Defiant Donald Trump attacks ‘nasty’ Pence and ‘deranged’ special consul Jack Smith
Donald Trump will be arraigned today on 37 charges over his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House, as he becomes the first current or former US president to ever face federal criminal charges.
The former president will appear for his arraignment at a federal court in the Southern District of Florida at 3pm ET, where he has vowed to plead not guilty to all charges.
“I’ll just say ‘not guilty.’ I didn’t do anything wrong,” he told Boston radio show WRKO on Tuesday.
Despite his confidence, The Independent exclusively revealed that Mr Trump was struggling to find attorneys willing to defend him in Florida.
Miami officials meanwhile are bracing for protests outside the courthouse with Mayor Francis Suarez saying at a press conference that the city is enacting plans to “make sure that everyone has a right to peacefully express themselves and exercise their constitutional rights” in “an obviously peaceful manner”.
Several supporters have voiced violent rhetoric online and MAGA loyalists Kari Lake and Laura Loomer, the Proud Boys and at least one Capitol rioter (named Baked Alaska) are expected to descend on Miami in support of the former president.
WATCH: Trump’s plane lands in Miami ahead of arraignment on 37 federal charges
Trump’s plane lands in Miami ahead of arraignment on 37 federal charges
Ariana Baio13 June 2023 10:00
Trump will give post-arraignment speech on Tuesday night
Donald Trump has announced plans to deliver a post-arraignment speech on Tuesday night.
The former president will be arraigned at 3pm ET on Tuesday on 37 charges over his handling of classified documents on leaving the White House.
He will then fly straight back to his New Jersey golf club to deliver remarks at 8.15pm ET.
Ariana Baio13 June 2023 09:00
Most Republicans believe Mar-a-Lago case to be politically motivated
Former president Donald Trump arrived in Miami on Monday to face federal criminal charges, while a new Reuters/Ipsos poll found a vast majority of his fellow Republicans believe the case to be politically motivated.
Mr Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election, is scheduled to be in a Miami federal courthouse at 3pm EDT this afternoon for an initial appearance in the case.
Accused of unlawfully keeping documents relating to US national security and lying to officials who tried to recover them, Mr Trump has proclaimed his innocence and vowed to continue his campaign to regain the presidency in a November 2024 election.
Mr Trump, who turns 77 on Wednesday, touched down in Miami at 2.54pm in a private jet with his name emblazoned on the side.
Supporters gathered outside a nearby golf club he owns, where he was due to stay the night.
“I HOPE THE ENTIRE COUNTRY IS WATCHING WHAT THE RADICAL LEFT ARE DOING TO AMERICA,” he wrote on his Truth Social social-media platform before departing from New Jersey.
Mr Trump’s legal woes have not affected his popularity among Republican voters.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday found that 81 per cent of Republicans thought the charges were politically motivated. The poll also found Mr Trump continues to lead his rivals for the party’s presidential nomination by a wide margin.
Namita Singh13 June 2023 08:40
Judge denies media request for photo, video images of Trump arraignment
A federal magistrate judge on Monday rejected a request by news organisations for photo and video access to an initial court appearance in Miami by former US president Donald Trump.
Namita Singh13 June 2023 08:20
Eight key takeaways from the Trump indictment
The federal indictment against Donald Trump outlines 37 counts related to retaining classified information, willfully retaining national defence information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and more.
Here are key points from the unsealed indictment.
Ariana Baio13 June 2023 08:00
Trump will face judge in historic court appearance over charges he mishandled secret documents
Donald Trump was set to make his first court appearance on Tuesday in a historic criminal case charging the former president with hoarding top secret government documents, boastfully displaying them to visitors and trying to hide them from investigators who demanded them back.
Mr Trump approached his Miami court date with characteristic bravado, insisting as he has done through years of legal woes that he has done nothing wrong and was being persecuted for political purposes.
But the gravity of the moment is unmistakable as he answers to 37 felony counts that accuse him of willfully retaining classified records that prosecutors say could have jeopardized national security if exposed.
The case is laden with political implications for Mr Trump, who currently holds the dominant spot in the early days of the 2024 Republican presidential primary.
But it also poses profound legal consequences given the prospect of a years-long prison sentence. Even for a defendant whose post-presidential life has been dominated by investigations, the documents probe has stood out for both the apparent volume of evidence amassed by prosecutors and the severity of the allegations.
Namita Singh13 June 2023 07:40
Dutiful Nauta an ‘easy prey’
Ty Cobb, the former White House attorney who served as Donald Trump’s lawyer during the Russia investigation, said he felt sorry for Walt Nauta, whom he described as a dutiful worker who “nods and then does what he’s been told to do.”
“I think Walt is easy prey for the president because this is a dedicated patriot,” he said. “The proudest moment he ever had was being named valet to the president and sadly the president he got named valet for was Trump.”
Mr Cobb recalled Mr Nauta stopping by his home, checking in on him and fetching him club soda when he was working late. He said he remembered how Mr Nauta noticed — after dozens of uneaten hamburgers — that Mr Cobb didn’t eat meat and quietly began substituting salmon for his lunches.
