Former US president Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to four felony charges related to his contesting of the 2020 election results. Trump appeared in a Washington DC courtroom accompanied by his attorneys and entered a plea of not guilty to all charges before US Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya. If convicted, Trump faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The charges against Trump, which were brought on Tuesday, include conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights. These charges stem from Trump’s actions following the 2020 presidential election, particularly his alleged role in the January 6 Capitol riot.
While Trump was briefly held in custody pending his arraignment, he will not be held in pretrial detention for the current charges. However, there are conditions imposed on Trump, including a prohibition on communicating with any known witnesses in the case, except through an attorney.
The case has been assigned to District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who has presided over multiple cases involving January 6 defendants. Chutkan has been known to hand down harsher sentences than those sought by prosecutors. This has raised concerns among supporters of the former president that he may not receive a fair trial, given the judge’s outspoken views on Trump’s alleged complicity in the Capitol violence.
Earlier this year, Trump became the first former US president to be federally indicted when he was charged with 37 felony counts related to the alleged mishandling of classified government documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate. He was previously indicted in Manhattan district court on 34 counts of falsifying business records in relation to payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
In response to the indictments, Trump accused his Democratic opponents of trying to imprison him for “six lifetimes.” He highlighted that the combined prison sentences from all the charges against him would amount to 561 years. Despite these legal challenges, the Republican candidate’s lead in the polls has only strengthened over Republican challengers.
Overall, Trump’s plea of not guilty to the four felony charges related to contesting the 2020 election results was made in a Washington DC courtroom. The case has been assigned to District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who has a history of imposing harsh sentences. Trump’s supporters have expressed concerns about the fairness of the trial. This latest legal challenge adds to the multiple charges already brought against the former president earlier this year. Despite these legal issues, Trump’s popularity among Republican voters remains strong.