Trump arraignment on Georgia charges will be in a court that allows cameras — unlike his other 3 indictments

Trump arraignment on Georgia charges will be in a court that allows cameras — unlike his other 3 indictments


Former President Donald Trump and 18 allies have until Aug. 25 to surrender at a Georgia court after being indicted on a total 41 counts by a grand jury in Fulton County. This is the fourth time Trump, the only president who has ever been criminally charged, will be arraigned. This arraignment, however, is expected to be slightly different than the others, because cameras are allowed in the state’s courtrooms.

Georgia arraignment

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis announced late on Monday night that arrest warrants for 19 defendants have been issued, and they all have until noon on Aug. 25 to turn themselves in. Alleged co-conspirators named in the indictment include Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. 

For the previous three indictments, Trump and any co-defendants were given about four or five days to turn themselves in. For this one, they have about 11 days to surrender. 

In past arraignments, no cameras were allowed inside the courtrooms. The first arraignment was in New York, where audio-visual coverage of court proceedings is not allowed in any court.

The next two arraignments were held at federal courts in Miami and Washington, D.C., where electronic media coverage is expressly prohibited. A federal judge, however, may decide in some cases to allow cameras.

Georgia law states that photographs and televising of the courtroom is allowed, as long as it does not disrupt the proceedings. 

So, the big difference in this arraignment: “Cameras in the courtroom,” CBS News senior White House and political correspondent Ed O’Keefe said Tuesday on “CBS Mornings”. “Now we’re going to see him in a courtroom, show up to be arraigned, potentially. Not only him, but the 18 others that have been indicted in this case. And that has a huge effect on the public perception of all of this.”

It is unclear on which date Trump will show up to be arraigned, but O’Keefe said he could strategically surrender on Aug. 23, the day of the first Republican presidential debate. “Where would you rather be that day, in Milwaukee with everybody else or in that Atlanta courtroom? He knows that this has completely sucked oxygen away from everyone else that’s running. So now he can potentially use this to his advantage even more,” O’Keefe said.

Trump has not yet said whether he will participate in the debate, but he has refused to sign a pledge that is required to participate. 

Trump and the 18 other defendants face charges of election fraud, racketeering and more related to alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Willis said the defendants “engaged in a criminal racketeering enterprise to overturn Georgia’s presidential election result subsequent to the indictment.” 

The charges allege violations of Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, also known as RICO, which allows a group of people to be charged for organized criminal acts.

It is unclear when any of the other defendants will surrender. 

Washington, D.C. arraignment

On Tuesday, Aug. 1, Trump was indicted by a federal grand jury after special counsel Jack Smith brought evidence to the grand jury about the former president’s alleged involvement during what Smith called the “unprecedented assault” on democracy on Jan. 6, 2021.

The former president faces four felony charges: conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding; and conspiracy against rights. The indictment alleged six other people were involved in the conspiracy. 

On Aug. 3, Trump was arraigned at the Elijah Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington, D.C., and pleaded not guilty.

  • Proceedings lasted about 30 minutes
  • No cameras were allowed inside the courtroom – such is the case for all federal courts
  • Trump entered through a concealed entrance
  • No mugshot was taken
  • In the absence of cameras, a sketch was drawn of Trump inside the courtroom
Sketch showing former President Donald Trump being arraigned in a Washington, D.C. federal court, Aug. 3, 2023.

Sketch by William J. Hennessy, Jr.

The six alleged co-conspirators were not named in the indictment, but at least five of them are lawyers, according to the document.

Miami arraignment

On June 9, the Justice Department made public its indictment of Trump and his aide Walt Nauta. The indictment detailed charges both faced relating to the handling of sensitive government records after the former president left the White House. 

This was the first time in history a former president time was charged by the Justice Department. 

On June 13, Trump appeared for his arraignment at a federal court in Miami and pleaded not guilty to all 37 felony counts he faced. 

  • Proceedings lasted 45 minutes 
  • No cameras were allowed inside the courtroom – such is the case for all federal courts
  • Trump entered the courtroom through a concealed entrance
  • No mug shot was taken
  • In the absence of cameras, a sketch was drawn of Trump inside the courtroom
A sketch drawn during Trump’s arraignment at a federal court in Miami on June 13. 

Bill Hennessy

Nauta didn’t appear for his arraignment until July 6, and his attorney entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf.

On July 27, three additional charges were brought against Trump and two more were brought against Nauta. Charges against Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliveira were also introduced. They have all pleaded not guilty to those charges as well.

New York arraignment

On March 30, Trump was indicted by a grand jury in New York after Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg brought evidence to the grand jury about Trump’s alleged involvement in covering up so-called hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels. This marked the first time a former president was charged with a crime. 

The indictment wasn’t unsealed until Trump’s arraignment on Tuesday, April 4, at a court in lower Manhattan. Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. 

  • The proceedings lasted about an hour
  • Trump entered the building through a concealed entrance
  • Electronic media coverage was not allowed in the courtroom, but one photo was taken
  • No mugshot was taken
Former President Donald Trump in court at his arraignment in Manhattan
Former President Donald Trump sits at the defense table in court on April 4, 2023 in New York City, as he was arraigned on criminal charges for allegedly falsifying business records.

Seth Wenig / Getty Images



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