Trump to appear in court in classified documents case
MIAMI (AP) — Former President Donald Trump, is set to make his first court appearance Tuesday after being indicted on 37 charges related to the of mishandling classified documents. The indictment marks the first time in U.S. history that a former president faces criminal charges by the federal government he once oversaw.
Trump was to surrender to federal authorities ahead of a hearing scheduled for 3:00 p.m. (EST) in federal court in Miami. He was to appear alongside his valet Walt Nauta, who is also charged in the case.
Unlike his arraignment in New York, there won’t be photographs from the courtroom because cameras aren’t allowed in federal court. There may, however, be sketch artists, and theirs would be the only images from the actual courtroom appearance.
There’s also a prohibition on reporters bringing electronic devices into the courthouse, so there won’t be live updates by tweet or text. That rule is usually up to to each federal judge, but an order has been issued in this case specifically imposing restrictions for Trump’s initial hearing.
Trump and Nauta are expected to enter not guilty pleas in the case, and both sides will discuss any potential conditions of bail, which could include an order to surrender the former president’s passport.
Trump will not be subjected to a mugshot photo when he appears in federal court because authorities have enough photos of him in their identification system. That’s according to a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service, who said that Trump’s digital fingerprints would be taken and his birthdate and Social Security number recorded.
Trump faces 37 counts related to the mishandling of classified documents, including 31 counts under an Espionage Act statute pertaining to the willful retention of national defense information. The charges also include counts of obstructing justice and making false statements, among other crimes.
Trump is accused of keeping documents related to “nuclear weaponry in the United States” and the “nuclear capabilities of a foreign country,” along with documents from White House intelligence briefings, including some that detail the military capabilities of the U.S. and other countries, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors allege Trump showed off the documents to people who did not have security clearances to review them and later tried to conceal documents from his own lawyers as they sought to comply with federal demands to find and return documents.
The top charges carry penalties of up to 20 years in prison.
For more information on Trump’s classified documents case, CLICK HERE.