In a federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to four alleged crimes related to the January 6, 2020, Capitol riot and 2020 election. The charges include conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.
Trump’s attorney, Halina Habba, spoke outside the courthouse, accusing the Department of Justice of targeting Trump to cover up negative news about President Joe Biden and his family. She claimed that Trump is under unprecedented siege and that this indictment amounts to election interference against the leading candidate for president.
Ahead of the court hearing, Trump took to his social media site, Truth Social, to accuse Biden of corruption and criticize the fairness of the venue and judge.
This is Trump’s third indictment in roughly four months, adding to the legal battles he faces as he campaigns for the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election. It is also the second indictment brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith, with the first indictment in Florida accusing Trump of mishandling classified documents.
Republicans have condemned the latest indictment, seeing it as a product of a weaponized Department of Justice. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy criticized the DOJ’s attempt to distract and attack the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.
Amidst these legal battles, Trump is due to face trial in New York on allegations of hush money paid to Stormy Daniels, as well as facing investigation in Fulton County, Georgia, over election tampering allegations. He also faces two civil trials for business fraud and defamation.
While Trump will have to attend criminal trials in person, he is not required to be present at civil trials.