Trump Jan. 6 Arraignment: Live Updates On Former President's Court Appearance

Former President Donald Trump was indicted this week by a grand jury investigating his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Former President Donald Trump will be arraigned Thursday on charges related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election and his involvement in the Jan. 6., 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Trump, who is running for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential race, is set to appear at 4 p.m. ET at E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse in Washington.

Read live updates on the arraignment:

What It Looked Like Inside The Courthouse

This sketch by artist Bill Hennessy is the only image of what Trump looked like during the hearing due to the federal court’s ban on cameras inside the courthouse.

According to reporters, this sketch shows the moment Trump responded to the charges made against him by saying, “Not guilty.”
Kent Nishimura via Getty Images

Trump Now Says It Was A 'Very Good Day,' Despite Hearing

Trump said on Truth Social that today was a “very good day” despite the arraignment and reiterated comments he made a few hours ago about the “filth” in Washington, D.C.

He shared his post Tuesday evening, despite having said it was a "very sad day for America" after leaving the courthouse earlier that day.


Capitol Police Officer Reacts To Trump Hearing: ‘Our Democracy Is Worth Fighting For'

Former Capitol Police officer Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, who was injured during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, released a statement reflecting on the events from two years ago and reacting to Trump’s arraignment.

“I risked my life defending everyone regardless of their political affiliation. That's what my colleagues did. I kept my oath to defend the Constitution ‘At home and abroad.’ That's what I did and that's what my law enforcement colleagues did on January 6, 2021,” he wrote in the statement.

He continued: “Our Democracy is worth fighting for. Not prosecuting is far riskier than having no consequences for the alleged power grab attempts. Justice and the rule of law must win for our democracy to survive.”

Gonell and other Capitol Police officers who defended the building on Jan. 6 attended today’s hearing. Harry Dunn, another former Capitol Police officer who was at the hearing, told CBS News that it was “good to see the road to justice being followed."
Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

Trump Took Off Around 5:30 P.M.

The former president took off in his plane around 5:30 p.m. ET, NBC News reported.
Alex Brandon/AP

Trump Speaks To The Press

Trump speaks before he boards his plane at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

And Away He Goes

Trump boards his plane after the arraignment.

Trump Says It's A 'Sad Day'

Before boarding his plane, Trump gave reporters a brief statement, claiming once again that the federal charges were a political “persecution.”

“This is a very sad day for America,” Trump said, before attacking the capital.

“And it was sad driving through Washington, D.C., and seeing the filth and the decay and all of the broken buildings and walls and the graffiti,” he said.

Trump also claimed that he was being targeted because he was leading all of his opponents in the 2024 race for president.

“If you can’t beat them, you persecute them or you prosecute them,” he said.

He did not take any questions from reporters.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Trump Leaves Court

Trump's motorcade leaves the courthouse after his arraignment.

Court Is Adjourned

The court hearing adjourned at about 4:42 p.m., according to reporters in the room. Trump was escorted out the back of the room, and his motorcade left the courthouse.

Hearing Date And Conditions Of Release

Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya set Aug. 28 as the date of Trump’s first hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan.

According to The Guardian, the Justice Department was ordered to file a brief in seven days for a proposed trial date and how long it expects the case to proceed. Trump’s legal team must submit a response to that brief within seven days of its filing.

The conditions of Trump’s release, which were agreed upon by both sides, according to CBS News, include no new violations of federal law. Trump must also appear in court as required and sign an appearance bond. He will also be prohibited from communicating about the facts of the case to anyone he knows is a witness, except through his attorneys.

‘Good Afternoon, Mr. Trump’

According to reporters in the courtroom, the Justice Department is being represented by Thomas Windom and Molly Gaston. There was also an FBI special agent seated with them.

On the Trump side are attorneys John Lauro and Todd Blanche. Lauro said he moved for Blanche’s admission as an out-of-state lawyer.

When speaking to Judge Moxila Upadhyaya, Lauro said that “President Trump” is present.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Trump,” she responded.

Trump Pleads Not Guilty

Trump has pleaded not guilty to federal conspiracy charges related to the attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

Trump’s lawyer John Lauro went up to the podium to announce the plea, but Trump, who was standing beside him, was the one to say the words “not guilty,” Bloomberg’s Zoe Tillman reports.

Read more from HuffPost's S.V. Dáte.

