Trump arrives at DC courthouse to face four fresh charges over attempts to overturn the 2020 election

3 August 2023, 20:17 | Updated: 3 August 2023, 20:26

Former US President Donald Trump has arrived at a Washington DC courthouse to answer charges relating to the riot at the US Capitol building and interference in the 2020 election
Former US President Donald Trump has arrived at a Washington DC courthouse to answer charges relating to the riot at the US Capitol building and interference in the 2020 election. Picture: Alamy

By Chay Quinn

Former US President Donald Trump has arrived at a Washington DC courthouse to answer charges relating to the riot at the US Capitol building and interference in the 2020 election.

Trump has been criminally charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against the rights of citizens.

He was summoned to Washington DC, a heavily Democratic area, to appear to be arraigned and was seen leaving his Trump Bedminster Golf Resort in New Jersey at 1pm EST (6pm BST) to attend court.

Read More: Michigan prosecutors charge Trump allies with vote machine tampering

Read More: Donald Trump faces four fresh charges over attempts to overturn the 2020 election and Capitol riot

The former president received his third indictment on Sunday night after previous charges in probes over alleged hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels - and also over his handling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home.

Trump is currently running for president again - and is currently leading the chase for the Republican nomination ahead of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Join Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel in a new weekly podcast that unravels everything you need to know about the world of US politics and how it affects you.
Join Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel in a new weekly podcast that unravels everything you need to know about the world of US politics and how it affects you. Picture: The News Agents USA
Former President Donald Trump looks sullen as he arrived in Arlington, VA
Former President Donald Trump looks sullen as he arrived in Arlington, VA. Picture: Alamy
Former President Donald Trump's airplane is seen as it makes its final approach into Reagan National Airport, Washington
Former President Donald Trump's airplane is seen as it makes its final approach into Reagan National Airport, Washington. Picture: Alamy
Barrett Prettyman Courthouse will play host to Trump's arraignment on August 4 at 4pm.
Barrett Prettyman Courthouse will play host to Trump's arraignment on August 4 at 4pm. Picture: Getty
Trump's attempts to subvert the 2020 election culminated in the deadly riot at the US Capitol Building - which culminated in three deaths and dozens of prosecutions
Trump's attempts to subvert the 2020 election culminated in the deadly riot at the US Capitol Building - which culminated in three deaths and dozens of prosecutions. Picture: Alamy

Reuters reported that there were six co-conspirators including Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York and one of Trump's attorney during his final months in office.

The investigation into attempts to subvert the 2020 election is being led by special counsel Jack Smith.

Before his latest indictment, Trump wrote on Truth Social: "I hear that Deranged Jack Smith, in order to interfere with the Presidential Election of 2024, will be putting out yet another Fake Indictment of your favorite President, me, at 5:00 P.M.

"Why didn’t they do this 2.5 years ago? Why did they wait so long? Because they wanted to put it right in the middle of my campaign. Prosecutorial Misconduct!"

Reuters reported that the US federal court in Washington had added a sealed indictment in Jack Smith's election interference probe - but the defendant was unnamed.

The Trump campaign compared the indictment to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in a statement before the indictment was confirmed.

Special Counsel Jack Smith delivers remarks on a recently unsealed indictment including four felony counts against former U.S. President Donald Trump
Special Counsel Jack Smith delivers remarks on a recently unsealed indictment including four felony counts against former U.S. President Donald Trump. Picture: Getty

A news conference by special counsel Jack Smith will be held at 11pm BST outside the Barrett Prettyman Courthouse in Washington DC.

Mr Trump, who is the first former US President to face federal criminal prosecution, denies any wrongdoing in the previous two indictments - and is expected to do so in the case also.

The Justice Department previously unsealed an indictment charging Mr Trump with 37 felony counts, 31 relating to the wilful retention of national defence information in Florida - also brought by Jack Smith.

Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith said the attack on the US Capitol was "fuelled by lies" from Mr Trump.

In a brief statement in Washington after the indictment against the former president was released, he said: "The attack on our nation's capital on January 6 2021, was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy."

Mr Smith said he would seek a speedy trial for the former president who is due to appear before US District Judge Tanya Chutkan.

The judge, who has been among the toughest punishers of people charged over the January 6 attack, refused Mr Trump's request to block the release of documents to the House committee by asserting executive privilege.

In her ruling, she wrote: "Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President."

Mr Trump denies doing anything wrong with the indictment focusing on the two months between the November 2020 election and the US Capitol riot.

Police patrol outside the E. Barrett Prettyman US Courthouse in Washington, DC, on August 3, 2023
Police patrol outside the E. Barrett Prettyman US Courthouse in Washington, DC, earlier today. Picture: Getty

Federal prosecutors said in the indictment he knew his lies about his loss in the 2020 presidential election were false and that he spread lies to create an "intense national atmosphere of mistrust and anger" and "erode public faith in the administration of the election".

Around 13,000 documents were seized in raids on Mr Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida nearly one year ago.

Pictures released by the Justice Department show dozens of boxes stacked into Mr Trump's property in Florida, including several in a bathroom.

The former president, who has already been charged with a crime this year, has ramped up the rhetoric against the Justice Department special counsel who filed the case.

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