The US magistrate judge reminded former US President Donald Trump on 3 August, Thursday, that he cannot bribe or influence witnesses during his arraignment on charges related to overturning the 2020 election.
The Gujarat-born judge warned Trump that any act of bribing, influencing, or retaliating against a witness during the arraignment proceedings is a crime.
The judge’s warning is noteworthy because the House Committee that investigated the January 6, 2021, Capitol Hill riots discovered that Trump and his associates tried to contact and influence a witness, according to the Hill report.
Judge Moxila Upadhyaya on Thursday heard Trump’s first appearance before a magistrate in the case over his alleged bid to overturn the 2020 elections. She read every count against Trump while he sat and looked at her attentively. Trump pleaded "not guilty." Judge Moxila Upadhyaya replied that she guaranteed a fair process and a fair trial to everybody in this case. Trump’s legal team said they needed more time to look at the discovery presented by the prosecutors, while the prosecution demanded a trial without delay.
Who Is Moxila Upadhyaya
Moxila Upadhyaya was born in Gujarat and raised near Missouri’s Kansas City. She was appointed as the US Magistrate Judge in September 2022. She has been lauded for her work in representing clients in the Criminal Justice Clinic and was also a member of the Administrative Law Review during her graduation, according to a PTI report.
Upadhyaya served as a law clerk to former Chief Judge of the DC Court of Appeals Eric T. Washington for two years after she graduated from American University, Washington College of Law.
She graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism, magna cum laude, from the Missouri School of Journalism. She also earned a bachelor of arts with honours in Latin from the University of Missouri.
The US Magistrate Justice works with Bebanle LLP in Washington, where she practises complex commercial and administrative litigation.
She was also a partner at the firm and represented impoverished clients in post-conviction proceedings. She was named the pro bono lawyer of the year in 2006. She received the Defender of Innocence Award in 2009 from the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project.
Upadhyaya is also a fellow of the American Bar Council and served on one of the boards of directors for DC Access to the Justice Foundation and the Council for Court Excellence.
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