Trump faces federal charges, pleads not guilty to concealing classified documents

Former US President Donald Trump appeared in a Miami courtroom, facing criminal charges for the second time since leaving office. Trump, dressed in a blue suit and red tie, listened as prosecutors accused him of improperly possessing and concealing classified documents. This marks the first instance of a former president facing federal criminal charges. The courtroom did not permit cameras, phones, or laptops, and no photos were taken of Trump’s arraignment. US Marshals processed Trump like any other defendant, taking his fingerprints, date of birth, and address, but no mugshot was taken due to his fame.

Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Also present in the courtroom was Waltine Nauta, Trump’s personal aide, who has been charged as a co-conspirator. Jack Smith, the Justice Department special counsel who recently unveiled the charges against Trump, sat in the second row but did not speak during the proceedings.

Judge Jonathan Goodman presided over the arraignment hearing, which served to have defendants enter their pleas and set conditions of their bond. Trump signed his bond agreement without any restrictions on travel, and he did not have to surrender his passport or pay a monetary bond. Judge Goodman released both Trump and Nauta on a “personal surety bond” and initially stated that Trump would be forbidden from contacting several witnesses. However, after Trump’s legal team argued that many potential witnesses were likely to be his employees or colleagues, Judge Goodman decided that Trump would only be forbidden from speaking to these witnesses about the facts of the case.

Nauta did not enter a plea, as his lawyer was not authorised to practice in the Southern District of Florida. He was released on bond, and his arraignment was postponed to June 27. The proceedings lasted just 50 minutes, and another judge is expected to oversee future proceedings. Following the hearing, Trump left the courtroom with his security detail and entered a waiting motorcade.

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Chris Hollingsworth

Chris studied journalism in the US and worked there for a few years before moving to Thailand in 2021, just as he thought Covid was coming to an end - sadly more lockdowns ensued as he came out of his 14 days of isolation! He now combines his passion for writing and journalism to cover US and global news for The Thaiger.

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