This is Trump’s third indictment after leaving office in January 2021 following two other indictments in New York over hush money payments and another in the state of Florida that charged him over his handling of classified documents since leaving the White House.
At the U.S. District courthouse appearing before Judge Moxila Upadhyaya, Trump’s condition for release specified that he was not to break any federal, state or local laws.
Trump was indicted Tuesday by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith on four felony counts which include conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding.
Both pro and anti-Trump protesters demonstrated outside the courthouse. Some were seen with megaphones shouting, "free Trump" or "lock him up."
Maurice Symonette, founder of "Blacks for Trump," a pro-Trump group, told VOA that the indictment against Trump shows "we are not free."
"Give me liberty or give them death. I am demanding freedom and equity … this whole thing (referring to the indictment against Trump) is unfair … because everything that Jack Smith is charging Trump with, (Joe) Biden is guilty of 300 times worse," he claimed.
Jericho Steve, an American who described himself as a supporter of American democracy, told VOA that he feels the charges leveled against the former U.S. president is an "injustice."
"I am a supporter of America and when I see injustice, I stand up against it," he said. "I feel like one political opponent is taking out another one using our justice system department, and that is not OK. It is corruption at the highest level."
Nadine Syla, an anti-Trump protester was spotted wearing a black blouse with the inscription "Trump arrested again and again." She said that she "was on the side of democracy and reality," and came to the courthouse to "celebrate" the arraignment of the former president.
"I live on earth; I know that Trump lost the election and he is a liar. He committed crimes while in office in front of the American public and right now he’s one step toward accountability."
"I am celebrating that the law knows that (Trump) asked Mike Pence to try not to certify the (2020 election results at the Capitol). So, the jury of his peers here in D.C. will now determine if he’s guilty or not," Syla said.
Another anti-Trump protester who gave her name as Karen, told VOA that the arraignment is testament to the fact that the United States government believes in equal justice under the law.
"Our system has a way of working, and it’s now being put into action," she said. "This is one of the first times that our government is trying to prove that we’re going to hold people equally accountable under the law regardless of whether or not they are wealthy white men with power."
"And we’re going to see how it pans out," she said.
Trump is the first U.S. president, in office or after his term, in the country’s history, to face criminal charges.
Professor of history at Washington-based American University, Allan Lichtman, told VOA the former president’s indictment is the most significant in American history.
"If in fact he is convicted of some or all of these charges, it will prove that Donald Trump was a clear and present danger to the survival of our democracy," Lichtman said.
Lichtman says this case against Trump will have global implications.
If convicted, Trump could be sentenced to a years-long prison term.
VOA's Carol Van Dam Contributed to this story.