Former President Trump appeared in court on Thursday, facing charges related to his federal indictment in the investigation surrounding false claims about the 2020 election and the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot. The indictment was unveiled by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith, who was also present in the Washington courtroom.
The four-count indictment alleges that Trump was the director of a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and played a central role in a campaign to prevent votes from being certified on January 6. Trump entered a plea of not guilty and is appearing before a magistrate judge.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan has been randomly assigned to handle Trump’s case going forward. Chutkan has experience handling cases related to the January 6 attack on the Capitol. She also ruled against Trump in November 2021 when he filed a lawsuit seeking to block the National Archives from handing over documents related to the events of January 6 to the House select committee investigating the attack.