Watch live: Donald Trump appears in court for US Capitol riots
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Here’s everything you must know about Trump’s arraignment on election charges
As reported by AP News, a grand jury, led by special counsel Jack Smith, has indicted Mr Trump on four charges related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Additionally, the indictment implicates six unnamed co-conspirators, who have reportedly been identified.
Trump’s Announcement on Social Media
Prior to his court appearance, Donald Trump took to Truth Social, his social media platform, to disclose the impending indictment. The announcement quickly prompted his campaign to initiate fundraising efforts in response to the legal proceedings.
This marks the third criminal indictment for Donald Trump and the second at the federal level. Notably, it is the first indictment that specifically addresses his alleged conduct while he was in office as the president of the United States.
Initial Court Appearance
Donald Trump has been ordered to make his initial court appearance in a federal court in Washington DC. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday 3 August 2023, and the case will be presided over by US district judge Tanya Chutkan, who was appointed during Barack Obama’s presidency.
Special Counsel’s Statement
Special counsel Jack Smith, responsible for investigating the Capitol riots, places the blame for the violence squarely on Donald Trump’s shoulders.
Smith asserts that the events of 6 January 2021, were fuelled by lies, pointing to Trump’s role in spreading misinformation.
Trump Campaign’s Response
In response to the indictment, the Trump campaign issued a brief statement defending the former president.
They maintain that Trump has always followed the law and condemn the charges as a “persecution” akin to the tactics of Nazi Germany.
“President Trump will not be deterred by disgraceful and unprecedented political targeting!” the statement read.