Trump pleads not guilty, charged with efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

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Trump entered his plea two days after a grand jury indicted him on four charges related to the Jan. 6, 2021, violence at the U.S. Capitol and attempts to pressure officials into changing the election results. He faces charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.

Trump provides statement on tarmac before boarding plane

Update 5:18 p.m. EDT Aug. 3: Before boarding the plane, Trump provided a brief statement.

“This is a very sad day for America,” Trump said, according to The New York Times.

“This is a persecution of a political opponent. This was never supposed to happen in America,” Trump added, according to the Times.

Once he was done with his statement, Trump turned around and boarded his plane and took no questions from reporters, according to the Times.

- Jessica Goodman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Trump leaves courthouse after pleading not guilty to charges

Update 4:55 p.m. EDT Aug. 3: Trump has left the federal courthouse in Washington after pleading not guilty to charges related to efforts to block President Joe Biden’s 2020 election win.

First hearing set for Aug. 28; Trump to be released

Update 4:40 p.m. EDT Aug. 3: A judge has set Trump’s first court hearing for Aug. 28 after the former president pleaded not guilty to charges related to the Jan. 6, 2021, violence at the U.S. Capitol and efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, according to The Guardian.

Trump agreed to several conditions to allow for his release pending trial, including a requirement that he not communicate with any known witnesses in the case, except through his attorney, CNN and The Washington Post reported.

Trump pleads not guilty

Update 4:30 p.m. EDT Aug. 3: Trump has pleaded not guilty to charges related to efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, according to The Guardian and The Washington Post.

The former president faces four charges stemming from the investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, violence at the U.S. Capitol.

Judge begins Trump’s first court appearance on charges related to Jan. 6, 2021

Update 4:20 p.m. EDT Aug. 3: Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya entered the courtroom at 4:15 p.m. to hold Trump’s first appearance in court after he was charged Tuesday in connection with attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, The Washington Post reported.

Trump appears in courtroom; special counsel Jack Smith attends hearing

Update 3:55 p.m. EDT Aug. 3: Trump has arrived in the courtroom where he is scheduled to make his first court appearance after being charged Tuesday in connection with attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, The Guardian reported.

Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith earlier arrived in the courtroom, CNN and The Washington Post reported.

Smith was also in the courtroom when Trump pleaded not guilty in June to charges related to his handling of classified records found during an FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago estate last year.

Trump arrives at federal courthouse

Update 3:20 p.m. EDT Aug. 3: Trump’s critics chanted “lock him up” Thursday as he arrived at the federal courthouse in Washington ahead of his scheduled court hearing, The Washington Post reported.

Trump lands in Washington ahead of court hearing

Update 2:55 p.m. EDT Aug. 3: Trump arrived in Washington on Thursday afternoon about an hour before he was expected to appear in court to face charges related to the Jan. 6, 2021, violence at the U.S. Capitol.

Charges in Washington mark Trump’s third indictment

Update 2:45 p.m. EDT Aug. 3: The charges unveiled Tuesday against Trump are part of the third indictment filed by prosecutors against the former president.

In addition to the charges in Washington, Trump is also facing a slew of charges in New York — where he’s accused of falsifying business records as part of a scheme to influence the 2016 election — and in Florida — where he’s accused of mishandling classified records and then lying to authorities about them.

Trump is also facing an ongoing probe in Georgia into efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in the state.

Trump leaves golf club for travel to federal courthouse in Washington

Update 1:15 p.m. EDT Aug. 3: Trump has left his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, ahead of his court appearance Thursday in Washington.

Trump says he’s headed for Washington

Update 12:15 p.m. EDT Aug. 3: In a post on social media around 12 p.m. EDT, Trump said he is headed for Washington.

The former president is expected to fly on his private jet from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Thursday, the Times reported. He will arrive at the federal courthouse in Washington between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., according to the newspaper.

Biden says he won’t follow Trump’s arraignment

Update 12:10 p.m. EDT Aug. 3: President Joe Biden told CNN on Thursday that he does not plan to follow Trump’s arraignment in Washington.

The comment came as the president was bicycling in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, during his last full day of a vacation, according to White House press pool reports. Biden did not answer when a reporter shouted a question seeking comment on Trump’s arraignment.

See photos from Washington ahead of Trump’s arraignment

Update 11:15 a.m. EDT Aug. 3: Supporters and critics of Trump and law enforcement officials began to gather in Washington on Thursday morning ahead of an arraignment scheduled for the afternoon.

Read the grand jury’s indictment

Update 10:35 a.m. EDT Aug. 3: A grand jury issued an indictment of Trump on Thursday following a long-running investigation. In the 45-page indictment, authorities accused Trump of perpetrating three criminal conspiracies aimed at changing the results of the 2020 election following his loss to President Joe Biden.

Trump decries charges he calls politically motivated, ‘concocted’

Update 10:15 a.m. EDT Aug. 3: The former president denied wrongdoing in a social media post ahead of his expected appearance in court on Thursday, writing that “Dems don’t want to run against me or they would not be doing this unprecedented weaponization of ‘Justice.’”

“Look, it’s not my fault that my political opponent in the Democratic Party, Crooked Joe Biden, has told his Attorney General to charge the leading (by far!) Republican Nominee & former President of the United States, me, with as many crimes as can be concocted so that he is forced to spend large amounts of time & money to defend himself,” he wrote in the post. Later, he added, “SOON, IN 2024, IT WILL BE OUR TURN. MAGA!”

Original report: In a 45-page indictment, authorities laid out the charges against the former president. They accused him of carrying out three criminal conspiracies in an attempt to stay in power, including one aimed at delaying the Jan. 6, 2021, certification of electoral votes.

The former president has denied any wrongdoing, framing the investigation as one of several politically motivated stunts.

He is the only one to face charges so far in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation of the events leading to the Jan. 6, 2021, violence at the U.S. Capitol, although the indictment also refers to six unindicted co-conspirators believed to have plotted with Trump to help him stay in power.

Trump’s arraignment on Thursday comes weeks after appeared in court to face allegations that he mishandled classified documents that he had taken with him from the White House and that he tried to hide them from authorities.

The former president also faces charges in New York, where prosecutors have accused him of falsifying business records as part of a hush-money scheme aimed at influencing the 2016 presidential election. The state’s attorney general, Letitia James, has also sued Trump, members of his family and his Trump Organization, accusing them of fraud.

Officials in Georgia are also investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn Biden’s 2020 election win.

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