news

Former President Trump released on bond under strict rules after not-guilty plea to election conspiracy charges

Tom Brenner | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump entered a not-guilty plea to Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya, who set the date for his next hearing as Aug. 28.

STAY IN THE KNOW

icon

Watch NBC10 Boston news for free, 24/7, wherever you are.

icon

Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.

Key points

Former President Donald Trump was arraigned Thursday at the E. Barrett Prettyman courthouse in Washington, D.C., on criminal charges stemming from his efforts to overturn his loss in the 2020 presidential election.

Trump entered a not-guilty plea to Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya, who set the date for his next hearing as Aug. 28 at 10 a.m. before Judge Tanya Chutkan.

Trump is a leading candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. The first GOP debate in the 2024 presidential race is Aug. 23 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Trump has already pleaded not guilty in two other criminal cases. He was last arraigned in June on federal charges stemming from his retention of classified records after he left office in 2021.

The courthouse where the arraignment took place is just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol where, on Jan. 6, 2021, a violent mob of the then-president's supporters broke through police barricades and forced members of Congress to flee for their safety.

The mob, made up of people who believed Trump's lies that the 2020 election was rigged through widespread election fraud, temporarily blocked Congress from confirming President Joe Biden's victory over Trump.

As the chaos played out, Trump and his co-conspirators "exploited the disruption" by pushing lawmakers to delay the certification, the indictment alleges.

Trump was ordered not to discuss facts with witnesses, but this could be hard

Valet Walt Nauta hands former President Donald Trump an umbrella before he speaks at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023, in Arlington, Va., after facing a judge on federal conspiracy charges that allege he conspired to subvert the 2020 election
Alex Brandon | AP
Valet Walt Nauta hands former President Donald Trump an umbrella before he speaks at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023, in Arlington, Va., after facing a judge on federal conspiracy charges that allege he conspired to subvert the 2020 election

Trump — who loves talking to people both in person and on social media — got a clear warning at his arraignment against talking too much to people who might be witnesses in the election case he now faces.

It's a restriction that could prove especially difficult for Trump.

Several of the people who worked in the Trump White House in its final months, the period during which prosecutors allege that Trump illegally sought to overturn the election results, still work for him.

As Trump boarded his plane back to New Jersey, he was accompanied by his valet Walt Nauta, himself a defendant in another federal criminal case pending against the former president in Florida. There, Trump is accused of retaining classified national security records after he left office.

The federal judge there told Trump not to talk to Nauta directly about the case. But the men routinely spend hours together, sometimes alone.

Trump also has a strong tendency to spout off about the trio of criminal cases he faces on Truth Social, his social media site that he has embraced after being banned by Twitter in early 2021.

Federal prosecutors in a prior criminal case against Trump's friend Roger Stone asked a judge to ratchet up a gag order in that case after Stone posted an Instagram photo of the judge next to a rifle scope's crosshair.

- Dan Mangan

Courtroom sketches capture a gloomy Trump surrounded by lawyers

Artist's sketches from inside the courtroom where former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring to overthrow the 2020. These are the only images that will be public --- the use of cameras was strictly forbidden.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump sits next to his attorney Todd Blanche as he faces charges before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya that he orchestrated a plot to try to overturn his 2020 election loss, at federal court in Washington, U.S. August 3, 2023 in a courtroom sketch. 
Jane Rosenberg | Reuters
Former U.S. President Donald Trump sits next to his attorney Todd Blanche as he faces charges before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya that he orchestrated a plot to try to overturn his 2020 election loss, at federal court in Washington, U.S. August 3, 2023 in a courtroom sketch. 
Former U.S. President Donald Trump stands next to his attorney Todd Blanche as he faces charges before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya that he orchestrated a plot to try to overturn his 2020 election loss, at federal court in Washington, U.S. August 3, 2023 in a courtroom sketch.
Artist: Bill Hennessy
Former U.S. President Donald Trump stands next to his attorney Todd Blanche as he faces charges before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya that he orchestrated a plot to try to overturn his 2020 election loss, at federal court in Washington, U.S. August 3, 2023 in a courtroom sketch.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump stands between his attorneys Todd Blanche and John Lauro as he takes an oath before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya during his plea hearing on charges that he orchestrated a plot to try to overturn his 2020 election loss, at federal court in Washington, U.S. August 3, 2023 in a courtroom sketch. 
Jane Rosenberg | Reuters
Former U.S. President Donald Trump stands between his attorneys Todd Blanche and John Lauro as he takes an oath before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya during his plea hearing on charges that he orchestrated a plot to try to overturn his 2020 election loss, at federal court in Washington, U.S. August 3, 2023 in a courtroom sketch. 

