Donald Trump is due to appear in court to face charges over involvement in the January 6th Capitol riots.
He is set to be arraigned at the federal court in Washington DC, where he will be given the opportunity to plead not guilty.
Increased security measures have been put in place around the court building, which is situated close to the US Capitol building, the focus of rioting on 6 January 2021.
Trump is due to appear at 4pm local time.
The judge overseeing his case is the Obama-appointed Judge Tanya Chutkan.
She is no stranger to January 6th cases – indeed, she is known for handing down stiff sentences to Capitol rioters, at one point calling the event “an assault on the American people”.
She has also ruled against Trump before in a separate January 6 case.
In November 2021, she refused his request to block the release of documents to the US House of Representatives’ January 6 committee by asserting executive privilege.
Prosecutors say Trump pushed unproven fraud claims he knew were untrue, pressured state and federal officials – including Vice President Mike Pence – to alter the results and finally incited the Capitol assault in a bid to undermine US democracy and cling to power.
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Does Donald Trump mean what he says?
The four-count, 45-page indictment accuses Trump, who is again running for president, of trying to subvert the will of the people at the 2020 election.
He faces three charges of conspiracy – one to defraud the United States, another to obstruct the January 6th certification of an official government proceeding and a third against the people’s’ right to vote and have that vote counted.
A fourth charge relates to the obstruction of an official proceeding.
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Former Republican congressman Joe Walsh, who ran against Trump for the party’s nomination to run for presidency in 2020, has told Sky News the charges the former president is facing are legally “damaging” but politically they are “gold”.
He added that the Republican Party is a “cult” which has “given up on democracy” and Trump is a “cult leader” who would like to be a dictator.
Mr Walsh continued: “I think these indictments, these charges will lock up the Republican Party nomination for him. I think he was already going to be the nominee. Now, I think it’s certain he’s a martyr in the view of Republican voters in this country.”
Written by: Newsroom