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Trump pleads not guilty to federal charges that he illegally kept classified documents

'We've got a government that is out of control,' Trump says at Versailles restaurant
This sketch shows former President Donald Trump with his arms crossed in a federal courtroom in Miami on June 13, 2023, to face 37 felony charges accusing him of willfully retaining classified documents and obstructing justice.
Posted at 12:23 PM, Jun 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-13 21:19:13-04

MIAMI — Follow along for live updates on former President Donald Trump, who made his first court appearance Tuesday after being indicted on 37 charges related to the mishandling of 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.

WHITE HOUSE TRYING ITS BEST TO STAY MUM ON CASE AGAINST TRUMP

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is refusing to give straight answers to questions about the federal case against Trump.

Jean-Pierre was asked Tuesday if President Joe Biden agrees with his wife, first lady Jill Biden, who has already said that it was a “little shocking” that Trump maintained large support from the Republican Party.

"I'm just not going to comment on anything that’s related to the indictment," Jean-Pierre responded.

The president's chief spokesman also dodged a question about whether Biden would ever consider pardoning Trump. "No comment," Jean-Pierre said, although she laughed slightly.

It is all part of the White House's policy to not comment on ongoing criminal matters. In the meantime, they've only invoked Biden's predecessor at strategic points.

Jean-Pierre did stress Tuesday that Biden was categorically not involved in any decision by the Justice Department to indict Trump and that he is focusing on restoring integrity to the department.

"That is why we have been very, very consistent," Jean-Pierre said. "When it comes to criminal cases, we just do not comment."

At a reception honoring U.S. State Department chiefs of mission, Biden declined to comment on Trump’s arrest when asked by reporters.

During his formal remarks at that event, Biden referred to simultaneous interpretation during his lengthy meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and then quipped: "I turned all my notes in."

Trump was known to have confiscated an interpreter’s notes after a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. After prompting hearty laughter from the crowd, Biden insisted he was not talking about Trump.

"That's not a reference to the president, the former president," Biden said. "Look, no. It really isn't."

This sketch shows former President Donald Trump appearing with his attorneys in a federal courtroom in Miami on June 13, 2023, to face 37 felony charges accusing him of willfully retaining classified documents and obstructing justice.
This sketch shows former President Donald Trump appearing with his attorneys in a federal courtroom in Miami on June 13, 2023, to face 37 felony charges accusing him of willfully retaining classified documents and obstructing justice.

SUPPORTERS GATHER AT NEW JERSEY GOLF CLUB

Trump's supporters have begun to arrive at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club, where he's planning to deliver remarks responding to the charges after returning from his arraignment Tuesday night.

Dozens of white wedding chairs have been set up on the club's stone patio before a stage decorated with American flags and red, white and blue bunting.

Guests at Trump's Bedminster event include former Department of Justice official Kash Patel, Bernie Kerik and MyPillow conspiracist Mike Lindell.

Lindell says he's here "to support our real president, Donald Trump." He called on Ron DeSantis to drop out of the presidential race and endorse Trump tomorrow.

TRUMP GOES FROM COURT TO CUBAN EATERY

Trump's first stop after court was the iconic Versailles restaurant and bakery in the Little Havana neighborhood.

Inside, a group of people greeted him and laid hands on him in prayer. Those in the room also sang "Happy Birthday" to Trump, who will turn 77 Wednesday.

"Some birthday. Some birthday,” he said. “We’ve got a government that is out of control."

Versailles is a landmark that is a required stop for politicians visiting Miami. Cuban exiles gathered there to celebrate Fidel Castro's death in 2016.

Trump's aide and co-defendant, Walt Nauta, joined him at the eatery, helping people take selfies with Trump.

Former President Donald Trump's valet Walt Nauta, left, looks on as Trump poses for photos at Versailles restaurant with Trump on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, in Miami. Nauta, a personal aide whom prosecutors say moved boxes from a storage room to Trump's residence for him to review and later lied to investigators about the movement, joined Trump on Tuesday in federal court.
Former President Donald Trump's valet Walt Nauta, left, looks on as Trump poses for photos at Versailles restaurant with Trump on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, in Miami. Nauta, a personal aide whom prosecutors say moved boxes from a storage room to Trump's residence for him to review and later lied to investigators about the movement, joined Trump on Tuesday in federal court.