--- Christina Wilkie

Trump fundraises off latest arraignment days after calling on donors to give

Former U.S. President Donald Trump, who is to appear in a federal court facing federal charges related to attempts to overturn his 2020 election defeat, waves as he arrives in this still image taken from video at Reagan Washington National Airport in nearby Arlington, Virginia, U.S., August 3, 2023. 
Pool | Reuters
Former U.S. President Donald Trump, who is to appear in a federal court facing federal charges related to attempts to overturn his 2020 election defeat, waves as he arrives in this still image taken from video at Reagan Washington National Airport in nearby Arlington, Virginia, U.S., August 3, 2023. 

Former President Donald Trump is back to fundraising off of his latest legal hurdle as the campaign called on donors to give as he was being arraigned in Washington D.C.

The Trump campaign sent a fundraising email signed by Trump's son, Eric Trump.

"My father has been officially ARRAIGNED right in the belly of the beast – the D.C. Swamp – despite having committed NO CRIME," the email reads while trying to encourage donors to give to the Trump Save America Joint Fundraising Committee.

That committee raises money for Trump's 2024 campaign and his leadership PAC, Save America. That PAC spent north of $20 million on legal fees for Trump and his allies in the first half of the year.

The Trump campaign sent out another fundraising email earlier in the day, calling on donors to give $47 in exchange for a t-shirt that says "Never Surrender."

— Brian Schwartz

Seven federal judges watched Trump arraignment from back row of courtroom

Former U.S. President Donald Trump sits between his attorneys Todd Blanche and John Lauro as he faces charges before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya that he orchestrated a plot to try to overturn his 2020 election loss, at federal court in Washington, U.S. August 3, 2023 in a courtroom sketch. At far left is U.S. Special Counsel Jack Smith. 
Jane Rosenberg | Reuters
Former U.S. President Donald Trump sits between his attorneys Todd Blanche and John Lauro as he faces charges before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya that he orchestrated a plot to try to overturn his 2020 election loss, at federal court in Washington, U.S. August 3, 2023 in a courtroom sketch. At far left is U.S. Special Counsel Jack Smith. 

Seven federal judges sat in the D.C. courthouse and watched while Trump was arraigned by their magistrate judge colleague.

The group included Chief Judge James Boasberg, and judges Amy Berman Jackson and Randy Moss, who were with four others in the back row of the room.

Jackson has presided over a number of criminal cases involving Trump associates.

Trump, while president in 2020, blasted her in a tweet as she prepared to sentence his longtime advisor Roger Stone, the notorious Republican self-described trickster, for witness tampering, lying to Congress and obstructing a House investigation.

"Is this the Judge that put Paul Manafort in SOLITARY CONFINEMENT, something that not even mobster Al Capone had to endure?" Trump wrote about Jackson, referring to Manafort's own criminal case. "How did she treat Crooked Hillary Clinton? Just asking!"

Trump later pardoned both Stone and Manafort, who served as his 2016 campaign chief, before leaving the White House. The two men were lobbying business partners long before becoming federal convicts.

— Dan Mangan

Trump decries Biden, D.C. 'filth' after arraignment: 'We can't let this happen in America'

Former U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to board his plane at Reagan National Airport following an arraignment in a Washington, D.C. court on August 3, 2023 in Arlington, Virginia. 
Tasos Katopodis | Getty Images
Former U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to board his plane at Reagan National Airport following an arraignment in a Washington, D.C. court on August 3, 2023 in Arlington, Virginia. 

Trump accused President Joe Biden of orchestrating the "persecution of a political opponent" as he departed D.C. following his not guilty plea.

"This was never supposed to happen in America," Trump said on an airport tarmac before boarding his private jet. "We can't let this happen in America."

Calling it a "sad day" for the country, Trump also claimed that there was more "filth and decay" in the nation's capital than when he was president.

"This is not the place that I left," he said.

Trump also touted his lead in the GOP primary and claimed he is "beating Biden by a lot" in polls of the prospective 2024 general election.

"If you can't beat him, you persecute or you prosecute," he said.

Trump took no questions.

Kevin Breuninger

Trump attorney asks for more time to prepare for trial

From left, attorney for former President Donald Trump Todd Blanche, attorney John Lauro and attorney Alina Habba arrive with Trump at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023, in Arlington, Va. 
Alex Brandon | AP
From left, attorney for former President Donald Trump Todd Blanche, attorney John Lauro and attorney Alina Habba arrive with Trump at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023, in Arlington, Va. 

Trump's defense attorney said in the hearing that it would be "somewhat absurd" to lock the case into the timeline dictated by the Speedy Trial Act.

The attorney, John Lauro, pointed to the large volume of evidence involved in the case as he asked the magistrate judge "for a little time" to "fairly defend" Trump.

If the case follows the Speedy Trial Act rules, it could proceed to a trial within the next few months.

Lauro on Wednesday had suggested the trial should be pushed to a much later date, saying that since special counsel Jack Smith had "three and a half years" to investigate Trump, "why don't we make it equal?"

Kevin Breuninger

Next court hearing for Trump set for Aug. 28

Media tents and television satellite trucks are set up outside the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. District Court House on July 27, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images
Media tents and television satellite trucks are set up outside the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. District Court House on July 27, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Trump's next hearing after his arraignment was set for Aug. 28 at 10 a.m. before Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington, D.C., federal court.

Prosecutors asked Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya to set the hearing for Aug. 21 after she gave them three possible dates.

Trump requested Aug.28.

— Dan Mangan

Trump warned not to influence jurors

Former U.S. President Donald Trump stands between his attorneys Todd Blanche and John Lauro as he takes an oath before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya during his plea hearing on charges that he orchestrated a plot to try to overturn his 2020 election loss, at federal court in Washington, U.S. August 3, 2023 in a courtroom sketch. 
Jane Rosenberg | Reuters
Former U.S. President Donald Trump stands between his attorneys Todd Blanche and John Lauro as he takes an oath before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya during his plea hearing on charges that he orchestrated a plot to try to overturn his 2020 election loss, at federal court in Washington, U.S. August 3, 2023 in a courtroom sketch. 

Before Trump was sworn to the conditions of his release, the magistrate judge reminded him that it is a crime to try to influence a juror, NBC reported.

Trump signaled that he understood.

Kevin Breuninger

Judge issues conditions of Trump's release

Brendan Smialowski | Afp | Getty Images
A demonstrator holds a sign reading "Presidents are not Kings" as he protests outside the E. Barrett Prettyman US Courthouse in Washington, DC, on August 3, 2023, ahead of the arraignment of former US President Donald Trump.

Trump was ordered released on an appearance bond during his arraignment.

Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya set Trump's bond after the former president pleaded not guilty to four criminal counts: 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.

As a condition of his bond, Trump was ordered not to violate local law, and to not discuss the facts of the case with any witness other than through attorneys.

Upadhyaya asked Trump if he understood the conditions of his release, and the risk that he will be arrested if he violates them. He indicated he did.

Prosecutors did not seek to detain him pending trial.

— Dan Mangan

Trump stares down prosecutors in D.C. court

Special Prosecutor Jack Smith (L), and Former President Donald Trump.
Getty Images | Reuters
Special Prosecutor Jack Smith (L), and Former President Donald Trump.

Trump sat face to face with the federal prosecutors as they awaited the start of the hearing, NBC News reported.

Special counsel Jack Smith, sitting in the front row of the courtroom, was positioned diagonally from Trump, per NBC.

Smith did not look at Trump as the former president entered the courtroom, according to NBC.

Kevin Breuninger

Trump pleads not guilty in election interference case

Former U.S. President Donald Trump sits next to his attorney Todd Blanche as he faces charges before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya that he orchestrated a plot to try to overturn his 2020 election loss, at federal court in Washington, U.S. August 3, 2023 in a courtroom sketch. 
Jane Rosenberg | Reuters
Former U.S. President Donald Trump sits next to his attorney Todd Blanche as he faces charges before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya that he orchestrated a plot to try to overturn his 2020 election loss, at federal court in Washington, U.S. August 3, 2023 in a courtroom sketch. 

Trump pleaded not guilty to four criminal counts related to his effort to overturn the 2020 election.

The former president entered his plea before Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

Watching on was Department of Justice special counsel Jack Smith, who now has filed two major criminal cases against Trump.

The other, pending in Florida, accuses Trump of withholding classified documents after leaving the White House.

Trump's arraignment in the new case came two days after a D.C. grand jury indicted him.

