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Trump Pleads Not Guilty in Arraignment Over Classified Documents at Florida Estate

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Trump Pleads Not Guilty in Arraignment Over Classified Documents at Florida Estate

On historic charges of mishandling confidential documents, Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty in a federal court in Miami, Florida.

Mr. Trump is the first sitting or former President of the United States to be indicted on federal criminal charges.

He wore a dark suit and scarlet tie and sat quietly in court, arms folded.


Trump’s court appearance on Tuesday was his second this year, but the matter was much more serious.

A lawyer for Mr. Trump filed a not-guilty plea on 37 charges of illegally retaining confidential papers and impeding the government’s efforts to get them back in a courtroom on the building’s 13th level.

As counsel Todd Blanche stated to the judge, a not-guilty plea had been entered on the defendant’s behalf.

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Mr. Trump’s close adviser and co-defendant in this case, Walt Nauta, was seated next to him. Nauta faces six criminal counts. Mr. Trump rarely made eye contact with the judge and leaned over to speak to one of his lawyers instead.

Special counsel Jack Smith, who made the indictment public last week, and the rest of the prosecution team sat on the other side of the room.


The 76-year-old ex-president was released from court without restrictions on his ability to travel internationally or within the country.

The defendant is not a flight risk, prosecutors told Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman.

However, President Trump and Attorney General Nauta cannot discuss the matter.

As his motorcade left the courthouse after the hearing, the Republican gave a thumbs-up to his fans.

He was met by a mob of cheering supporters outside Versailles, a prominent Cuban restaurant in Miami’s Little Havana, where he and his security team had driven straight.


On Wednesday eve of his 77th birthday, Mr. Trump seemed to take part in prayer with some customers and was serenaded with a round of Happy Birthday to You.

The Republican contender for the 2024 presidential nomination arrived in court in a motorcade after spending the night at the Trump National Doral resort. One of Trump’s sons, Eric, accompanied the president.

Several messages, including one in all capital letters reading “One of the saddest days in the history of our country,” were uploaded to his Truth Social account throughout the journey. We are a declining nation!!”

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Former president’s attorney Alina Habba told reporters outside court that her client believes the charges against him are politically motivated.


She warned that the country was “at a turning point in its history,” saying that the targeted prosecution of a leading political opponent was typical of regimes like Cuba’s and Venezuela’s.

That “what is being done to the President Donald should terrify all citizens of this country,” she continued.

A digital fingerprint would be taken instead of a mugshot, and Mr. Trump would be asked to submit a DNA swab, court officials said before the hearing.

Although no trial date has been scheduled, Mr. Trump’s appointee to the federal district court in South Florida, Aileen Cannon, will preside over the case.


The former president, who denied any wrongdoing, will reportedly return to his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf course and address the media there.

Outside the courthouse, small groups of Trump fans and counter-protesters congregated.

The mayor, Francis Suarez, assured reporters Tuesday afternoon that there had been no security issues despite the city’s preparations for possible turmoil.



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