Donald Trump indictment: charges, when will he appear in court, will there be a trial - could he go to jail?

Despite legal trouble Trump still remains the frontrunner for the the Republican presidential nomination
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Donald Trump is set to appear in federal court today (3 August) after being criminally charged for the third time in six months.

The former US president is expected to be processed by law enforcement, officially taken into custody and enter a not guilty plea before a judge, before being released to continue his campaigning to be the Republican presidential nominee for the White House in 2024.

Since leaving the White House Trump has already been charged in two other cases including mishandling classified files and for falsifying business records to cover up the Stormy Daniels hush money scandal. So, what is Donald Trump accused of this time, will there be a trial and could he go to jail? Here’s everything you need to know.

What is Donald Trump accused of?

Trump was indicted on Tuesday (1 August) by the Justice Department. Special counsel Jack Smith charged the 77-year-old with four felony counts relating to his efforts to undermine the presidential election result in the run-up to the January 6 riot at Capitol Hill. He also faces additional charges including conspiracy to defraud the US government and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding.

Donald Trump is still the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination (Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)Donald Trump is still the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination (Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Donald Trump is still the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination (Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

The former president is the only person facing charges, however, prosecutors have made reference to six co-conspirators who they claim he plotted with. The indictment claims Trump repeatedly lied about the 2020 election results and pressured former vice president Mike Pence and election officials to help back up his claims, with Smith describing Trump’s actions as an attack on a “bedrock function of the US government”.

This is the third criminal case brought against Trump in the last six months, but despite this he still remains the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nominee for the White House in 2024.

When will he appear in court?

Trump is set to appear in court in Washington, DC today (3 August). The former president is expected to be processed by law enforcement, officially taken into custody and enter a not guilty plea before the judge.

Messages written in chalk outside the courthouse in Washington DC ahead of Trump’s arraignment (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)Messages written in chalk outside the courthouse in Washington DC ahead of Trump’s arraignment (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Messages written in chalk outside the courthouse in Washington DC ahead of Trump’s arraignment (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Will there be a trial?

Currently there is no date for his trial. Trump will be making his appearance at court in Washington DC on August 3, where he will make his plea to the charges. This will set in motion the schedule for his trial. Reported by PA, in a rare public statement, Smith has said he was seeking a “speedy trial”. Though it is expected that Trump’s defence team will push back and could file a motion to dismiss the charges.

Could he go to jail?

Trump currently faces 78 federal charges and if convicted he could face a hefty prison sentence. Reported by Politico, if found guilty on all accounts and given the maximum sentence, the former president could face a whopping 641 years in prison.

In fact, Trump has even addressed the possible sentence he could face whilst campaigning in late July. He said: “While my primary opponents continue to take cheap swipes at me as the Department of Justice plots ways to throw me in JAIL for up to 561 YEARS, I am asking YOU to stand with me at this pivotal moment in the election”.

However, if found guilty it is very unlikely that Trump will be locked up for centuries.

Will he still run for president?

Despite a slew of legal issues, Trump is still the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination. The 77-year-old’s supporters have come out in his defence over the latest charges. Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy stated that the indictment was an attempt to “attack the frontrunner for the Republican nomination”.

Trump’s campaign released a statement in which they “criticised” the new charges, likening it to a “witch hunt”. Reported by ABC News, in a brief telephone interview, the former president described the charges as a “pile on” adding that he will “fight and we will win”.

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