Dan Mangan

Special counsel Jack Smith is in the courtroom

Former U.S. President Donald Trump sits next to his attorney Todd Blanche as he faces charges before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya that he orchestrated a plot to try to overturn his 2020 election loss, at federal court in Washington, U.S. August 3, 2023 in a courtroom sketch. At far left is U.S. Special Counsel Jack Smith. 
Jane Rosenberg | Reuters
Former U.S. President Donald Trump sits next to his attorney Todd Blanche as he faces charges before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya that he orchestrated a plot to try to overturn his 2020 election loss, at federal court in Washington, U.S. August 3, 2023 in a courtroom sketch. At far left is U.S. Special Counsel Jack Smith. 

Special counsel Jack Smith has entered the courtroom, putting him within a few yards of Trump.

Smith is seated in the front row on the right side of the room, NBC News reported. Trump is seated at a defense table with his attorneys.

Kevin Breuninger

Trump enters courtroom

Former US President and 2024 hopeful Donald Trump waves from inside his SUV on his way to the E. Barrett Prettyman US Courthouse in Washington, DC, on August 3, 2023, ahead of his arraignment.
Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images
Former US President and 2024 hopeful Donald Trump waves from inside his SUV on his way to the E. Barrett Prettyman US Courthouse in Washington, DC, on August 3, 2023, ahead of his arraignment.

Trump walked into court for his arraignment where he was seated with his lawyers, Todd Blanche and John Lauro.

Special counsel Jack Smith, whose office is prosecuting the former president, was already in the room with his team.

— Dan Mangan

Trump spokeswoman claims charges are a 'deflection' from Biden

Alina Habba, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, speaks after Trump arrived at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Federal Courthouse, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023, in Washington, to face a judge on federal conspiracy charges alleging Trump conspired to subvert the 2020 election.
Alex Brandon | AP
Alina Habba, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, speaks after Trump arrived at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Federal Courthouse, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023, in Washington, to face a judge on federal conspiracy charges alleging Trump conspired to subvert the 2020 election.

Alina Habba, Trump's legal spokeswoman and general counsel for his leadership PAC, claimed that Trump was being targeted with crimes as a "deflection" from alleged wrongdoing by the Biden administration.

Habba's remarks to reporters outside the D.C. courthouse echoed many of Trump's allies who have pointed to President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden following the ex-president's latest indictment.

A Twitter account affiliated with the Trump campaign released a graphic Thursday afternoon that made a similar claim.

Kevin Breuninger

Three Jan. 6 Capitol riot cops at court for Trump arraignment

U.S. Capitol Police Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges and former USCP Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, arrive for Donald Trump's arraignment in Washington, D.C.
Alex Brandon
U.S. Capitol Police Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges and former USCP Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, arrive for Donald Trump's arraignment in Washington, D.C.

Three police officers who were assaulted on Jan. 6, 2021, while defending the U.S. Capitol from a violent mob of Trump supporters were escorted into court for his arraignment.

The cops, Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges and former USCP Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, were being seated in an overflow room at the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse.

"When I first testified before the Jan 6th committee, I was seeking justice and accountability for everyone responsible for that day," Dunn wrote in a text message to NBC News.

"Just as I've attended every hearing and court case possible, this one isn't any different," Dunn wrote.

— Dan Mangan

Trump has rarely set foot in D.C. since leaving office

Olivier Douliery | AFP | Getty Images
Former US President and 2024 hopeful Donald Trump disembarks his plane "Trump Force One" on arrival at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, on August 3, 2023.

Trump's trip to D.C. for his historic arraignment marked a rare return to the nation's capital for the former president who is seeking to re-take the White House in 2024.

Trump's term in office ended on Jan. 20, 2021. He skipped President Joe Biden's inauguration and flew to his home and resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

Trump traveled to D.C. in July 2022 to deliver a speech at a conference of the America First Policy Institute, a pro-Trump nonprofit.

Two months later, Trump reportedly made a trip to the D.C. area to visit his northern Virginia golf club.

Kevin Breuninger

Trump defense lawyer in 2 other criminal indictments signs on to D.C. case

Trump's attorney, Todd Blanche is seen as Anti-Trump demonstrators and Trump supporters gather outside the Manhattan courthouse where former US President Donald Trump's court hearing takes place in New York, Unites States on April 04, 2023.
Selcuk Acar | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Trump's attorney, Todd Blanche is seen as Anti-Trump demonstrators and Trump supporters gather outside the Manhattan courthouse where former US President Donald Trump's court hearing takes place in New York, Unites States on April 04, 2023.

Todd Blanche, the lawyer who already represents Trump in his first two pending criminal cases, has signed on to represent him in his new indictment in Washington, D.C., federal court.

