Donald Trump pleads not guilty to federal charges
Donald Trump arriving at the federal courthouse in Miami on June 13, 2023.

trump in window
Tuesday marked the latest in an unprecedented public reckoning this year for the former president.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE

Former President Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty to federal charges alleging he hoarded classified documents detailing sensitive military secrets and schemed to thwart government efforts to get them back.

Trump appeared before a judge in Miami’s federal courthouse on Tuesday in a stunning moment in American history days after he became the first former president charged with federal crimes.Authorities say Trump schemed and lied to block the government from recovering the documents concerning nuclear programs and other sensitive military secrets stored at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

It’s the second criminal case Trump is facing as he seeks to reclaim the White House in 2024. He’s also accused in New York state court of falsifying business records related to hush-money payments made during the 2016 campaign.

Trump has denied wrongdoing in both cases and slammed the prosecutions as politically motivated. He’s expected to return later Tuesday to New Jersey, where he’s scheduled a press event to publicly respond to the charges.

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Former President Donald Trump arrived Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Miami to surrender to authorities ahead of a historic court appearance on charges that he illegally hoarded classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

He was expected to face a magistrate judge, kickstarting a legal process that will unfold at the height of the 2024 presidential campaign and carry profound consequences not only for his political future but more urgently for his own personal liberty.

Four black SUVs entered the garage beneath the Miami courthouse, followed by police officers, ahead of his scheduled 3 p.m. appearance. Security remained tight outside the building but there were no signs of significant disruptions. Once inside, he was formally booked, though he was not expected to have a mugshot taken.

Trump approached his arraignment with characteristic bravado, posting social media broadsides against the prosecution from inside his motorcade and insisting as he has through years of legal woes that he has done nothing wrong and was being persecuted for political purposes. But the gravity of the moment was unmistakable as he answers to 37 felony counts that accuse him of willfully retaining classified records that prosecutors say could have jeopardized national security if exposed, and trying to hide them from investigators who demanded them back.

The case is loaded with political implications for the 76-year-old Trump, who currently holds the dominant spot in the early days of the 2024 Republican presidential primary. Beyond that, it carries the prospect of a years-long prison sentence. Even for a defendant whose post-presidential life has been dominated by investigations, the documents probe has stood out for both the apparent volume of evidence amassed by prosecutors and the severity of the allegations.

It’s also a watershed moment for a Justice Department that until last week had never before brought charges against a former president. Attorney General Merrick Garland, an appointee of President Joe Biden, sought to insulate the department from political attacks by handing ownership of the case to a special counsel, Jack Smith, who on Friday declared, “We have one set of laws in this country, and they apply to everyone.”

“They’re using this because they can’t win the election fairly and squarely,” Trump said Monday in an interview with Americano Media.

The court appearance is also unfolding against the backdrop of potential protests. Some high-profile backers have used barbed rhetoric to voice support. Trump himself has encouraged supporters to join a planned protest Tuesday at the courthouse.

Some Trump supporters headed to Miami by bus from other parts of Florida, raising concerns for law enforcement officials preparing for possible unrest around the courthouse. Miami Police Chief Manuel A. Morales said downtown could see anywhere from a few thousand up to 50,000 protesters. But heading into the court appearance, there were no reports of major chaos.

Among those present were the father-son duo of Florencio and Kevin Rodriguez, who came to the U.S. fifteen years ago as asylum seekers fleeing dictatorship in Cuba.

Wearing a shirt that reads “Jesus is my savior, Trump my president,” the younger Rodriguez, Kevin, said it was possible Trump was guilty of illegally retaining classified documents. But he questioned the fairness of the proceedings in light of other classified information probes concerning Democrats, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Joe Biden.

Clinton was not charged for sending classified information on a private email server after FBI investigators concluded that she had not intended to break the law. The Biden investigation remains open, but no evidence has emerged to suggest he acted willfully — a core claim in the Trump indictment.

“We never abandon our amigos — those who love this country and our liberty,” Rodriguez added, highlighting Trump’s staunch opposition to Cuba’s communist government.

The crowd also included far-right internet personality Anthime Gionet, who served a two-month prison sentence for streaming live video while he stormed the U.S. Capitol. Gionet, better known as “Baked Alaska,” was livestreaming video of his interactions with other people as they waited for Trump to arrive.

Unlike in the New York case, where photographers produced images of a somber-faced Trump at the defense table, the public’s view inside the room will limited. Cameras are generally not permitted in federal courts, and a judge Monday night barred reporters from having phones inside the building.

federal grand jury in Washington had heard testimony for months in the documents case, but the Justice Department filed it in Florida, where Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort is located and where many of the alleged acts of obstruction occurred. Though Trump is set to appear Tuesday before a federal magistrate, the case has been assigned to a District Court judge he appointed, Aileen Cannon, who ruled in his favor last year in a dispute over whether an outside special master could be appointed to review the seized classified documents. A federal appeals panel ultimately overturned her ruling.

It’s unclear what defenses Trump is likely to invoke as the case moves forward. Two of his lead lawyers announced their resignation the morning after his indictment, and the notes and recollections of another attorney, M. Evan Corcoran, are cited repeatedly throughout the 49-page charging document, suggesting prosecutors envision him as a potential key witness.

