Former President Trump enters not guilty plea in Georgia election fraud case


Former US President Donald Trump has formally pleaded not guilty in the Georgia election fraud case. Trump, who is among 19 individuals charged with an alleged conspiracy to overturn the 2020 vote results in the state, decided to waive his appearance in court for the upcoming week.

Turning himself in at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta last week, Trump’s mugshot was taken as part of the process. Despite the charges, he has consistently refuted any allegations of wrongdoing, characterizing the case as driven by political motives.

The charges against Trump encompass 13 felony counts, including racketeering, for purportedly pressuring officials in Georgia to reverse the outcome of the 2020 presidential election held in the state.

In an official court filing on Thursday, Trump acknowledged his awareness of the allegations and his right to be present in court. The document, which he signed, expresses his voluntary decision to waive his right to attend his arraignment and have the charges read aloud in open court.

Trump, a prominent contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has attended each of his three previous arraignments. While he physically appeared for cases in New York and Florida, he chose not to request a virtual appearance for a separate case in Washington DC, each instance marked by heightened security due to gatherings of both his supporters and counter-protesters.

Remarkably, Georgia’s Fulton County is the sole jurisdiction where defendants can opt not to be physically present when formally charged in criminal cases. Brian Tevis, a legal representative for one of Trump’s co-accused, Rudy Giuliani, noted that it is a common practice for defendants to waive their arraignment in such situations.

Just this week, three other co-defendants, including former Trump attorneys Ray Stallings Smith and Sidney Powell, along with former celebrity publicist Trevian Kutti, entered their not guilty pleas.

The original plan was for Trump to be arraigned on September 6, with other defendants following in 15-minute intervals.

The charges against all 19 defendants, Trump included, revolve around alleged violations of Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the Rico act.

This act is applied to establish connections between lawbreakers and those who orchestrated or ordered the unlawful activities, both at the state and federal levels.

Fulton County’s District Attorney, Fani Willis, a Democrat, has faced criticism from certain Republicans and Trump’s allies for her decision to indict the former President. Amid these pressures, State Senator Colton Moore recently reached out to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, also a Republican, urging a special session for Ms. Willis’s impeachment.

Governor Kemp, in response, emphasized his commitment to following the law and the Constitution, irrespective of political implications.

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