POLITICS

Former US Prez Trump Pleads Not Guilty to Charges of Election Conspiracy

Last Updated: August 04, 2023, 07:38 IST

Washington D.C., United States of America (USA)

Former US President Trump takes an oath before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya during his plea hearing on charges that he orchestrated a plot to try to overturn his 2020 election loss, at federal court in Washington, US. (Image: Reuters)

Former US President Trump takes an oath before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya during his plea hearing on charges that he orchestrated a plot to try to overturn his 2020 election loss, at federal court in Washington, US. (Image: Reuters)

Trump pleaded ‘not guilty’ to charges of election conspiracy at Judge Moxila Upadhyaya’s court on Tuesday.

Former US President Donald Trump on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to criminal charges accusing him of conspiring to overturn the 2020 US Presidential election results and defraud American citizens, news agency AFP reported.

Judge Moxila Upadhyaya read the four criminal counts and the potential maximum jail sentences Trump could be facing in the 45-page indictment brought forth by special counsel Jack Smith. Trump responded by saying, “Not guilty”.

The courtroom proceedings took place in the same courthouse where hundreds of supporters of the former president were convicted for their roles in the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol. The hearings went for nearly 30-minutes.

The billionaire has been charged in two other cases and the new charges mean that he will be caught in between a hectic legal fight while campaigning for the 2024 US elections.

Trump said the cases against him are an example of “persecution of a political opponent”. “This is a very sad day for America. This is the persecution of the person that’s leading by very, very substantial numbers in the Republican primary and leading (President Joe) Biden by a lot,” Trump was quoted as saying by news agency AFP.

“So if you can’t beat him, you persecute him or you prosecute him. We can’t let this happen in America,” he further added.

Moxila Upadhyaya, the Indian-American judge, who presided over the case, set the next hearing in the case for August 28. It will be held in the court of District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan, who will preside over the eventual trial.

“I can guarantee to everybody there will be a fair process and a fair trial,” Upadhyaya said, according to AFP.

Outside the court both sets of supporters gathered. Security was tight around the E. Barrett Prettyman federal courthouse where the hearing was held and cops patrolled the area while blocking access with metal barricades.

The White House and the Biden administration have refrained from commenting on the arraignment. Biden said he would not follow the arraignment when asked by reporters during his vacation in Delaware.

Shankhyaneel Sarkar

Shankhyaneel Sarkar is a senior subeditor at News18, covering international issues. He is an Arsenal fan, and in his free time, he enjoys exploring of

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