead innocent to charges of attempted election theft, some are recalling a Trump comment last month that it would be “very dangerous” to put him in prison because his supporters might not stand for it.

“I think it’s a very dangerous thing to even talk about, because we do have a tremendously passionate group of voters,” Trump told an Iowa radio show on July 18.

He added: “I think, uh, it would be very dangerous.”

In any event, Trump is a long way from prison.

Even if he is convicted in any of the cases against him, he would no doubt appeal and that process could take years.

-David Jackson

Is Trump running for president again?

Trump can still run for president in the 2024 election.

Barbara McQuade, a criminal law expert at the University of Michigan, told USA TODAY that even if Trump were charged, convicted and sentenced to prison, he would still be able to run for president.

The three exclusive requirements to run for president are to be a natural-born citizen, to be at least 35 years old and to have been a resident of the U.S. for at least 14 years, according to the U.S. Constitution.

Trump told reporters in March that he “won’t even think about leaving” the 2024 race despite his legal troubles.

− Sudiksha Kochi

Donald Trump wants to move the trial – to West Virginia

Hours before his arraignment, Trump says he wants his Jan. 6 trial moved out of Democratic-dominated Washington, D.C., to more Republican-friendly territory, perhaps West Virginia.

“IMPOSSIBLE to get a fair trial in Washington, D.C., which is over 95% anti-Trump,” Trump said on his Truth Social account after suggesting West Virginia as an alternative.

It feels like a legal longshot, but venue will likely be one of many topics to be discussed in pre-trial motions and hearings.

In his post, Trump also said he he has “called for a Federal TAKEOVER in order to bring our Capital back to Greatness,” but didn’t explain what he meant.

Perhaps it was a reference to his 2024 presidential campaign.

-David Jackson

Former President Donald Trump speaks during the Lincoln Dinner on Friday, July 28, 2023, at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

Former President Donald Trump speaks during the Lincoln Dinner on Friday, July 28, 2023, at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

Is Donald Trump going to jail?

Trump is not in jail and will likely leave the courthouse after his arraignment.

After the former president enters a plea to charges, the judge will decide if bail is required or set no bail, which would allow Trump to be released without serving jail time.

He has not been jailed after his previous indictments.

– Rachel Looker

Trump has no post-arraignment speech scheduled – yet

One thing that’s different, so far, about this third arraignment: Trump has no post-plea event scheduled, at least not yet.

After previous arraignments in different cases in April and June, Trump hosted rallies at his homes. The first was at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., the second at his summer home on the golf course at Bedminster, N.J.

After his June arraignment in Miami, Trump also made an unscheduled stop at a local Cuban restaurant to soak up support from some of his voters.

As of now, the schedule calls for Trump to simply return to Bedminster after his court appearance in Washington, D.C. – though it seems likely that he will get his message out in some form or fashion.

-David Jackson

Aug. 1, 2023: Nadine Seiler holds a sign outside the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse in Washington. Former President Donald Trump was indicted on four charges in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in relation to interference in 2020 election.

Aug. 1, 2023: Nadine Seiler holds a sign outside the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse in Washington. Former President Donald Trump was indicted on four charges in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in relation to interference in 2020 election.

Mike Pence: Trump relied on ‘crackpot lawyers’

Former Vice President Mike Pence is mimicking Trump’s defense that he relied on legal advice in pursuing protests of the 2020 election – but he has a much different assessment of the former president’s attorneys themselves.

“President Trump and his gaggle of crackpot lawyers asked me to reject electoral votes and chaos would have ensued,” Pence said on the social media website X.

Pence has repeated his “crackpot” jibe in interviews and public comments. Trump responded by saying on Truth Social that “I feel badly for Mike Pence” and that “the V.P. had power that Mike didn’t understand.”

One of his ex-lawyers, John Eastman, fired back with an insult of his own, telling an interviewer that Pence chose to act like “a potted plant.”

-David Jackson

Advocates: Third indictment will ‘resonate more’ with Americans

Svante Myrick, president of People for the American Way, a progressive advocacy group, said Trump’s third indictment is the most important one out of the three he faces.

“This one he was trying to invalidate 80 million people’s votes,” he told USA TODAY, adding that the crimes the former president is accused of in the indictment are “the most serious I could imagine.”

Myrick said the third indictment resonates more with the American people because they watched the culmination of the crimes on their TV screens during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

“This we all saw,”” he said.

He thinks Trump faces greater legal jeopardy for charges included in the third indictment than in other cases

“I for the first time thought oh Donald Trump might spend the rest of his life in prison because of what’s alleged,” he said.

Christian Nunes, president of the National Organization for Women, told USA TODAY Trump’s third indictment unveils the gravity behind his actions to voters.

“This indictment shows the seriousness of everything with the election. I think it’s more powerful and it’s putting more heat (on Trump) as people see everything as it starts to unfold,” Nunes said, adding she thought the indictment was “long overdue.”

– Rachel Looker and Ken Tran

What’s next for Trump? A Georgia indictment?

Tuesday’s federal indictment of former President Donald Trump for efforts to overturn the 2020 election is focusing attention on a Georgia investigation that may soon deepen Trump’s legal peril.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is expected within the next few weeks to seek a grand jury indictment for efforts to overturn the state’s elections in 2020.

In Atlanta this week, recently erected orange barriers stood around the Fulton County courthouse, with one street lined with police cars as part of security preparations. Over the weekend, Willis shared a racist threat with county commissioners and urged them to “stay safe,” as first reported by the AJC.

On Monday, a Fulton County Superior Court Judge rejected a request from Trump to toss the findings of a special grand jury and disqualify Willis.

Details of the Georgia investigation that have become public have fed speculation that Willis, a Democrat, is building a case under the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which would allow her to charge numerous people in a potentially wide-ranging scheme, according to the AP.

Willis’ investigation began more than two years ago, after a recording of Trump’s 2021 call to Georgia’s secretary of state asking him to “find” 11,780 votes.

That incident was part of Tuesday’s federal indictment, which alleged that Trump induced Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to alter the state’s count of the popular vote and questioned the validity of Biden’s electors’ votes.

Raffensperger on Wednesday declined to comment on the federal indictment.

Some Georgia Republican lawmakers dismissed it, with Republican Congressman Mike Collins saying it was a “sham prosecution” in statement posted on social media and calling for funding cuts to the DOJ.

Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene called it a “communist attack” on X, formerly Twitter, and said she would “still vote for Trump even if he’s in jail.”

-Chris Kenning

Trump plans post-indictment campaign stops in South Carolina and New Hampshire

Trump’s third indictment will in no way keep him off the Republican campaign trail – he has events coming up in two early primary states.

On Saturday, Trump is scheduled to headline the South Carolina Republican Party’s annual Silver Elephant Dinner in Columbia.

The Trump campaign has also announced that Trump will travel on Tuesday to New Hampshire to deliver a speech at a high school in Windham.

-David Jackson

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump indictment live updates: Arrest, arraignment scheduled for today

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