Trump arrested in Florida Courthouse

Former President Donald Trump has entered a plea of not guilty to 37 charges related to the alleged mishandling of classified documents.

The plea was made during Trump’s arraignment at a federal courthouse in Miami on Tuesday, where his lawyers requested a jury trial.

According to CNN, Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, informed the judge of their plea, stating, “We most certainly enter a plea of not guilty.” The former president and his co-defendant, Walt Nauta, were then booked by deputy marshals, with electronic copies of their fingerprints taken. No mugshot was captured as Trump is easily recognizable. The entire booking process lasted approximately 10 minutes.

The charges brought forth by the Justice Department in the classified documents case have intensified the legal jeopardy surrounding Trump, who is currently the frontrunner for the 2024 GOP nomination.

The arraignment hearing on Tuesday primarily involved procedural matters, including Trump’s plea and discussions regarding the conditions of his pretrial release.

Potential restrictions on Trump’s conduct throughout the case may also be addressed.

Special counsel Jack Smith was present at the arraignment, emphasizing the significance of the case.

Trump is facing 37 felony counts, accusing him of unlawfully retaining national defense information and concealing documents in violation of witness-tampering laws during the Justice Department’s investigation into the materials. Nauta, Trump’s close aide, was also charged in the indictment, alleging a conspiracy to obstruct the federal investigation.

Departing from his Doral resort in a motorcade, Trump traveled to the courthouse along with Nauta in a separate vehicle.

Responding to a bystander’s inquiry about his well-being, Trump replied, “great” and waved.

Prior to the court appearance, Trump took to social media, lamenting that it was “ONE OF THE SADDEST DAYS IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY. WE ARE A NATION IN DECLINE!!!”

The hearing on Tuesday marks the beginning of a lengthy and potentially dramatic judicial process, including criminal and appeal proceedings that could span several years.

The case has been assigned to US District Judge Aileen Cannon, who was nominated by Trump. Notably, Cannon’s previous decision to order a third-party review of an FBI search at Mar-a-Lago was overturned by a conservative appeals court. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman is expected to oversee the proceedings in Miami.

Following the conclusion of Tuesday’s hearing, the case will enter a phase of pretrial proceedings, likely involving disputes over evidence and potential motions to dismiss the case before it reaches trial. The Trump defense team will have ample opportunity to prolong the process, potentially extending it beyond the 2024 election.


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