Here’s what to know about Trump’s appearance in federal court in Miami to face charges

Donald Trump makes his first appearance He faced 37 counts of improper handling and retention of classified documents in federal court in Miami on Tuesday. At his Mar-a-Lago estate.

See the indictments, the special counsel’s investigation, and how Trump’s case differs From other politicians known to have secret documents:

What happened in court?

Trump’s attorney entered a not guilty plea on his behalf, and the former president was released on his own recognizance without bail. He will not have to surrender his passport nor will his personal travel be restricted.

He shouted at times during the 50-minute hearing but remained expressionless. He asked, folding his arms, fiddling with the pen, and snapping his fingers back and forth.

Trump leaned in to whisper to his lawyers before the hearing began, but did not speak during the proceedings. He was seated when his attorney, Todd Blanch, stood up and entered the plea on his behalf. “Of course we will enter a plea of ​​not guilty,” the lawyer told the judge.

Blanche objected to barring the former president from speaking to witnesses, including his co-defendant, Valet Nauta., says they work for him and he needs to communicate with them. After some back-and-forth, Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman said Trump could not talk to his lawyers about the case except through them, but could talk to them about their jobs.

Nauta was granted bond with the same conditions as Trump. He did not file a plea because he did not have a local lawyer. He is scheduled to be arraigned June 27 before Chief Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres, but is not required to appear.

Unlike Trump’s trial in New York, no photos were taken because cameras are not allowed in the federal courthouse. There were, however, sketch artists, and only pictures of their actual court appearances.

Security was tight outside the building, but there were no signs of significant disruption despite hundreds of protesters. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told Fox News there were no arrests or “major incidents.”

See also  Best Buy Flash 48-Hour Sale: We Find 6 Best Tech Deals

What happens next?

After the hearing, Trump was returning to his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club. He plans to give a speech at a fundraiser Tuesday night.

Before heading to the airport, Trump’s motorcade detoured to the Versailles restaurant in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, where a small crowd of supporters awaited him. Trump briefly commented on his case, posing for photos and saying “food for everybody.”

“I think it’s going well,” he said. “We have a fraudulent country. We have a corrupt country.

Several religious leaders in the restaurant prayed over him for a while.

What are the charges?

Trump faces 37 counts of mishandling classified documents, including 31 counts under the Espionage Act related to the intentional retention of national security information. Charges include obstruction of justice and making false statements, among other crimes.

Trump has been accused of leaking documents related to “nuclear weapons in the United States” and “foreign nuclear capabilities,” along with White House intelligence briefings detailing the military capabilities of the United States and other countries. According to the charge sheet.

Prosecutors allege that Trump showed the documents to people without security clearance to review them, then tried to withhold the documents from his own lawyers when he tried to comply with federal demands to find and return the documents.

Major charges carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

How did this case come about?

Officials from the National Archives and Records Administration reached out to Trump’s representatives in the spring of 2021 when they realized important materials from Trump’s time in office were missing.

According to the Presidential Records Act, White House documents are considered property of the US government and must be protected.

A Trump representative told the National Archives in December 2021 that the president’s records had been discovered at Mar-a-Lago. In January 2022, the National Archives recovered 15 boxes Documents from Trump’s Florida home, which later told Justice Department officials, contained “a lot” of classified material.

See also  The Green Bay Packers finally added WR to the offense led by Aaron Rodgers, drafting Christian Watson in the 34th overall selection

That May, the FBI and Justice Department issued subpoenas for the remaining classified documents in Trump’s possession. Investigators who visited the property weeks later to gather records were given nearly three dozen documents and an affidavit from Trump’s lawyers that the requested information was returned.

But that claim is false. Armed with a search warrant, federal authorities returned to Mar-a-Lago in August 2022 and seized more than 33 boxes and containers. A total of 11,000 documents from a storage room and office, including 100 confidential documents.

In total, about 300 documents with classification markings — including some at the top secret level — have been recovered from Trump since he left office in January 2021.

Don’t President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence also have classified documents?

Yes, but the circumstances of their cases are very different from those involving Trump.

After secret documents were found at Biden’s think tank and Pence’s Indiana home, their lawyers notified authorities and arranged for their quick handover. They also authorized other searches by federal authorities to seek additional documents.

There was no indication that the records existed before they were discovered, and no evidence has yet emerged that Biden or Pence tried to cover up the findings. This is important because the judiciary has historically looked with discretion in deciding whether to bring criminal charges.

A special suggestion He was commissioned earlier this year to examine how goods were classified Ended up at Biden’s Delaware home and ex officio. But while the Justice Department found Biden’s case impeachable based on the evidence, its Office of Legal Counsel has concluded that a president is immune from prosecution while in office.

As for Pence, the Justice Department told his legal team earlier this month that it would not pursue criminal charges against him over his handling of the documents.

See also  Christmas passengers were stranded as thousands of flights were canceled by Omigron forces

What about Hillary Clinton?

Some Republicans have cited the Justice Department’s decision in 2016, saying Trump is the target of a politically motivated prosecution. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Trump’s Democratic rival in that year’s presidential election, should not be indicted for her handling of classified information.

Clinton relied on a private email system for convenience during her tenure as the Obama administration’s top diplomat. That decision came back to haunt her in 2015, when the agency’s internal watchdog board It alerted the FBI to the existence of hundreds of emails containing classified information.

FBI investigators would eventually conclude that Clinton sent and received emails containing classified information in that unclassified system. of About 30,000 emails were turned over by Clinton’s representatives, The FBI said 110 emails from 52 email chains were found to contain classified information, some of which contained classified information.

After nearly a year of investigation, the FBI closed its investigation in July 2016, finding that Clinton did not intend to break the law. The bureau reopened the investigation months later after discovering a new email 11 days before the presidential election. After reviewing those communications, the FBI again chose to recommend charges.

At the time, then-FBI Director James Comey condemned Clinton’s email practices as “grossly careless” but noted that there was no evidence that Clinton violated factors including attempts to obstruct justice, deliberate mishandling of classified documents and signs of disloyalty to the United States.

Could federal impeachment prevent Trump from running for president?

No. Neither the charges nor the conviction will prevent Trump from running for or winning the presidency in 2024.


Reach out to Meg Kinnard

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *