Former President Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty to 37 charges related to alleged mishandling of classified documents.
Trump has made history as the first-ever US president, current or former, to face a federal criminal indictment.
It marked the second occasion this year that Donald Trump had to appear before a court, yet the gravity of Tuesday’s proceedings surpassed the previous one.
Within the confines of a courtroom located on the 13th floor, an attorney representing Mr. Trump entered a plea of not guilty in response to 37 charges.
Former President Donald Trump pleads not guilty to all 37 charges against him stemming from the alleged mishandling of classified documents. pic.twitter.com/RGNXaRFe6K
— America Globe (@AmericaGlobe) June 13, 2023
These charges include the alleged illegal retention of classified documents and deliberate acts of impeding the government’s efforts to recover them.
Addressing the judge, the attorney Todd Blanche stated, “We most certainly enter a plea of not guilty.”
Sitting alongside the former president at the defense table was Walt Nauta, his co-defendant and a trusted aide who faces six criminal charges related to the case.
During the proceedings, Mr. Trump did not directly address the judge but occasionally leaned over to confer with one of his attorneys, reported BBC.
On the other side of the courtroom, the entire prosecution team, which included special counsel Jack Smith, who unveiled the indictment last week, was seated.
No travel restrictions on Trump
Despite the serious nature of the charges, the 76-year-old former president was granted permission to leave the court without any travel restrictions, be it domestic or international.
The prosecution reassured Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman that there were no concerns about Mr. Trump attempting to flee.
However, Mr. Trump will not be permitted to discuss the case with Mr. Nauta, as per the court’s instructions.
Following the conclusion of the hearing, the Former President displayed a gesture of approval to his supporters by raising his thumb in an upward position as his motorcade departed from the courthouse.
Stops at the Cuban restaurant
Mr. Trump, accompanied by his security team, proceeded directly to Versailles, a renowned Cuban restaurant located in Miami’s Little Havana. Upon arrival, he was greeted by a large crowd of supporters eagerly awaiting the opportunity to have their pictures taken with the former president.
Inside the restaurant, Mr. Trump seemed to engage in a moment of prayer with some patrons, and he was serenaded with a heartfelt rendition of “Happy Birthday to You” in anticipation of his upcoming 77th birthday on Wednesday.
Happy Birthday Donald Trump
— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) June 13, 2023
Prior to his arrival at the court, the leading contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination embarked on the journey from the Trump National Doral resort via motorcade. Accompanying him was his son, Eric Trump, reported BBC.
Throughout the drive, several messages were shared on his Truth Social social media account, including one written entirely in capital letters, Stating, “One of the saddest days in the history of our country. We are a nation in decline!!!”