Former President Trump on Thursday pleaded not guilty and waived arraignment in Fulton County, Georgia on charges related to the attempt to overturn that state’s 2020 Presidential election.
Trump is among 19 co-defendants who were indicted by a grand jury following Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation into election interference.
All 19 are facing racketeering charges. Trump is also facing an additional 12 criminal counts, including solicitation of violation of oath by public officer, conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer, conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree, conspiracy to commit false statements and writings, conspiracy to commit filing false documents, and conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree.
Last Thursday, Trump turned himself in and, like all of his fellow co-defendants, had his mug shot taken. He also agreed to a $200,000 bond deal last week.
This Thursday, Trump followed the lead of a handful of his fellow co-defendants in waiving arraignment, which Willis has scheduled for September 6. Pleading early allows the co-defendants, including Trump, to avoid being arraigned in front of the Fulton County courtroom cameras.
“As evidenced by my signature below, I do hereby waive formal arraignment and enter my plea of NOT GUILTY to the indictment in this case,” according to the filing signed by Trump.
Trump’s not guilty plea also comes after Willis has asked the judge overseeing the case to fast-track the trial for all 19 co-defendants for October 23—not just attorney Kenneth Chesebro who requested a speedy trial—while permitting the rest of the 19 to file motions to sever from the larger racketeering case.
On Wednesday, Trump’s legal team filed a motion opposing her fast-track request.