“I think it’s really sad that people were not able to convince him of his misplaced loyalty,” Mr Cobb said of Mr Nauta’s decision not to cooperate with prosecutors. “He should be a witness. He shouldn’t be a defendant. But you can only dangle that opportunity for so long before you have to shoot. So I think it’s tragic.”
John Dean, the White House counsel who testified against former president Richard Nixon over Watergate and later served four months for obstructing justice, said that he would advise Mr Nauta to turn against Mr Trump.
“He could strike a good deal and help put it away for the government,” he said on CNN.
As for Michael Cohen, he gave grand jury testimony over the hush money payments that led to the first-ever criminal charges against a former president. Mr Trump was indicted in March in New York on 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection to the payouts to the women who alleged sexual encounters with him. Mr Trump has denied the allegations and any criminal wrongdoing.
Weisselberg, who testified against the Trump Organization at his trial, said on the witness stand that neither Mr Trump nor his family knew about the tax scheme. Prosecutors maintained Mr Trump “knew exactly what was going on.”
Cohen said Mr Nauta should learn from his own experience that devotion to Mr Trump isn’t worth the consequences.
“I predict Walt will suffer the exact same outcome as the rest of us who have all been thrown under the bus for the benefit of Donald J Trump,” Cohen said, describing “just another Trump acolyte whose life has been turned completely upside down for his misguided loyalty to a man who didn’t deserve it.”
Namita Singh13 June 2023 07:20
Ex-Trump security official says his handling of classified documents could have cost lives
A Trump administration Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official has given a stunning assessment of the toll that Donald Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents has taken on the safety and security of the American people.
Elizabeth Neumann, who served as the DHS’s assistant secretary for counterterrorism from February 2017 to April 2020 and now works as an ABC News contributor, told ABC’s This Week that lives may have been lost as a result of the former president’s actions.
“This causes people to die,” she said.
Ariana Baio13 June 2023 07:00
Nauta faces six federal charges in Trump’s hoarding of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago
Walt Nauta, according to the indictment unsealed Friday, played a crucial role in the alleged scheme with Mr Trump, who is charged with 37 counts of illegally hoarding classified documents and obstructing the government’s efforts to get them back.
The government alleges Mr Nauta helped pack Trump’s boxes before he left the White House and repeatedly moved them to various rooms at Mar-a-Lago in response to Trump’s requests.
At one point, the indictment alleges, Mr Nauta discovered several boxes had fallen over in the storage room, dumping their contents on the floor. He snapped and shared photographs of the scene, which included a document with a visible marking, warning it was restricted to only the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.
Mr Nauta was key to Mr Trump’s investigation early on, with FBI agents grilling him about the movement of boxes inside Mar-a-Lago weeks before serving their search warrant at the property. Like other witnesses close to Mr Trump, though, his answers to law enforcement put him in legal jeopardy.
Although prosecutors say Mr Nauta moved boxes of documents to Mr Trump’s residence for his review at his direction, he lied to agents by saying he wasn’t aware of that happening, according to the indictment. And when agents asked if he knew where on the property the boxes had been stored, he said, “I wish, I wish I could tell you. I don’t know. I don’t — I honestly just don’t know.”
Mr Nauta’s attorney, Stanley Woodward, declined to answer questions about the charges or any efforts to get his client to turn on the former president, but confirmed the two would appear together.
Mr Nauta faces six federal charges, including conspiracy to obstruct justice, corruptly concealing a document or record and making false statements. His inclusion in the indictment was met by protest from Trump, who praised Nauta as “a wonderful man” who had “done a fantastic job!”
“They are trying to destroy his life, like the lives of so many others, hoping that he will say bad things about ‘Trump.’ He is strong, brave, and a Great Patriot. The FBI and DOJ are CORRUPT!” he wrote.
Namita Singh13 June 2023 06:40
Walt Nauta is the latest Trump loyalist to face potential jail time
When former president Donald Trump appears in federal court on Tuesday, he will be joined at the defence table by a man well-practised in standing by his side: his valet turned alleged co-conspirator, Walt Nauta.
Mr Nauta, a Navy veteran who fetched Mr Trump’s Diet Cokes as his valet at the White House before joining him as a personal aide at Mar-a-Lago, now finds himself in legal jeopardy alongside the former president. He is accused of moving boxes from the White House at Mr Trump’s direction and then lying about it to investigators.
Mr Nauta is the latest in a series of Trump loyalists to face potential jail time after his work for the former president.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime fixer and attorney, spent more than 13 months in prison over payouts he helped arrange during the 2016 presidential race to keep women from going public about alleged sexual encounters with Mr Trump. Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer at the Trump Organization, just finished serving three months at Rikers Island after pleading guilty to receiving $1.7 million in unreported job perks.
“Loyalty to Donald Trump is like First Avenue in Manhattan: one way. History has shown time and again that Donald cares for no one other than himself,” said Cohen, who has since turned on Mr Trump and eventually tried to win leniency by cooperating with prosecutors.
Namita Singh13 June 2023 06:21
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