Washington/Atlanta – Former US President Donald Trump is unlikely to appear next week for the reading of the charges against him in connection with attempted voter fraud in the state of Georgia. The Republican waived his right to attend the Sept. 6 court hearing in person, according to a court document released Thursday and signed by Trump.

When the indictment is read out, the accused are formally confronted with the allegations in court. They then usually have the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty. In the court document, Trump made it clear in writing that he pleaded “not guilty” in the Georgia case.

Charge number four

This is Trump’s fourth indictment. In all cases he pleaded not guilty. After the indictment in the three previous cases, Trump appeared personally before the competent courts in New York, Miami and Washington – accompanied by a huge media hype around the courthouses. Such a spectacle is unlikely to happen in Georgia next week, but it may be when the case officially begins. A date for this has not yet been set.

Never before in US history has an ex-president come to court for a crime. The Republican, who wants to run again in the 2024 presidential election, rejects all allegations and sees the prosecution against him as an attempt by his opponents to prevent him from re-entering the White House.

One of 19 suspects

In Georgia, Trump is charged with 18 other suspects over his attempts to influence the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in the state. Last Thursday he had to appear at the Atlanta County Jail to formally present himself to the authorities on the charge and have his personal details taken. A police photo of him was also taken there. The historically unprecedented photo of the ex-president looking grimly into the camera went around the world.

Trump lost the 2020 presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden. To this day, however, he refuses to admit defeat. Instead, the 77-year-old insists that massive electoral fraud robbed him of a win. Neither Trump nor his lawyers have been able to provide evidence to support these claims. Dozens of lawsuits brought by the Trump camp were dismissed by courts after the election, including the US Supreme Court. Trump’s campaign against the outcome of the election culminated on January 6, 2021 when his supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington.

Party colleagues should “find” votes

Georgia was one of the states that played a key role in the 2020 election outcome. Biden won in the state at the time by about 12,000 votes. Trump tried to have his election defeat there – as in other states – subsequently changed. Among other things, he called on Georgia’s top election supervisor, his Republican party colleague Brad Raffensperger, in an hour-long phone call to “find” enough votes for him to “recalculate” the result and turn it in his favor.

In the midst of his current campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Trump has three more indictments to deal with – and thus three more court cases. The trial in Washington related to the storming of the US Capitol and attempted voter fraud is scheduled to begin on March 4, 2024.

The New York case is related to hush money payments to a porn actress – the process there is scheduled to start on March 25, 2024. The case in Miami revolves around the storage of top secret government documents in a private residence of Trump – the start of the court case is scheduled for May 20, 2024.