SPECIAL COUNSEL SEES TRUMP IN COURT

The special counsel who brought charges against Donald Trump attended the former president’s first court appearance in person.

Jack Smith sat in the first row behind the prosecution’s table at Tuesday’s hearing in Miami federal court, where Trump pleaded not guilty to charges that he hoarded classified documents.

Smith spoke briefly Friday about the indictment but has otherwise remained out of public view.

TRUMP ORDERED NOT TO DISCUSS CASE WITH WITNESSES

Donald Trump's lawyer objected to barring the former president from talking to witnesses including his personal aide, who is accused alongside him.

Trump attorney Todd Blanche said that some of the witnesses work for Trump and he needs to be able to communicate with them. After some back and forth, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman said Trump cannot talk to them about the case except through his lawyers, but he can talk to them about their jobs.

"There will be no communication about the case with fact witnesses who are on a list provided by the government," Goodman said.

Nauta, a Navy veteran who fetched Trump’s Diet Cokes as his valet at the White House before joining him as a personal aide at Mar-a-Lago, was granted bond with the same conditions as Trump. He did not enter a plea, though, because he doesn’t have a local attorney.

Nauta will be arraigned June 27 before Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres but doesn't have to attend in person.

This sketch shows former President Donald Trump appearing with his attorneys in a federal courtroom in Miami on June 13, 2023, to face 37 felony charges accusing him of willfully retaining classified documents and obstructing justice.
This sketch shows former President Donald Trump appearing with his attorneys in a federal courtroom in Miami on June 13, 2023, to face 37 felony charges accusing him of willfully retaining classified documents and obstructing justice.

TRUMP RELEASED WITHOUT BOND

Trump was released without having to pay a bond after pleading not guilty Tuesday to federal charges that he hoarded classified documents and refused government demands to give them back.

Trump leaned over to whisper to his attorneys before the hearing began in a federal courtroom in Miami but did not speak during the proceedings.

He remained seated while lawyer Todd Blanche stood up and entered the plea on his behalf. "We most certainly enter a plea of not guilty," he told the judge.

Trump scowled at times during the 50-minute hearing but was otherwise expressionless. He also crossed his arms, fiddled with a pen and crossed his fingers back and forth as he listened.

Blanche objected to barring the former president from talking to witnesses including Nauta, a Navy veteran who fetched Trump’s Diet Cokes as his valet at the White House before joining him as a personal aide at Mar-a-Lago. Blanche said that they work for Trump and he needs to be able to communicate with them.

After some back and forth, Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman said Trump cannot talk to them about the case except through his lawyers, but he can talk to them about their jobs.

"There will be no communication about the case with fact witnesses who are on a list provided by the government," Goodman said.

Nauta, who was indicted alongside the former president, did not enter a plea because he does not have a local attorney. He will be arraigned June 27 before Chief Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres, but he does not have to be present.

The former president will not have to surrender his passport or restrict his personal travel. Trump is expected to return later Tuesday to New Jersey, where he’s scheduled a press event to publicly respond to the charges.

TRUMP PLEADS NOT GUILTY

Trump has pleaded not guilty to federal charges alleging that he hoarded classified documents detailing sensitive military secrets and schemed to thwart government efforts to get them back.

Trump appeared before a judge in Miami’s federal courthouse Tuesday in a stunning moment in American history days after he became the first former president charged with federal crimes.

Trump aide Walt Nauta, who was indicted alongside the former president, did not enter a plea because he does not have a local attorney. He will be arraigned June 27 before Chief Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres, but he does not have to be present.

Authorities say Trump schemed and lied to block the government from recovering the documents concerning nuclear programs and other sensitive military secrets stored at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

It’s the second criminal case Trump is facing as he seeks to reclaim the White House in 2024. He’s also accused in New York state court of falsifying business records related to hush-money payments made during the 2016 campaign.

