Former President Donald Trump was arrested and arraigned at a federal courthouse in Miami on Tuesday afternoon, where he pleaded not guilty to 37 felony counts related to the mishandling of national security information and obstruction of justice. Trump arrived at the federal courthouse via motorcade around 2 p.m along with his aide and co-defendant Walt Nauta. He was placed under arrest by federal authorities once inside and fingerprinted. The 37 felony counts that Trump faces include charges of willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, scheme to conceal and making false statements.
The event marked the first time a former president has been arraigned on federal crimes. Trump’s lawyer, Todd Blanche, entered Trump’s plea of not guilty during the proceedings. Trump was determined not to be flight risks and was released without bond. Unlike Trump’s arraignment in April on criminal charges in New York, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman declined journalists’ request to allow still photography and live audio transmission of the hearing. The district court’s chief judge also barred journalists from bringing any electronic devices, including cellphones or recorders, into the courthouse.
The arrest and arraignment of Trump leads to the next phase of the Justice Department probe into Trump’s retention and mishandling of classified national security information after he left office. It’s unclear whether Trump’s case will go to trial before the 2024 presidential election, and sources say that Trump’s legal team is expected to file a number of pre-trial motions that could delay the trials by months or even more than a year.
Trump is the current front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination and has vowed not to drop out of the race. If Trump is the Republican nominee and is subsequently elected president, he could pardon himself or appoint a friendly attorney general to dismiss the case. Trump posted on Truth Social shortly before heading to the Miami courthouse Tuesday, “ONE OF THE SADDEST DAYS IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY. WE ARE A NATION IN DECLINE!!!” and later wrote, “ON MY WAY TO COURTHOUSE. WITCH HUNT!!! MAGA.”
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