Blanche entered a motion asking a judge in Washington to allow him to represent Trump, a step needed because the attorney is not admitted to practice in the District of Columbia. Another lawyer, John Lauro, who is admitted in Washington, has entered an appearance in the case to represent Trump.

Blanche first repped Trump in the Manhattan District Attorney's prosecution of the former president in New York state court for falsifying business records related to a 2016 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

That case is headed to trial next year, as is the second criminal case where Blanche represents Trump.

That indictment, in the federal district encompassing southern Florida, alleges Trump illegally retained classified government records after leaving the White House, and that he and two other men who worked for him tried to keep the documents out of the hands of government officials.

— Dan Mangan

Trump faces a staggering 78 criminal charges across three separate indictments

Former President Donald Trump arrives at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023, in Arlington, Va., as he heads to Washington to face a judge on federal conspiracy charges alleging Trump conspired to subvert the 2020 election.
Alex Brandon | AP
Former President Donald Trump arrives at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023, in Arlington, Va., as he heads to Washington to face a judge on federal conspiracy charges alleging Trump conspired to subvert the 2020 election.

Former President Donald Trump is facing an avalanche of criminal charges as he mounts a campaign to secure the Republican nomination and take back the White House from President Joe Biden in 2024.

Trump has managed to rack up 78 criminal charges across three separate jurisdictions in a matter of just three months.

The charges range from falsifying business records in New York, to mishandling classified documents in Florida, to defrauding the entire nation in an attempt to overturn a free and fair presidential election.

In New York, the Manhattan District Attorney has slapped the former president with 34 criminal counts for falsifying business records in an attempt to silence two women during his 2016 presidential campaign.

In Florida, special counsel Jack Smith has charged Trump on 40 counts related to mishandling classified government documents.

And in the nation's capital, Smith has charged the former president with four criminal counts related to his attempt to invalidate the 2020 election. Trump's lies about the election ultimately resulted in the violent mob attack against Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.

The most serious charges in the classified documents and Jan. 6 cases carry 20 years in prison.

And the president's legal morass probably is not over yet. He is under investigation in Georgia for his attempt to overturn Biden's victory there, with indictments expected as soon as this month.

Despite Trump's legal woes, he remains far and away the Republican favorite for the 2024 presidential nomination.

Spencer Kimball

Trump will argue First Amendment defense against election indictment

Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at Reagan National Airport August 3, 2023 in Arlington, Virginia.
Win Mcnamee | Getty Images
Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at Reagan National Airport August 3, 2023 in Arlington, Virginia.

As Trump heads to court, his lawyers have already laid the ground for his defense in the case: The constitutional right to free speech.

"There's nothing that's more protected under the First Amendment than political speech," his attorney, John Lauro, told CNN right after Trump was indicted in the case.

"Donald Trump had every right to advocate for his position," Lauro said.

"Now his advocacy is being criminalized," the lawyer added.

Lauro's theory hinges on the idea that Trump is protected from prosecution because he was stating a political opinion that he was the victim of widespread ballot fraud in the 2020 election, and that the actions he took were in response to that.

But the indictment includes evidence that indicates Trump knew he had actually lost to Biden, and argues that that knowledge, and other factors, made his effort to undo his loss fraudulent.

"Free speech doesn't give you the right to engage in a fraudulent conspiracy," Trump's former attorney general Bill Barr told CNN.

— Dan Mangan

Georgia prosecutor says she read Trump indictment, won't affect her case or charges

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, right, talks with a member of her team during proceedings to seat a special purpose grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, on May 2, 2022, to look into the actions of former President Donald Trump and his supporters who tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Ben Gray | AP
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, right, talks with a member of her team during proceedings to seat a special purpose grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, on May 2, 2022, to look into the actions of former President Donald Trump and his supporters who tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

The Atlanta prosecutor who is considering soon indicting Trump for interfering in Georgia's 2020 presidential election said she read the new federal indictment against him for such efforts nationally, but it won't affect any of her potential charges.

"I took an oath and that oath requires that I follow the law, that if someone broke the law in Fulton County, Georgia, that I have a duty to prosecute, and that's exactly what I plan to do," Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said.

Willis is a state prosecutor, not a federal one, and as such has discretion over whether to file state charges against Trump that could mirror claims in the Department of Justice's prosecution of him.

Willis, who is Black, described some of the vitriol she's received since she opened the probe of Trump, a White man who has called her and another black prosecutor, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, "racists."

"I've probably been called the N-word more times in the last two and a half years than 100 people combined," she said.

— Dan Mangan

Special counsel's motorcade is on the move

Special counsel Jack Smith's motorcade has departed from his office, NBC News reported.

