Former US Prez Donald Trump leaves Miami court after pleading not guilty to classified documents charges

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Public TV English
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MIAMI: Former US President Donald Trump left a federal court in Miami after pleading not guilty to all 37 charges related to his alleged mishandling of classified documents, the New York Post reported.

During the hearing on Tuesday, Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman ruled that Trump could not communicate with his aide Walt Nauta about the case, CNN reported. The judge also asked the prosecutors to prepare a list of potential witnesses that former US President Donald Trump cannot hold communication with regarding the case, except through counsel.

The judge did not put travel restrictions on the defendants. Trump’s lawyers asked for a jury trial during the hearing in the federal courthouse in Miami. Trump’s attorney said, “We most certainly enter a plea of not guilty”, as per the CNN report.

Trump’s aide and co-defendant Walt Nauta was also arrested, fingerprinted and processed. Nauta had an initial appearance in court on Tuesday. However, he will not be arraigned until June 27.

The US Justice Department suggested that both Trump and Nauta be released with no financial or special conditions. During the hearing, Prosecutor David Harbach said that the government “does not view either defendant as a flight risk”, the report said.

Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman started the hearing by thanking the law enforcement community for the work on Tuesday. Prior to the arraignment hearing, deputy marshals booked Trump and took electronic copies of his fingerprints. The officials did not take a mugshot of Trump as he is easily recognizable. The booking process lasted for about 10 minutes.

Donald Trump is facing 37 felony counts, alleging he illegally retained national defence information and that he concealed documents violating witness-tampering laws in the US Justice Department’s investigation into the materials, CNN reported.

Trump’s aide Walt Nauta has also been charged in the indictment which alleges the two men were involved in a conspiracy to hinder the federal probe. Prior to heading to court, Trump on his social media wrote, that it was “ONE OF THE SADDEST DAYS IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY. WE ARE A NATION IN DECLINE!!!,” CNN reported.

After the court hearing, Trump made a stop at Versailles, a Cuban restaurant in Miami. The former US President was surrounded by dozens of his supporters in the restaurant, shaking hands and clicking pictures with them, according to CNN report. As the people in the restaurant cheered, Trump said, “food for everyone”. Some of his supporters even sang him “happy birthday” as his birthday is on Wednesday.

One of Trump’s attorneys criticized the justice system and ridiculed what she described as a “two-tiered system of justice”. She termed the indictment against Trump an “unapologetic weaponisation of the criminal justice system.” She made the remarks outside the Miami courthouse while Donald Trump was being arraigned.

While addressing a news conference outside the court on Tuesday (local time), Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba said, “Today is not about Donald J. Trump, who is defiant”, CNN reported. She further said, “It is not about the Republican Party. It is not about the 2024 election. It is about the destruction of the long-standing American principles that have set this country apart for so long”.

Alina Habba compared the former US President’s indictment to “the type of thing you see in dictatorships”. She said, “What is being done to President Trump should terrify all citizens of this country”, and added, “This is not our America”, CNN reported.

In response to a question regarding how Trump was feeling, Habba said, “he’s defiant”. She said that Trump is “not a flight risk” and he is going through a process coordinated with Secret Service and everything will be handled “seamlessly”. (ANI)

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