Former President Trump is scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday afternoon after being indicted on federal charges related to the transfer of power after the 2020 election.
His appearance is slated for 4 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya at the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse in Washington, D.C.
A spokesperson for special counsel Jack Smith said it was the office’s understanding that the appearance will be in person but that it was ultimately up to the court. A Trump attorney during a CNN appearance similarly indicated it was the court’s decision.
“That’s up to the court. The court makes those decisions. So, we’re prepared to follow whatever the court rules are. The judge issued a summons, and he will appear either virtually or in person,” Trump attorney John Lauro told CNN after the indictment was filed.
A court spokesperson did not return a request for comment.
Prosecutors unveiled a four-count indictment against Trump Tuesday evening, charging him with conspiracy to defraud the U.S., among other charges.
Both of Trump’s previous first court appearances this year were done in person at courthouses in New York and Miami.
D.C.’s federal courthouse has conducted some initial appearances via video conference during the pandemic, however. Upadhyaya presided over a virtual initial appearance Tuesday prior to receiving Trump’s indictment shortly after 5 p.m.
Upadhyaya will not preside over any trial. Trump’s case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, an Obama appointee who has been on the bench since 2014. Chutkan has previously handed out strong sentences in Jan. 6 cases.