Smith's office is roughly a 10-minute drive from the E. Barrett Prettyman federal courthouse where Trump is slated to soon arrive.

Kevin Breuninger

Trump's plane lands in D.C.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump's airplane takes off from Newark airport on August 3, 2023 in New York City.
Stephanie Keith | Getty Images
Former U.S. President Donald Trump's airplane takes off from Newark airport on August 3, 2023 in New York City.

Trump's plane has arrived at Reagan National Airport ahead of his court appearance in D.C.

The plane, a Boeing 757 jet nicknamed "Trump Force One," took off from an airport in Newark, New Jersey shortly after 2 p.m. ET.

Kevin Breuninger

Trump rails against Biden and decries 'unfair venue, unfair judge'

Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump looks on as he speaks during a campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S., July 29, 2023. 
Lindsay Dedario | Reuters
Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump looks on as he speaks during a campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S., July 29, 2023. 

Former President Donald Trump railed against President Joe Biden and his family just hours before the 45th president was due to appear in federal court for an arraignment hearing.

"Biden and his family steal Millions and Millions of Dollars, including BRIBES from foreign countries, and I'm headed to D.C. to be arrested for protesting a CROOKED ELECTION," Trump wrote on the social media platform Truth Social.

"Unfair venue, unfair judge. We are a nation in decline. MAGA!!!"

Trump's campaign wrote in a statement that the Biden administration directed federal prosecutor Jack Smith to lead the investigation, which it described as "an unprecedented act of election interference."

— Amanda Macias

Pence selling 'Too Honest' merch based on alleged exchange with Trump in indictment

Source: Mike Pence 2024 Campaign
A Mike Pence 2024 campaign hat that reads "Too Honest" quoted from former President Donald Trump.

Mike Pence's presidential campaign is looking to cash in on Trump's latest criminal charges with a new line of merch that leans into the ex-vice president's break with his former boss over the 2020 election results.

Pence was at the center of an alleged scheme by Trump and his co-conspirators to challenge President Joe Biden's electoral victory by rejecting key electoral votes during the certification process at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Pence had refused, saying his ceremonial role presiding over Congress on that day did not give him the authority to reject those votes.

The indictment alleges that five days before Jan. 6, Trump called Pence and "berated" him for opposing a lawsuit that claimed the vice president could send back votes during the certification. When Pence pushed back, Trump told him, "You're too honest."

On Thursday afternoon, Pence's campaign started selling baseball caps and T-shirts with "Too Honest" emblazoned in red letters on the front. The hats sell for $27 and the shirts go for $30.

Kevin Breuninger

Meanwhile, Biden vacations in Delaware

U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden ride bikes down a path in Gordons Pond State Park in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, July 31, 2023.
Leah Millis | Reuters
U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden ride bikes down a path in Gordons Pond State Park in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, July 31, 2023.

Far from the action in Washington, President Joe Biden is vacationing in Rehoboth Beach, Del.

Biking by reporters, Biden said "no" when asked if he was following the arraignment, NBC reported.

Emma Kinery

Trump will be fingerprinted, but won't take a mugshot

Law enforcement patrols outside federal court in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023.
Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Law enforcement patrols outside federal court in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023.

Trump will have his fingerprints taken digitally as part of the booking process but authorities will not take a mugshot of the former president, a U.S. Marshals spokesperson told NBC News.

An existing photo of the president will be used for his booking, the spokesperson said.

No mugshots were taken during Trump's previous arraignments on charges of falsifying business records and mishandling classified documents.

Spencer Kimball

Trump departs New Jersey golf club for court appearance in D.C.

Former president Donald Trump departs Bedminster Home for D.C. Arraignment on Aug. 3rd, 2023.
NBC News
Former president Donald Trump departs Bedminster Home for D.C. Arraignment on Aug. 3rd, 2023.

Trump's motorcade was seen departing from his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club ahead of his 4 p.m. ET court appearance in federal court in Washington, D.C.

Images apparently taken from helicopters overhead showed Trump wearing a blue suit and a red tie as he entered the motorcade and left the property.

Kevin Breuninger

Chris Christie says he was questioned in probe about Trump's 'knowledge' of election results

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie launches his bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., June 6, 2023. 
Sophie Park | Reuters
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie launches his bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., June 6, 2023. 

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he has been questioned in one of the investigations into Trump.

Christie, a former ally to the former president who has since become one of his loudest Republican critics, revealed his involvement in a Trump probe during an interview on the podcast "On with Kara Swisher."

