Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to appear in a Washington, D.C. courtroom Thursday afternoon to answer charges that he used “unlawful means” in an attempt to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election and hold on to power.
Trump will be arraigned on an indictment charging him with conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction; and conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted.
He is scheduled to appear before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya at the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse at around 4 p.m. ET.
Many historic firsts have already been notched. This will be the third time Trump will be arraigned on criminal charges — and the third time a former president will face charges.
Security was tightened in the area around the courthouse ahead of the appearance and possible protests from supporters and detractors of the polarizing former president.
Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement on social media Wednesday that his agency was “working closely with the Metropolitan Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Capitol Police and the Federal Protective Service to ensure the highest levels of safety and security for the former president, while minimizing disruptions to the normal court process.”
By 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, about 50 people had already lined up outside in order to attend the proceedings, including several news organizations.
A federal grand jury voted Tuesday to indict Trump following a sprawling investigation by special counsel Jack Smith’s office into Trump’s efforts to remain in power after losing the presidential election.
The indictment alleges Trump engaged in three criminal conspiracies, all aimed at keeping him in the White House.
“Each of these conspiracies — which built on the widespread mistrust the Defendant was creating through pervasive and destabilizing lies about election fraud — targeted a bedrock function of the United States federal government: the nation’s process of collecting, counting, and certifying the results of the presidential election,” the indictment said.
Trump, who’s currently the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, has denied any wrongdoing and maintains Smith is engaging in “election interference” by bringing criminal charges against him while he seeks to return to the White House.
The case is the second Smith has brought against Trump in two months. In June, Smith brought a 37-count indictment against Trump in Florida for allegedly mishandling national security information and obstruction. Trump has pleaded not guilty in that case, which he’s labeled “the boxes hoax.” Trump was hit with additional counts in the case last week.
Trump was also arraigned in New York criminal court in April, where he pleaded not guilty today to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to his alleged role in hush money payments toward the end of his 2016 presidential campaign.
A prosecutor in Fulton County, Georgia has also said she is considering bringing charges against Trump for trying to reverse his defeat there and could present a case to the grand jury there in the coming weeks.