Former President Donald Trump surrendered to federal authorities in Washington, D.C., and entered a plea of not guilty on Thursday.
The former president is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy against rights, and two counts of witness tampering, in connection with the purported plots to overturn the 2020 presidential election that fueled the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
He has been released on his own recognizance, as the unique situation of being a former president means he is under constant Secret Service protection and the government knows where he is at all times, making him a low flight risk.
Trump and special counsel Jack Smith were both in the courtroom, with CNN reporting they were 15 feet apart from each other.
Trump maintains he has done nothing wrong, and in a statement to his supporters earlier in the day, said, “It is a great honor, because I am being arrested for you. Make America Great Again!!!”
This is the third criminal case in which Trump has been indicted — and the first case involving alleged conduct that actually took place while he was in office.
The former president also faces two other cases: a felony business records fraud case in New York, related to his alleged hush payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, and Espionage Act and obstruction charges for hoarding boxes of highly classified national defense information at his Mar-a-Lago resort in South Florida. Last week, Trump was hit with a superseding indictment in that case, along with two of his aides, alleging they tried to erase subpoenaed security footage.