Washington, Aug 3 (EFE).- Stepped-up security was in evidence Thursday at the United States federal courthouse in Washington for the arraignment of former President Donald Trump on charges of trying to overturn the result of the 2020 election.
EFE saw an extended security perimeter in place around the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse, just 500 meters (yards) away from the US Capitol, where Trump partisans rioted on Jan. 6, 2021, in a failed bid to stop Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.
Only employees and authorized persons were allowed past the bike racks arrayed as makeshift barriers, while a throng of journalists took up positions outside the perimeter ahead of the arraignment, set for 4:00 pm (2000 GMT).
Trucks have been parked on the roads near the courthouse to restrict traffic.
A handful of Trump supporters gathered near the building and three men drove circles around the courthouse in a limousine with a license plate reading “TRUMP DC,” honking the horn.
“Trump won the election,” one of them shouted from the front seat, while a man in the backseat wearing a mask with the former president’s likeness said he made the trip from New York to “be a witness to history.”
“I came to see it with my own eyes,” he told reporters who approached the vehicle to snap photos.
Trump currently has a big lead in the polls over his rivals for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya will preside over the reading of the charges brought against Trump by special counsel Jack Smith: conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction; and conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted.