Security on the rise as Trump to be arraigned on January 6 ‘conspiracy’ charges in DC at 4 pm today

Trump is scheduled to appear before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya around 4 pm.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

2024 GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is set to be arraigned in Washington, DC’s E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse on Thursday afternoon on charges alleging that he attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Trump is scheduled to appear before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya around 4 pm, according to NBC News, and will be arraigned on the indictment charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction. and conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted.

This is the third indictment Trump has faced, with the second also coming from Special Counsel Jack Smith on the alleged retaining of classified documents and the first coming from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg alleging that he falsified business records. A fourth indictment is expected to come out of Georgia in relation to the 2020 election.

Ahead of the court appearance, security was tightened in the area of the courthouse in preparation for possible protests.

In a statement, Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said, "while the Secret Service does not comment on specific protective means or methods, we have the utmost confidence in the dedication and commitment to security shared by all of our law enforcement and government partners."

"We are working closely with the Metropolitan Police Department, US Marshals Service, US Park Police, US Capitol Police and the Federal Protective Service to ensure the highest levels of safety and security for the former president, while minimizing disruptions to the normal court process."

50 people had already lined up outside the courthouse by 5 pm on Wednesday, including news organizations, to attend the court proceedings.

According to NBC 4, DC is expected to see rolling roadblocks and short-term traffic issues in downtown. Former Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine said officers would be available to deal with other potential "diversion attempts" in the city.

The federal judge assigned to Trump’s case is Tanya Chutkan, a US district judge appointed by Barack Obama in 2014. 

Chutkan has presided over other cases involving January 6 defendants, issuing sentences that are above the requests of Biden’s Department of Justice.

Of the 38 people Chutkan has tried, all were convicted and given prison sentences, with 19 of the sentences either matching or going beyond the Department of Justice’s requests, Another four of the cases contained zero requests for jail or prison sentences, yet Chutkan gave them jail time.  

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