Donald Trump in court in Miami pleaded “not guilty” to all 37 charges against him in the investigation into the secret papers found in Mar-a-Lago.
No mugshot for him at the Miami courthouse: «President Trump is in a unique position that he does not require a mugshot. Obviously he’s not a flight risk. He is the leading candidate of the Republicans », says Alina Habba, one of Trump’s lawyers. “He was subjected to a process coordinated by the Secret Service,” adds Habba.
No conditions have been imposed on Donald Trump’s release. The judge ruled that he is not a flight risk and can continue travelling. CNN reports it underlining that the former president is not authorized to speak with witnesses of the investigation into the secret papers in Mar-a-Lago.
It is a historic and dramatic day for America. For the first time, a former president is in jail for endangering the country he was elected to defend. He federal charges, therefore heavier than the state ones of the first indictment against Trump for payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.
The former president appears in the Miami court to hear the reading of the 37 charges against him, including violation of the law against espionage and obstruction of justice, like Richard Nixon at the time of Watergate. The Florida city is locked down and it is feared that the tycoon’s supporters could unleash an assault-style revolt on the Capitol. The secret service wanted to cordon off the whole area around the court and put the court in lockdown but the local police did not give the go-ahead.
A few hours after his court appearance in Miami, Donald Trump had already returned to attack special prosecutor Jack Smith in Truth calling him a “criminal”, “a madman of the radical right and a Trump Hater, as are all his friends and family”. . As for the Justice Department, he accused it of “being corrupt”, “in the hands of Biden” and of having “put the papers in boxes on purpose”.
As announced, Trump pleads not guilty, but it is not clear what the defensive strategy is given that the 49 pages of the indictment document contain quite overwhelming evidence that he knew he was dangerously handling top secret documents. Moreover, after having torpedoed the historic lawyers Jim Trusty and John Rowley at the last minute, according to the American media, the tycoon is having difficulty finding lawyers who want to represent him precisely due to disagreements on the strategy to follow. Furthermore, Trump would be looking for a national security expert to help him navigate the intricacies of a much more complex case than lies about payments to Daniels. With him in the courtroom are Todd Blanche and former Florida solicitor general Chris Kise, but they may not be following the trial. Like last April, when the evening before the appearance he showed up with Melania in Mar-a-Lago, the tycoon flaunted tranquility by having dinner at his Miami resort, the Doral, in the company of his lawyers and assistant Walt Nauta. The 40-year-old US Navy veteran, who arrived in Florida aboard Trump Force One, faces six charges in the Mar-a-Lago investigation, including conspiracy and making false statements. In particular, he is accused of having moved and hidden boxes of top secret documents, on Trump’s orders, after the Justice Department had asked for their return.