Christie declined to say which investigation he had participated in. But he said his questioners "were trying to get a handle on what I knew about his knowledge of the reality of the election results."

He said he was questioned between six and eight weeks ago.

"I was honest," he added.

Christie's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the former governor's remarks.

Kevin Breuninger

Bill Barr says Trump 'doesn't care' about ruined lives from Jan. 6 riot, dismisses First Amendment defense

A video of former Attorney General William Barr speaking is shown on a screen during the fifth hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC, on June 23, 2022.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
A video of former Attorney General William Barr speaking is shown on a screen during the fifth hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC, on June 23, 2022.

Bill Barr, who served as Trump's attorney general, said the former president "doesn't care" about the lives that might have been ruined by participating in the Jan. 6 riot and from serving in his government.

"No, he doesn't care about that," Barr said in a CNN interview. "Loyalty is a one-way street for him."

Barr also said he thinks the new indictment against Trump is "a legitimate case."

But, he added that he was concerned "about the slippery slope of criminalizing legitimate political activity."

That said, Barr dismissed the idea floated by Trump's lawyers that he is being charged for political speech that is protected by his First Amendment constitutional right.

"I really don't think that's a valid argument," Barr said. "They're not attacking his First Amendment right. He can say whatever he wants. He can even lie. He can even tell people that the election was stolen when he knew better. But that does not protect you from entering into a conspiracy. All conspiracies involve speech, and all fraud involves speech."

"Free speech doesn't give you the right to engage in a fraudulent conspiracy," he said.

— Dan Mangan

Four counts, three conspiracies: Here's what Trump is accused of

The opening page of an indictment against former U.S. President Donald Trump is seen after he was hit with criminal charges for a third time in four months - this time arising from efforts to overturn his 2020 U.S. election defeat, in a photo illustration August 1, 2023. 
Chris Helgren | Reuters
The opening page of an indictment against former U.S. President Donald Trump is seen after he was hit with criminal charges for a third time in four months - this time arising from efforts to overturn his 2020 U.S. election defeat, in a photo illustration August 1, 2023. 

Special counsel Jack Smith's indictment alleges a monthslong effort by Trump and a half-dozen co-conspirators to overturn his 2020 election loss through a shifting, multi-layered conspiracy that ran afoul of multiple federal statutes.

Trump is accused of perpetrating three criminal conspiracies:

  1. A conspiracy to defraud the United States "by using dishonesty, fraud, and deceit to impair, obstruct, and defeat" the lawful certification of President Joe Biden's electoral victory,
  2. A conspiracy "to corruptly obstruct and impede" the Jan. 6, 2021, congressional proceeding where the Electoral College results were certified, and
  3. A conspiracy against "the right to vote and to have one's vote counted."

Prosecutors say the first of those conspiracies violated 18 U.S.C. § 371, Conspiracy to Defraud the United States.

The second conspiracy violated 18 U.S.C. § 1512(k), Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding, they allege.

The third conspiracy allegedly violated 18 U.S.C. § 241, Conspiracy Against Rights.

The four-count indictment also charges Trump with violating 18 U.S.C. §§ 1512(c)(2), 2, Obstruction of an Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding.

Kevin Breuninger

Trump says he is headed 'to be arrested.' U.S. Marshals say he is not being arrested.

Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post | Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump boards his airplane, known as "Trump Force One," as he heads to speak at campaign events in GA and NC, at Newark Liberty International Airport on Saturday, June 10, 2023, in Newark, NJ.

Trump said on social media that he is en route to Washington, D.C., for his arrest and arraignment on charges of conspiring to overturn his 2020 election loss.

"I AM NOW GOING TO WASHINGTON, D.C., TO BE ARRESTED FOR HAVING CHALLENGED A CORRUPT, RIGGED, & STOLEN ELECTION," Trump wrote on Truth Social at 12:01 p.m. ET.

"IT IS A GREAT HONOR, BECAUSE I AM BEING ARRESTED FOR YOU. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!"

But Trump won't actually be arrested when he enters federal court to respond to his summons, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

"He is going today to appear for a summons and that's it," said Brady McCarron, deputy chief of public affairs for the USMS, in a phone call with CNBC.

"He is not being arrested. There is no mugshot, there are no handcuffs," McCarron said.

Kevin Breuninger

Where is Melania Trump?

Former U.S. First Lady Melania Trump arrives at Trump Tower in Manhattan on June 8, 2023 in New York City.
James Devaney | Gc Images | Getty Images
Former U.S. First Lady Melania Trump arrives at Trump Tower in Manhattan on June 8, 2023 in New York City.