Trump has said he’s looking to add to his legal team though no announcements were made Monday. He was expected to be represented at his arraignment by Todd Blanche, an attorney also defending him in the New York case, and Florida lawyer Chris Kise, who joined Trump’s stable of attorneys last year. Under the rules of the district, defendants are required to have a local lawyer for an arraignment to proceed.

The Justice Department unsealed Friday an indictment charging Trump with 37 felony counts, 31 relating to the willful retention of national defense information. Other charges include conspiracy to commit obstruction and false statements.

The indictment alleges Trump intentionally retained hundreds of classified documents that he took with him from the White House to Mar-a-Lago after leaving office in January 2021. The material he stored, including in a bathroom, ballroom, bedroom and shower, included material on nuclear programs, defense and weapons capabilities of the U.S. and foreign governments and a Pentagon “attack plan,” prosecutors say

Beyond that, prosecutors say, he sought to obstruct government efforts to recover the documents, including by directing personal aide Walt Nauta — who was charged alongside Trump — to move boxes to conceal them and also suggesting to his own lawyer that he hide or destroy documents sought by a Justice Department subpoena.

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Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

Associated Press


7 comments

  • Ocean Joe

    June 13, 2023 at 7:12 pm

    Not guilty by reason of insanity.

    • Dont Say FLA

      June 14, 2023 at 7:56 am

      The right attorneys probably could pull off a senility defense, but will Trump’s ego allow it? I doubt it. He is sure he will be President again, so all he has to is delay the trial till he can pardon himself on day one. LOL. No idea why “rPotus” doesn’t just rPardon himself today as rPotus.

  • Earl Pitts American

    June 14, 2023 at 7:18 am

    Good morning America,
    I, Earl Pitts American, am going to tell you what is about to happen. But there are two classifications of citizens which will pretend to be supprised when it happens. 1. the dook 4 brains RINO’s and 2. the dook 4 brains leftists.
    Here’s the backstory:
    That Ukrainian dude Biden was effing with about dropping the charges against his son, remember him, sure you do. Well leftist/RINO controlled media just slipped out that that Ukranian dude kept recordings for his own protection from the ham fisted Biden bullying him over the Hunter thing.
    Why would leftist/RINO media do that?
    Because Biden’s sock puppet masters are finished with the old man and the time has come to throw Biden under the bus. Likely running Gavin Newsom in Biden’s place for POTUS.
    Yeah your correct Newsom will be a hard sell, Hispanics and Blacks dont like White men like Newsom but thats what is going to happen.
    You heard it here first from me, Earl Pitts American.
    You are welcome America,
    Earl Pitts ” You Heard It Here First ” American

  • Dont Say FLA

    June 14, 2023 at 7:51 am

    Earl, who are Biden’s sock puppet masters? Is it the Deep State people? Or is it the US military? Or are the Deep State and the US military the same people?

    • EARL PITTS AMERICAN

      June 14, 2023 at 9:11 am

      Thank you and I, Earl Pitts American, am glad you asked.
      There are 3 seperate and distinct levels we have to cover to properly address your question:
      1.) The dook 4 brains RINO’s, dook 4 brains leftists, and dook 4 brains general public will tell you Biden is his own man and not a pathitic sock puppet.
      2.) If it all blows up and goes to HeII, members of the former Obama Administration are prepared to stand up in public and claim to be the sock puppet masters of Biden.
      3.) For the rightous it will be revealed in Heaven that one of HeII’s most wicked, whose real name I, Earl Pitts American, cannot speak or write, is masqurading as George Soros here on earth and that demon is the final individual with power over the sock puppet.
      Because I, Earl Pitts American, like you I am warning you and all who read my words to seek not to get close to the real Biden sock puppet master. For what good could come of you inheriting the Earth just to throw your soul into the lake of eternal fire?
      I hope I, Earl Pitts American, have assisted you and that you stay far away from the real sock puppet master or you will loose yourself.
      Thank you,
      EPA
      * signed in code to throw the real sock puppet master off my trail. *

      • My Name is Nobody

        June 14, 2023 at 10:27 am

        Earl that is starting to make sense with what happened to me back in 1968. I was a young and dumb draftee in Nam and me and my squad had just finished sharing a lady of pleasure and headed back to the bar. It was there we met an old grizzled Sargent drunk out of his mind who ordered us to follow him to the back room where he proceeded to tell us a frightining tale which at the time we dismissed as old man drunk talk.
        As best I recall he told us of a secret mission to take a middle aged man named George out into the jungle, kill him, and bury the body in an unmarked grave. The Sarge said his squad was attacked by the North, several men were shot and down, the North was shouting for George. George broke free and ran to the enemy. Sarge started to patch up his squad and found none to be injured. Sarge got his boys up and gave chase. They caught up and followed them into a cave intent on killing everyone including George and dynamiting the cave as George’s unmarked grave to salvage the mission. Sarge said the cave went on for miles and got hotter with each step. Finally they had to return to the surface due to the heat. It was there they dynamited the cave to fulfill the unmarked grave aspect of the mission. We never saw the old Sarge again after that night at the bar.
        Earl that man George had to be the one you speak of.
        Nobody

      • Dont Say FLA

        June 14, 2023 at 6:07 pm

        So… Karl Popper is the sock puppet master?

Comments are closed.


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