Former President Donald Trump was hit with more bad legal news on Thursday.
Trump on Thursday was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy to violate rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution relating to his alleged involvement in the January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. He appeared at the Elijah Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington, D.C., about 4:15 p.m. ET and pleaded not guilty.
He received more bad legal news before the hearing when Manhattan federal prosecutors secured access to video testimony Trump gave during the E. Jean Carroll defamation case in May. In that lawsuit, Trump was found liable for sexual abuse and defamation and ordered to pay Carroll $5 million.
Prosecutors have been attempting to gain access to the taped deposition and could use it in the March 2024 criminal trial for which Trump stands accused of orchestrating a hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels in an effort to silence their alleged affair during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump was indicted in the Daniels case in March. He was charged with 34 felony accounts of falsifying business records. Trump pleaded not guilty and continues to deny any wrongdoing. He has maintained that the investigations against him are part of a politically motivated “witch hunt” by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Although the two Manhattan cases are unrelated, federal prosecutors wanted to gain access to Trump’s taped deposition from the Carroll case because they believe that Trump’s comments about sexual misconduct tie into his alleged effort to silence Daniels. Trump’s attorneys argued that the evidence in the Carroll case was supposed to remain secret under a protective order.