Former President Trump is set to make his initial court appearance on Thursday afternoon following his indictment on federal charges about the post2020 election transfer of power.
The appearance is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse in Washington, DC, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya.
A representative for special counsel Jack Smith has indicated that they expect the appearance to be in person, but they noted that the final decision lies with the court. John Lauro, an attorney for Trump, echoed this sentiment during a CNN appearance, saying, “That’s up to the court.
The court makes those decisions. The judge issued a summons, and Donald Trump will appear in person or virtually.”
A court spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment on the matter.
The indictment against former President Trump, revealed on Tuesday evening, consists of four counts, including a conspiracy charge to defraud the U.S.
Previously this year, Trump made his first court appearances in person in both New York and Miami.
During the pandemic, D.C.’s federal courthouse has occasionally conducted initial appearances via video conference. This includes an instance on Tuesday when Upadhyaya oversaw a virtual initial appearance shortly after receiving Trump’s indictment at around 5 p.m.
Judge Upadhyaya will not oversee any potential trial. The case has been handed to U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, appointed by President Obama and serving since 2014. Chutkan has a history of imposing strict sentences on those guilty of events that occurred on January 6.
Chutkan has developed a reputation as one of the more stringent judges concerning the January 6 cases.
As one of twenty-four judges in Washington, D.C., who together have handed down sentences to almost 600 defendants involved in the siege, Chutkan’s approach has been notably firm.
According to a report by the A.P., she has matched or exceeded prosecutors’ sentencing recommendations in 19 of her 38 sentences.
In four notable cases, the prosecutors had not even sought jail time, yet Chutkan imposed it.