Trump pleads not guilty to conspiring against US institutions after 2020 election (PHOTOS)

2023-08-03 21:46:08

During this historic criminal appearance before a federal court in Washington, the Republican billionaire himself answered standing “not guilty” when Judge Moxila Upadhyaya read the charges and the prison sentences incurred.

Before flying back, he lamented “a very sad day” for the United States and said he was persecuted as a “political opponent” by the administration of his Democratic successor Joe Biden.

A further hearing to determine the trial date has been set for August 28. It will be held under the authority of federal judge Tanya Chutkan, who will preside over the proceedings at the trial.

The defense has asked for time to study the mass of documents contained in the file, objecting to the request for a speedy trial made on Tuesday by special prosecutor Jack Smith, who supervised the investigation, after the publication of the indictment. 45-page indictment.

This indictment, which notably refers to a “criminal project”, accuses Donald Trump of having undermined the foundations of American democracy by attempting to subvert the process of counting the votes of more than 150 million Americans. , unpublished and all the more serious charges that he was then president in office.

On the other hand, the two previous criminal proceedings brought against him this year, for accounting fraud linked to the purchase of the silence of an actress of X movies, and for having compromised national security by his casualness in the treatment of classified documents, relate respectively to the period preceding and following his term of office.

The federal court where he appeared is near the Capitol, the seat of the United States Congress, stormed by hundreds of his white-hot supporters to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s victory there on January 6, 2021.

“I can assure everyone that there will be a process and a fair trial,” Judge Upadhyaya said.

Previously, Donald Trump had accused his Democratic opponents of being behind these new legal proceedings to exclude him from the race for the presidential election of 2024.

His fault is “challenging a rigged election. Unjust jurisdiction, unjust judge,” he wrote on his Truth Social platform, apparently in reference to Judge Chutkan.

“Presidents are not kings,” read a sign held by a protester outside the courthouse, referring to a sentence the judge uttered in November 2021 to reject a request by Mr. Trump to block disclosure. information on his actions during the storming of the Capitol.

Judge Chutkan notably sat on the trial of participants in this violence.

President Biden, on vacation in a Delaware resort on the east coast, had assured that he would not follow the information on the appearance of his potential future adversary in 2024.

More than 24 hours before the start of the hearing, the cameras and satellite trucks of the national and international media were already deployed in the square in front of the court, under the objectives and the curious eyes of passers-by and tourists.

Security barriers were erected around the building, as well as around the Capitol.

More than six police services or security agencies, including the Secret Service, responsible for the protection of high state officials, mobilized for this occasion.

The consequences of this indictment, and of the trial which could therefore be held in the middle of the presidential campaign, on the candidacy of Donald Trump, 77, remain to be determined.

Despite the lawsuits that accumulate, he remains very much a favorite for the Republican nomination and even widens the gap with number 2, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has been making a series of missteps since the start of his campaign.

According to a New York Times/Siena College poll published on Monday, the ex-president is now ahead of him by 37 points.

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