Trump Was Seen Staring Down Special Counsel At The Courthouse

Trump was seen staring straight at special counsel Jack Smith while knocking his clasped hands on the table, ABC News’ Mike Levine witnessed at the federal court.

These aren’t the only intense glances between these two today.

The Hearing Begins...

The hearing has officially begun now that Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya has taken her seat at the bench.

Shortly after, Trump was sworn in.

Alina Habba Claims Trump Indictment Is 'Election Interference'

Trump attorney and senior advisor Alina Habba spoke to reporters outside the courthouse just minutes before the former president’s arraignment was expected to start.

Habba claimed that the Justice Department’s indictment of Trump is “election interference at its finest,” adding that the proceedings take the former president away from his 2024 campaign and distract from news related to Hunter Biden.

It should be noted that Trump is the one being accused of election interference after he pushed misinformation about the 2020 election in order to remain in power.

Follow Our Reporters At The Courthouse

Some of our politics reporters are posted near the courthouse.

Arthur Delaney and Igor Bobic are reporting from near the court’s security perimeter, where garbage trucks appear to be parked as additional barriers. Delaney witnessed a motorcade pulling into the courthouse, and Bobic notes there are likely more television cameras than people on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Follow our reporters on the ground, as well as our White House correspondent Shirish Dáte.
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Trump Motorcade Arrives At Courthouse

Trump's motorcade arrives at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse for his arraignment.

Alex Brandon/AP

Trump Lands

Former President Donald Trump arrives at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

Trump Lands In D.C.

Trump's plane just arrived at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

The 'Big Lie' Network Is Standing Strong

Donald Trump didn't come up with the lies outlined in the indictment against him on his own. Rather, he had a whole network of alleged co-conspirators and political operatives conjuring up conspiracy theories about the election. Even after these latest charges, they're still with him.

'Slow Trickle' Of Trump Supporters At Courthouse

There was a "slow trickle" of demonstrators at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on Thursday morning, according to The Washington Post.

At one point, there were more journalists than demonstrators outside of the courthouse, the Post reported.

Trump Celebrates Upcoming Arrest On Way To Washington

Trump announced Thursday that he was headed to Washington and celebrated his pending arrest, calling the ordeal a "GREAT HONOR.”


Seth Wenig/AP

Trump Heads To D.C.

Trump boarded his plane Thursday at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport to head to Washington, where he is set to answer to charges that he worked to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Protesters Face Off

A demonstrator in a MAGA hat faces off with a person in a Baby Trump costume outside the courthouse.

Pence Campaign Selling Merchandise Based On Trump Quote In Indictment

Republican presidential candidate Mike Pence is now selling 2024 campaign merchandise bearing the phrase “Too Honest,” a statement that Trump allegedly made to his then-vice president amid efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

According to the indictment against Trump, the former president called Pence to get him to use his ceremonial role in Congress’ election certification process to prevent Joe Biden from taking the White House. When Pence responded that he would not go along with the scheme, Trump allegedly told Pence that he was “too honest.”

Pence’s campaign has reportedly received campaign contributions from over 30,000 donors, at a pace that would likely qualify him for a spot on the GOP presidential debate stage later this month. The new merchandise — a white T-shirt and white baseball cap with the words “Too Honest” in red — could help the candidate hit the 40,000 donor threshold.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Supporters Of Trump Protest Outside The Courthouse

Supporters hold a large flag in support of Trump outside of the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse ahead of the former president's arrival.

Protesters Arrive To The Courthouse

A demonstrator holds a placard with a photo of Trump outside the courthouse ahead of Trump's arraignment.

Chris Christie: Some GOP Rivals ‘Auditioning’ For Trump Roles

Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said some of his rivals in the party are “auditioning” for roles in a future Trump administration, should the indicted former president win the 2024 election.

“In the end, I think that some of them are unwilling to [stand up to Trump] because they don’t think it’s politically smart, some of them are auditioning for a potential Trump administration, and I think some of them just aren’t able to do it,” the former New Jersey governor told journalist Kara Swisher in a podcast episode released Thursday. “They just physically aren’t equipped to be able to be in that combat.”

Christie, who has repeatedly said that Trump is responsible for the Jan. 6 attack, made his comments while discussing another GOP presidential candidate, Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.), who said last month that he does not believe Trump was responsible for the insurrection.

What's Biden Up To Today?

