Former President Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty in the sprawling Fulton County election interference case, according to a new court filing.

Former President Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty in the sprawling Fulton County election interference case, according to a new court filing.

Trump had been scheduled to be arraigned in person on Wednesday. Georgia law allows criminal defendants to waive their in-person appearance and enter a formal plea through court filings.

His arraignment marks the fourth time that Trump has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges since leaving the presidency. In this case, Trump is charged with racketeering in his alleged efforts to upend the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia.

Several of the former president’s co-defendants have also waived their in-court appearances and have pleaded not guilty, including Sidney Powell and Trevian Kutti. Defendants who do not waive their appearance will attend court as scheduled on September 6.

Though no official date for Trump to go to trial in Georgia has been set, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat, has asked the judge overseeing the case last week to schedule a trial for all 19 defendants for October 23, 2023.

In response, lawyers for Trump said they oppose the proposed date and have previewed the likelihood of pre-trial disputes that will drag the proceedings. Several co-defendants, including his former chief of staff Mark Meadows, have sought to move their cases from Georgia state court to federal court, a more advantageous legal spot and a move that also would have the effect of delaying the proceedings.

Trump faces more than a dozen charges, some of which relate to efforts to put forth fake electors to falsely claim that the then-president won Georgia in 2020. He surrendered last week and agreed to a $200,000 bond and other release conditions, including not using social media to target the co-defendants and witnesses in the case.

He has also been indicted in three other cases: one related to a hush-money payment to an adult-film star in 2016 in Manhattan, another involving the alleged mishandling of classified national defense documents and a third federal investigation related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

President Joe Biden has formally declared a major disaster in Florida in response to Hurricane Idalia, the White House announced Thursday.

“The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Citrus, Dixie, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Suwannee, and Taylor,” the White House said in a statement.

Hurricane Idalia made landfall in Florida Wednesday morning as a powerful Category 3 storm and has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it makes its way up the East Coast, causing flooding, significant property damage and power outages across Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

Biden spoke with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis by phone earlier Thursday to inform him of the declaration.

“This morning, President Biden called Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to convey that he has signed a Major Disaster Declaration and ordered all available federal resources to help with the continued response to Tropical Storm Idalia,” the White House said in a statement.

The statement added, “The president reiterated that the people of Florida have his full support as they recover from the storm.”

Biden spoke with DeSantis multiple times ahead of and during the hurricane. The governor was set to meet with Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell to assess needs on Thursday.

Speaking about his interactions with the GOP presidential candidate, Biden offered praise for DeSantis Wednesday.

“I think he trusts my judgment and my desire to help, and I trust him to be able to suggest that this is not about politics, it’s about taking care of the people of the state,” he said.

The immediate focus in Florida on Thursday for FEMA is accounting for those in Hurricane Idalia’s path and efforts toward power restoration, Criswell told “CNN This Morning.”

Criswell, who arrived in the state Wednesday afternoon, is spending Thursday with state and local officials assessing the storm’s impact and what additional resources and funding are still needed.

She offered some good news: “People did heed the warning to evacuate and the primary searches, I believe, are complete. We expect the secondary searches in those areas to be done by Friday, which is really great news that people got out of harm’s way as the storm surge had the potential to be truly life threatening.”

The “biggest concern” now, she said, is power, with Florida Power and Light adding mutual aid resources to get the lights back on and Army Corps of Engineers on standby to assist. The next priority, she added, is efforts to start removing debris.

Criswell also spoke on the question of federal funding for disaster response, as Biden has made clear he’s ready to blame congressional Republicans if there isn’t enough money for disaster assistance. The White House sent a request for an additional $12 billion for disaster relief funding earlier this month, pairing it with requests for more security aid for Ukraine, but that request faces a challenging negotiation process in Congress.

She noted that FEMA has been projecting a deficit for its Disaster Relief Fund “sometime in September and so on.” This week, she said, FEMA officially entered a process called “immediate needs funding.”

“That means that we are going to prioritize the remaining funding that’s within the Disaster Relief Fund to go to lifesaving activities,” she said, adding that the practice has been used eight times in the past and “it allows us to make sure that we can have all funding available to support those lifesaving activities.”

Criswell emphasized that recovery work “doesn’t stop” but that “it just delays the obligations until the DRF has either replenished or into the next fiscal year.”