On Thursday, former President Donald Trump entered a not-guilty plea and waived arraignment in the case charging him and others with conspiring to fraudulently alter the outcomes of the Georgia 2020 election.
As a result, he will not be required to attend the arraignment hearing that Judge Scott McAfee of the Fulton County Superior Court had scheduled for the following week.
The decision to forego a court appearance prevents the spectacular arraignments that have preceded the three other criminal proceedings Trump is facing, in which the former president was compelled to enter “not guilty” pleas in front of large crowds of onlookers while being dragged through heavy security.
In a 41-count indictment released earlier this month, Trump and 18 other defendants are accused of plotting to overthrow Georgia’s government.
In filings with the court, a number of the other defendants named in the indictment had already waived arraignment, saving them a trip to the courthouse in downtown Atlanta.
At the Fulton County Jail, where he turned himself in on August 24, Trump made history by becoming the first former president to have a mug shot taken.
The lawsuit, which was brought in accordance with Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, is extensive, and the practicalities of holding a trial are probably challenging.
Several of those accused have already started to practice legal hedging.