Former US President Donald Trump appeared in court on Thursday in Washington to answer charges that he plotted to overturn the 2020 presidential election. He pleaded not guilty.
Trump made the appearance at a courthouse that has hosted dozens of trials stemming from the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith unveiled the indictment on Tuesday. He said Trump lost the election but "was determined to remain in power."
The indictment says Trump knowingly pushed false claims of voter fraud. It was the third time he has been indicted in four months.
Trump spoke to reporters after appearing in court. He said, "When you look at what's happening, this is the persecution of a political opponent. This was never supposed to happen in America."
He added that it was a "sad day" for the country.
One Trump supporter who was outside the courthouse said, "I wanted to witness the election interference firsthand, so I don't have to get it from the news the fake news."
A protester on the scene said, "January 6 was appalling. He could incite people to storm my Capitol and tear it down and threaten people."
Trump is the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. He has said that he would continue his candidacy even if he is convicted.