As the former president faces mounting legal peril, Melania Trump has largely disappeared from public life.

After steadfastly standing by her husband for years, the former first lady did not appear at Trump's side for his two previous arraignments on charges of falsifying business records and mishandling classified documents.

And she has not commented publicly on her husband's latest and most serious indictment on charges related to his attempts to overturn Joe Biden's 2020 election victory.

CNBC has reached out to the former president's campaign to see if Melania Trump will be will be with him at the arraignment.

Melania Trump has also been absent from the campaign trail. She has turned down requests from her husband to appear at his side as he leads the pack of Republican candidates trying to clinch the party's presidential nomination, according to a recent profile published in The New York Times.

People close to the former first lady told the Times that she wants to protect her privacy and is focused on helping her son Barron with his college search.

Though she's been absent from the limelight, Trump's Save America political action committee reported spending $108,000 in the first part of the year on Hervé Pierre, the fashion designer who has worked with former first lady Melania Trump. Save America listed the expense as "strategy consulting."

-- Spencer Kimball

Former AG Bill Barr says Trump 'knew well he lost the election'

U.S. Attorney General William Barr and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a signing ceremony for an executive order in the Oval Office of the White House on November 26, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images News | Getty Images
U.S. Attorney General William Barr and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a signing ceremony for an executive order in the Oval Office of the White House on November 26, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Trump "knew well he lost" the 2020 presidential election, former Attorney General Bill Barr said on the eve of the former president's arraignment.

Barr served under Trump from early 2019 to December 2020. As Trump was spreading conspiracy theories about a rigged election in the weeks after November 2020, Barr announced that his office had found no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

The special counsel indictment accuses Trump of spreading fraud claims that he knew to be false, and then using those claims as the basis for a conspiracy to overturn the election results.

Trump's defense attorney John Lauro argued Wednesday that Trump's actions were aimed to "get at the truth."

But Barr said on CNN on Wednesday night, "At first I wasn't sure, but I have come to believe that he knew well that he had lost the election."

The government is "going to have to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt," he said, adding that that is a "high bar."

But Barr also said he believes the government has more evidence to reveal.

"We're only seeing the tip of the iceberg on this indictment," Barr said.

Kevin Breuninger

Downtown D.C. heavily barricaded, law enforcement on high alert

Police block a street near the E. Barrett Prettyman US Courthouse where former US President Donald Trump is to be arraigned on August 3, 2023, in Washington, DC.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
Police block a street near the E. Barrett Prettyman US Courthouse where former US President Donald Trump is to be arraigned on August 3, 2023, in Washington, DC.

Workers set up security barricades around E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse as former President Donald Trump travels to the nation's capital city for his arraignment hearing.

The 4:00 p.m.arraignment is the third time this year the former president has faced criminal charges.

Workers set up security barricades outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on August 2, 2023, ahead of the arraignment of former US President Donald Trump.
Stefani Reynolds | Afp | Getty Images
Workers set up security barricades outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on August 2, 2023, ahead of the arraignment of former US President Donald Trump.
Police gather outside the E. Barrett Prettyman US Courthouse in Washington, DC, on August 3, 2023, ahead of the arraignment of former US president Donald Trump. 
Stefani Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images
Police gather outside the E. Barrett Prettyman US Courthouse in Washington, DC, on August 3, 2023, ahead of the arraignment of former US president Donald Trump. 
Police gather outside the E. Barrett Prettyman US Courthouse in Washington, DC, on August 3, 2023, ahead of the arraignment of former US president Donald Trump. 
Stefani Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images
Police gather outside the E. Barrett Prettyman US Courthouse in Washington, DC, on August 3, 2023, ahead of the arraignment of former US president Donald Trump. 
Media members prepare for the eventual arrival of former U.S. President Donald Trump, who is facing federal charges in connection with attempts to overturn his 2020 election defeat, at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., August 3, 2023.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
Media members prepare for the eventual arrival of former U.S. President Donald Trump, who is facing federal charges in connection with attempts to overturn his 2020 election defeat, at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., August 3, 2023.
Police gather outside the E. Barrett Prettyman US Courthouse in Washington, DC, on August 3, 2023, ahead of the arraignment of former US president Donald Trump. 
Stefani Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images
Police gather outside the E. Barrett Prettyman US Courthouse in Washington, DC, on August 3, 2023, ahead of the arraignment of former US president Donald Trump. 

— Amanda Macias

Copyright CNBC
Contact Us