Trump pleads not guilty in classified documents case

Second court appearance this year.

Yen Zhi Yi | June 14, 2023, 03:25 PM

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Former U.S. president Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty to federal criminal charges on Jun. 13 (U.S. time), in relation to hundreds of confidential government records found at his Florida property after he left the White House.

In a federal courthouse in Miami, Florida, Trump’s plea was entered before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman, Reuters reported.

Trump, 77, was charged with 37 counts related to allegedly retaining hundreds of classified documents, which include 31 counts of wilful retention of national defence information.

Historic indictment

This is the first time that a former president in American history has been indicted on federal criminal charges, and the second court appearance by Trump this year.

In April 2023, he appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to 34 felony charges of falsifying business records in a case linked to hush-money payments to two women.

The hearing

Trump did not speak during the 47-minute hearing and was permitted to leave court without any travel restrictions and cash bond, according to Reuters and BBC.

He was accompanied by his close aide, Waltine Nauta, who also faces six charges in the case.

He was expected to be arraigned, but did not enter a plea as he has yet to get a local lawyer.

Trump was also ordered not to talk about the case with Nauta, BBC reported.

Prior to his hearing, Trump had posted "See you in Miami" to his supporters, leading Miami police to prepare for a gathering of Trump supporters, with as many as 50,000 expected.

However, MSNBC reported that the crowd appeared to be around 2,000 strong at most.

Post-hearing deeds

After the hearing, the ex-U.S. president made his way to Versailles, a popular Cuban restaurant located in Miami's Little Havana.

There, he told a crowd of his supporters that the U.S. was supposedly “in decline”, “rigged” and “corrupt”, while the government was “out of control”, according to Reuters.

He then travelled to his property in Bedminster, New Jersey to attend a fundraiser for his presidential campaign held a day before his 77th birthday (Jun. 14), CNBC reported.

There, Trump delivered a speech targeted at current U.S. president Joe Biden and his administration, which he also posted on his Truth Social account.

Screenshot via Trump's Truth Social

Trump previously announced his bid for the presidency in November 2022, and is currently leading in opinion polls to be the Republican Party's 2024 candidate for president.


Top images via Twitter/@@ashtonpittman & Getty - Alon Skuy