Per the White House pool report, President Joe Biden is currently on the final day of a vacation he's taking in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

He went on a bike ride around 9 a.m. Thursday and waved at reporters.

He didn't answer questions shouted at him by the press Wednesday, including "Indictment?"

Legal Experts Not Convinced By Trump’s Potential First Amendment Defense

Trump’s legal team has hinted at using the First Amendment as part of its defense, arguing that the indictment is an attack on the former president’s right to free speech. But legal experts say they aren’t convinced by that strategy.

The First Amendment does provide protection for most manners of speech, and lying to the public is technically not a crime. But given that prosecutors said Trump and co-conspirators took several steps to transform the former president’s speech into action, experts argue that there is little legal merit to any First Amendment claims.

“Saying a statement in isolation is one thing,” George Washington University law professor Mary Anne Franks told The Associated Press. "But when you say it to another person and the two of you speak in a way and exchange information in a way that leads to action — that you want to take action to do something with that speech — then arguably it becomes unprotected."

Who Will Join Trump On His Travel To Washington Ahead Of His Arraignment

CNN's Kristen Holmes reports Trump is expected to be joined by two of his lawyers, Todd Blanche and John Lauro, and top campaign staff as he travels to Washington for this afternoon's arraignment.

His 2024 advisers Susie Wiles, Chris LaCivita, Jason Miller, Steven Cheung and Justin Caporale will accompany him, as will Alina Habba, the general counsel and legal spokesperson for his Save America political action committee.

Boris Epshteyn, a political adviser on his team who was identified by The New York Times as co-conspirator 6 in Trump's indictment, is also set to travel with Trump.

'Trump's 2024 Campaign Seeks To Make Voters The Ultimate Jury': The New York Times

The New York Times' Lisa Lerer and Reid J. Epstein write that Trump has realized that while his legal cases may be decided in the courts, voters are the ones who will ultimately determine whether he can return to the White House.

"In effect, he is both running for president and trying to outrun the law enforcement officials seeking to convict him," and Trump is in turn also transforming the stakes of the 2024 race, according to their news analysis.

Ex-WH Official Says Trump Lawyers Will Argue He Was 'Too Stupid To Know He Lost'

Alyssa Farah Griffin, a former communications director in Donald Trump's White House, said Trump's legal team will most likely have to pursue a defense strategy claiming that despite the overwhelming evidence that he lost the 2020 race, "he still intellectually just didn't have the capacity to understand it."

"This is basically going to be the 'Donald Trump was too stupid to know he lost' argument," she told "CNN This Morning." "I think he's going to hate it when his lawyers start having to make this case and I would keep my eye on that."

Trump Claims His Indictment Is Politically Motivated In Latest Truth Social Rant

Ahead of his arraignment this afternoon for trying to subvert the 2020 election result, Trump is claiming the charges are politically motivated.

The three-times indicted ex-president is once again claiming that the Justice Department indicted him under the instructions of President Joe Biden. He claimed Biden wants him to spend time and money defending himself in court while he remains the front-runner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.

“The Dems don’t want to run against me or they would not be doing this unprecedented weaponization of ‘Justice,’” Trump wrote on his Truth Social account.

Trump Attorney General Says Trump 'Knew Well That He Had Lost The Election'

Bill Barr, who served as attorney general in Trump's administration, said Wednesday that the former president knew he was defeated by Biden in 2020 despite his public claims that the election was stolen from him.

"I have come to believe that he knew well that he had lost the election," Barr told CNN's "The Source."

Barr rejected arguments that Trump’s attempts to subvert the 2020 result amounted to free speech.

"Free speech does not give you a right to engage in a conspiracy," he said.

Ex-U.S. Attorney Predicts Pence Will Testify In Potential Jan. 6 Trial

Harry Litman, a former U.S. attorney, told Time "it's clear" that former Vice President Mike Pence will testify against Trump in a potential trial over his attempt to undo Joe Biden's 2020 win.

“Pence is the most integral fact witness," Litman said. "He was the sitting Vice President of the United States. It's an extremely dramatic moment—I'd say even a historic one—for the former Vice President to take the stand. That will be a seismic moment in what’s already the most important prosecution in U.S. history.”

Kinzinger Slams 2024 GOP Candidates 'Scared Of The Orange Man'

Former Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) spoke to the U.K.'s Channel 4 News about Trump's latest indictment and the general "bizarre" state of U.S. politics.

