Aug 3, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump returns to Washington today as a criminal defendant

Former U.S. President Donald Trump enters Erie Insurance Arena for a political rally while campaigning for the GOP nomination in the 2024 election on July 29, 2023 in Erie, Pennsylvania

Donald Trump at a political rally on July 29 in Erie, Pennsylvania. Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Former President Trump is set to appear in court in Washington, D.C., on Thursday as a criminal defendant in special counsel Jack Smith's investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Driving the news: Trump traveled from his New Jersey golf club to be processed in federal court after a grand jury indicted him on four counts earlier this week.

  • This is Trump's third indictment and comes as he continues his campaign in the 2024 Republican presidential primaries, where he remains a frontrunner.

What time is Trump arraignment?

Trump is scheduled to appear in federal court for his arraignment at 4pm ET Thursday.

  • Trump will appear before Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya.
  • Trump will be flying from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, to Washington, D.C., and is expected to arrive at the E. Barrett Prettyman courthouse between 3 and 4pm ET, the New York Times reported.
  • U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, who is known for setting tough sentences in Jan. 6 cases, was assigned to oversee the case.

Who will be with Trump?

Trump's lawyers Todd Blanche and John Lauro will be traveling with Trump to D.C. and are expected to appear in court beside him, CNN reported.

  • It's not clear who else might appear in court with Trump, but a number of his campaign advisers — among them Susie Wiles, Chris LaCivita, Jason Miller, Steven Cheung and Justin Caporale — are also expected to accompany Trump from New Jersey to the capital, per CNN.

Trump indictment charges

Trump was charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.

  • "Despite having lost, the Defendant was determined to remain in power," the indictment stated.

Security Measures in D.C.

The Secret Service is coordinating security measures with other federal and local agencies — including the Metropolitan Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service, and U.S. Capitol Police — Anthony Guglielmi, spokesperson for the Secret Service, said in a statement Wednesday.

  • They aim to "ensure the highest levels of safety and security for the former president, while minimizing disruptions to the normal court process," Guglielmi added.
  • Capitol Police chief Thomas Manger told reporters Wednesday that there is a "security plan in place."

The Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies did a walkthrough of the courthouse on Wednesday, per ABC News.

  • Law enforcement also blocked access to several blocks near the courthouse on Thursday, according to the Washington Post.

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