Trump has denied wrongdoing in both cases and slammed the prosecutions as politically motivated. He’s expected to return later Tuesday to New Jersey, where he's scheduled a press event to publicly respond to the charges.

Former President Donald Trump leaves his Trump National Doral resort, Tuesday, June 13, 2023, in Doral, Fla.
Former President Donald Trump leaves his Trump National Doral resort, Tuesday, June 13, 2023, in Doral, Fla.

TRUMP'S INITIAL APPEARANCE UNDERWAY

Trump’s initial court appearance is underway on charges that he mishandled classified documents.

Trump appeared Tuesday in Miami federal court with aide Walt Nauta, who is charged as a co-conspirator.

Authorities say Trump schemed and lied to block the government from recovering the documents concerning nuclear programs and other sensitive military secrets stored at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

It’s the second criminal case Trump is facing as he seeks to reclaim the White House in 2024. He’s also accused in New York state court of falsifying business records related to hush-money payments made during the 2016 campaign.

Trump has denied wrongdoing in both cases and slammed the prosecutions as politically motivated. He’s expected to return later Tuesday to New Jersey, where he’s scheduled a press event to publicly respond to the charges.

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TRUMP RODE TO COURT WITH HIS SON ERIC

Trump rode to court with his son Eric, who accompanied the motorcade from the former president's Doral resort to the federal courthouse in Miami.

CNN aired footage of Trump walking to a line of SUVs with his son by his side while someone yelled, "Let’s go Trump!"

The former president could be seen stopping and waving at supporters, as well as chatting with staff members. Eric Trump appeared to clap his father on the back just before he climbed in a vehicle.

As he rode to court, Trump posted on his social media site that the case against him was a "witch hunt."

Later, outside the courthouse Trump lawyer Alina Habba said, "Today is not about President Donald J. Trump, who is defiant."

"It is not about the Republican Party, it is not about the 2024 election," Habba added. “It is about the destruction of longstanding principles that have set this country apart."

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TRUMP, AIDE BOOKED AT COURTHOUSE

Trump and an aide charged as a co-conspirator have gone through the formal booking process at the Miami federal courthouse.

That’s according to the U.S. Marshals Service, which said Trump and Walt Nauta had been booked shortly after they arrived Tuesday afternoon.

Both men are expected to appear at the defense table shortly on charges that they wrongly held onto classified documents.

The two men were seen arriving at court together.

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Supporters of former President Donald Trump, rally outside the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. U.S. Courthouse, Tuesday, June 13, 2023, in Miami.
Supporters of former President Donald Trump, rally outside the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. U.S. Courthouse, Tuesday, June 13, 2023, in Miami.

TRUMP ARRIVES AT MIAMI COURTHOUSE FOR HISTORIC APPEARANCE

Trump has arrived at the federal courthouse in Miami to formally surrender to authorities ahead of his court appearance on charges accusing him of illegally hoarding classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

Trump’s motorcade arrived Tuesday afternoon at the courthouse shortly before he’s scheduled to appear before a magistrate judge, a stunning moment in American history days after he became the first former president charged with federal crimes.

It’s the second criminal case Trump is facing as he seeks to reclaim the White House in 2024. He’s also accused in New York state court of falsifying business records related to hush-money payments made during the 2016 campaign.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, saying he’s being unfairly targeted by political opponents who want to hurt his campaign. After his court appearance, Trump will return to New Jersey, where he’s expected to hold a press event to publicly respond to the charges.

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TRUMP HEADS TO MIAMI COURTHOUSE FOR APPEARANCE

Trump is on his way to the federal courthouse in Miami to face dozens of charges that he illegally hoarded classified documents.

Trump departed his Doral golf course Tuesday afternoon en route to the courthouse, where he is expected to surrender to federal authorities and face a judge.

The former president is not expected to have his mugshot taken but will have his digital fingerprints taken.

Trump was indicted last week on 37 felony charges accusing him of willfully retaining classified documents and obstructing justice.