Asked about what's more likely — Trump in jail or the White House — Kinzinger reckoned jail, although he didn't rule out Trump winning the White House.

"But I do think there's going to be justice," he said. "And I think the American people, even if not Republicans, will not stand for an indicted possible felon president of the United States."

Watch the rest of the interview here.

Nancy Pelosi Says It's 'Heartbreaking' To See Trump Indicted For Coup Attempt

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who was inside the U.S. Capitol building when Trump's mob attacked on Jan. 6, said it was sad to watch an ex-president be accused of these kinds of crimes.

“It’s heartbreaking for our country to have a president of the United States with this list of charges against him,” Pelosi told CNN’s “The Lead” on Wednesday.

She also said it's “interesting to see” that the charges against Trump mostly follow the Jan. 6 House select committee's recommendations from last year.

Lindsey Graham' Dishes Out Awkward Gripe About Judge On Trump's Jan. 6 Case

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) argued that “any conviction” against Trump isn’t legitimate in the nation’s capital, claiming that Obama-nominated U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan “hates Trump.”

The only issue? Graham voted to confirm Chutkan to the federal bench less than a decade ago.

UK Deputy Prime Minister Refuses To Be Drawn On Trump Support

British Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden declined to answer questions on whether he supports Trump in an interview with Sky News.

“British government minsters will respect that decision and will work with whomever the American people choose in their election next year," said Dowden, who is running the country while Prime Minister Rishi Sunak takes a holiday with his family.

Dowden however has previously given a speech at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, claiming that the West was suffering from a "painful woke psychodrama."

Read more from HuffPost UK's Ned Simons here.

Having Trouble Keeping All The Indictments Straight?

Trump's legal woes are only getting more complicated. We don't blame you if you're having a tough time following which is which. Here's a quick and dirty guide to Trump's criminal indictments, in chronological order.

'He Wanted Chaos': Joe Walsh Doesn't Hold Back

Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) argued in a new column that Trump deserves prison time for his actions after the 2020 election, saying that the violence of Jan. 6, 2021, was “the traitor’s final play.”

“He wanted violence. He wanted chaos,” Walsh wrote for The Daily Beast. “He wanted his supporters to be so damn pissed off that they would use violence to keep him in office.”

HuffPost's Ed Mazza has more here.

Trump Won't Have His Mug Shot Taken In Today's Court Appearance

Drew Wade, the U.S. Marshals Service spokesperson, has confirmed Trump won't be arrested and won't have his mug shot taken during his court appearance in Washington following his Jan. 6 indictment.

Wade explained that Trump is a well-known figure and many pictures of him are already available, according to Bloomberg.

Still, he will have his fingerprints taken digitally and also be asked to share his Social Security number, among other personal details, Wade said.

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Says Security Measures Are In Place For Trump Arraignment

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger on Wednesday said the force has put a security plan in place ahead of Trump's arraignment this afternoon.

"We're prepared for whatever might happen," Manger told reporters at a news conference.

No fencing will be placed around the Capitol complex, he added.

Judge Known To Be Tough On Jan. 6 Cases

Trump's case will be overseen by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who was nominated to the bench by former President Barack Obama. Chutkan has a reputation for handing down tough sentences for individuals who participated in the Jan. 6 attack.

As HuffPost's Lydia O'Connor reported on Tuesday, Chutkan has presided over 11 Jan. 6 cases and sentenced all 11 defendants to jail time. And in seven of the 11 cases, the sentences she imposed were stricter than what the Justice Department had recommended.

Special Counsel Said Trump's 'Lies' Fueled Capitol Riot

Special counsel Jack Smith gave a brief statement on the federal charges against the former president, saying Trump's "lies... targeted at obstructing a bedrock function of the U.S. government" fueled the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

Smith is expected to be present at Thursday's arraignment. He's also hinted at charges for other individuals.

“Since the attack on our Capitol, the Department of Justice has remained committed to ensuring accountability for those criminally responsible for what happened that day,” he said Tuesday. “This case is brought consistent with that commitment and our investigation of other individuals continues.”

Trump Facing Four Charges

Trump, who was indicted by the grand jury on Tuesday, is facing four charges: 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, according to the document.

You can read the full indictment here.

Stay Tuned For Live Updates

Check back for live updates ahead of Trump's arraignment on Thursday.

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