Donald Trump is due in federal court Thursday to answer to charges that he sought to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, facing a judge near the U.S. Capitol building that his supporters stormed to try to block the peaceful transfer of power.
In what’s become a familiar but nonetheless stunning ritual, Trump is expected to be processed by law enforcement, be taken into custody and enter a not guilty plea in front of a judge before being released, so he can rejoin the campaign trail as he seeks to reclaim the White House in 2024.
An indictment Tuesday from Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith charges Trump with four felony counts related to his efforts to undo his presidential election loss in the run-up to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol, including conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding. The charges could lead to a yearslong prison sentence in the event of a conviction.
The Republican former president was the only person charged in the case, though prosecutors referenced six co-conspirators, mostly lawyers, they say he plotted with, including in a scheme to enlist fake electors in seven battleground states won by Democrat Joe Biden to submit false certificates to the federal government.