WASHINGTON: Former US president Donald Trump pleaded not guilty on Thursday (Aug 31) to charges that he led a criminal conspiracy to overturn his 2020 election loss in the southern state of Georgia.
The Republican presidential frontrunner, who faces 13 felony counts including racketeering, entered his plea in a court filing waiving his right to appear at an arraignment scheduled for Wednesday next week.
Trump, 77, surrendered to the county jail in Atlanta last week and was the first former US president pictured in a police mug shot.
Released on a $200,000 bond and given the inmate number “PO1135809” by the Fulton County Jail, Trump was accused of colluding with 18 other defendants in a multi-pronged attempt to overturn his defeat in Georgia to Joe Biden.
The billionaire has been criminally indicted four times since April, setting the stage for a year of unprecedented drama as he tries to juggle multiple court appearances and another White House campaign.
Trump’s arrest in Georgia came a day after he spurned a televised debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin featuring eight of his rivals for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination — all of whom lag well behind him in the polls.
During the debate all but two of the candidates said they would support him as the party’s nominee even if he were a convicted felon.