WASHINGTON, DC – Former President Donald Trump chatted heavily with his lawyers on Thursday during an hour-long arraignment after being indicted by Special Counsel Jack Smith. The Daily Caller News Foundation was present in court.
President Trump visited the Elijah Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse in Washington, D.C. on Thursday to seek arraignment. 4 charges Appeared in US District Court for the District of Columbia in connection with an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. Arriving at the courthouse for a brief appearance, Mr. Trump conversed with his lawyers about the case, often grinning at both the lawyers and the gallery. (Related: ‘Filth and Decay’: President Trump laments DC’s decline after arraignment as ‘sad day’ for America)
Trump entered the courtroom surrounded by lead attorney John Lauro and Todd Blanche, who sat to Trump’s right. Prior to the presiding judge’s arrival, Mr. Trump, who wore his famous navy blue suit and shiny red tie and had an Stars and Stripes lapel pin, leaned forward to talk to the two men and tell them what they were carrying. I checked some documents that I had.
Special Counsel Jack Smith, who led the Trump investigation, did not appear in court on behalf of the United States in the case. Represented by Mr. Windham. Smith was charged with breaking into the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Smith, however, attended his arraignment and sat in the front row.
Mr Trump didn’t appear to be looking at Smith, and Mr Smith only glanced at Mr Trump occasionally.
Chief Justice Moxila Upadaya was delayed 15 minutes in arriving at the court. Mr. Trump spent the time until Mr. Lauro’s arrival reading a piece of paper Mr. Lauro put in front of him.
The formal proceedings began with Upadaya’s entry into the courtroom, where Trump was sworn in by a clerk. When asked if he was going to tell the truth, all the truth, and only the truth, he said, “Yes.”
Upadaya then asked President Trump to state his name for the record. He replied, “Donald J. Trump. John,” to which he said his age was “7-7, 77.” She also asked if he had used any intoxicating substances that interfered with his understanding of the proceedings, to which he replied, “No.”
Upadaya then guided Trump on how to proceed with the arraignment, referred to electoral college ballot certification, and set out four counts, including three counts of criminal conspiracy and one count of obstruction of justice. in Congress on January 6, 2021. She also imposed penalties of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for sabotage.
Trump was then informed of his right to remain silent and a lawyer, and was offered by Upadaya to send a government lawyer if he wished. She then ordered the special prosecutor to turn over all “proof of innocence.”
Trump was then formally “arraigned” on the charges. He was taken to the witness stand and asked to plead.
President Trump said, “Not guilty. President Trump abandoned reading the full text of the indictment.
At that point, Upadhyaya allowed Windon to speak on behalf of the Office of the Special Counsel on steps toward Trump’s release. Windon said the government “did not seek Mr Trump’s detention”, but read on the record several terms agreed for Mr Trump’s release — among other things, when Mr Trump He said he had not committed any local crimes and had not been in contact with any domestic witnesses. Lauro later said the matter had been negotiated in advance.
Upadaya warned Trump to comply with the terms, saying an arrest warrant would be issued if he did not comply, and that he could face longer prison terms and contempt charges if he did not comply with the court. “The most important condition is not to commit new crimes,” Upadaya stressed.
President Trump replied, “Yes.” He then signed a copy of the terms of his release.
Upadaya has since set the case’s next hearing date for August 28, 2023, when it will be heard by Federal District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who has been appointed to preside over the case and its trial. becomes. She turned down the special counsel’s request for August 21, the earliest of the three options presented.
Trump was told he would not be required to attend the second hearing, but would be exempted under certain circumstances and dates.
Mr. Upadaya then ordered the parties to submit briefs on the date of the trial and the content of the case, which the Special Prosecutor’s Office was required to submit within seven days of arraignment. At this point, Mr. Lauro stood up and urged the special counsel to inform Mr. Trump’s legal team of the weight of the evidence.
Lauro was quoted as saying, referring to public data, interviews, reports and other media on the case related to the incident, that “there will be massive evidence”. The special counsel said he would do so as soon as a secrecy order was issued in the case regarding the evidence.
Further, Mr Windon said “normal order, including a speedy trial” should be expected. Mr. Lauro has opposed Trump’s legal team’s attempts to postpone the trial dates that would derail his 2024 presidential campaign.
“The investigation has taken three and a half years,” he said, but said the government’s request for a speedy trial was “absurd.” He filed a verbal petition for an exception to the request and Mr. Upadaya instructed him to submit the petition in writing to Judge Chutkan within five days.
But Mr. Upadaya resisted the government’s request. In response to Mr. Windon’s request for a speedy trial, she assured that “a fair trial will be held.”
Upadaya then postponed arraignment. After a brief discussion with his lawyers, Trump stood up and left the courtroom.
Around the courthouse, protesters gathered along Constitution Avenue and were segregated by police into pro-Trump and anti-Trump groups. President Trump’s motorcade was seen leaving the courthouse but did not pass in front of the demonstrators.
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