Former President Donald Trump Heads to Florida for History-Making Court Appearance

Washington DC – President Donald Trump and his allies have escalated efforts to undermine criminal charges against him and fuel protests, and he has been accused of illegally storing classified information this week. I’m preparing to appear in historic federal court on ten felonies.

Trump’s appearance in Miami on Tuesday afternoon will be the second time he has faced a judge on criminal charges in recent months. But unlike the New York case, which some legal analysts derided as relatively trivial, the Justice Department’s first indictment of the former president was an act that prosecutors said endangered national security. and related to espionage charges that could carry serious prison sentences if convicted. .

Ahead of the arraignment, President Trump stepped up his rhetoric against the Justice Department special counsel in charge of the case, calling Jack Smith “crazy,” calling the prosecution team “thugs,” and calling himself a “thug.” repeated his claim that he was the target of the incident, without any evidence. political persecution.

He called on his supporters to join the protests scheduled for Tuesday in a Miami courthouse, where his charges are scheduled to be arraigned.

Eyewitness News reporter Janice Yu talks about how President Trump is stepping up opposition to criminal cases.

“Our country needs strength right now,” Trump told longtime friend and adviser Roger Stone in an interview on WABC radio. “And they have to go out and protest peacefully. They have to go out.”

“Look, our country has to protest. There are many protests to protest. We lost everything,” he continued.

He also said there was “no circumstance” to withdraw from the 2024 campaign, which has historically dominated the Republican primary.

Other Trump supporters, including unsuccessful Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake in Arizona, have defended him in similar terms, and over the weekend, prosecutors said, “If you want to go see President Trump,” “I have to go,” he said sternly. “Through me, there are 75 million Americans like me, and most of us are NRA members with cards.”

Trump’s call to protest reflects recommendations he made ahead of his April appearance in New York court on charges stemming from hush money he paid during the 2016 presidential campaign. But those who showed up at the protest at the time complained that they were “far away”. No one knew about them.” And just as is the case, he plans to address his supporters in a speech Tuesday night hours after his court date.

ABC’s Aaron Katasky explains what happens when President Trump arrives in Miami:

President Trump will leave for Miami on Monday and will spend the rest of the day gathering with his advisers in Florida.

Justin Finch answered questions about how Miami is preparing for President Trump’s arrival and what to expect at the trial.

After appearing in court, he will return to New Jersey, where he plans to hold a press conference to publicly answer the accusations.

Trump supporters also plan to load bags from other parts of Florida onto buses bound for Miami, raising concerns among law enforcement officials gearing up for possible riots around the courthouse. ing. Mayor Francis Suárez was expected to provide additional details on the preparations on Monday, but by Sunday afternoon police were barely visible near the courthouse and no barricades had yet been set up nearby. It was a stark contrast to New York City, where the police had planned protests. weeks, even if no violence occurred in the end.

The Justice Department released an indictment on Friday that charged Trump with 37 felonies, 31 of which are related to willful retention of national defense information. Other charges include conspiracy to sabotage and making false statements.

The indictment alleges that Trump intentionally kept hundreds of classified documents that he brought from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago, Florida mansion after he left the White House in January 2021. ing. , bedrooms, showers, nuclear programs, U.S. and foreign government defense and weapons capabilities, and Pentagon “attack plans,” the indictment said. The disclosure of this information could jeopardize military personnel, sensitive human resources and intelligence gathering methods, prosecutors said.

More than that, he directed Walt Nauta, a personal aide indicted with Trump, to move boxes to hide the documents, and suggested his lawyers hide or destroy the documents, according to prosecutors. and other attempts to thwart government efforts to retrieve the documents. requested by the Department of Justice subpoena.

Some Republican lawmakers have cited the Justice Department’s 2016 decision not to prosecute Democratic Hillary Clinton for handling classified information through a private email server she used when she was secretary of state. and are trying to accuse Trump of being unfairly treated. But these arguments overlook the failure of FBI agents to find evidence that Mr. Clinton or his aides willfully violated classified information laws or obstructed investigations.

Republican Gov. Chris Snunu of New Hampshire, speaking on CBS News on Sunday, said there were “huge differences” between the two surveys that “should be explained to the American public.”

Earlier this month, the Justice Department informed former Vice President Mike Pence that it would not indict former Vice President Mike Pence for the presence of classified documents in his home in Indiana. A separate Justice Department special counsel investigation into the discovery of classified records in President Joe Biden’s home and office continues, but as in the Clinton case, no evidence of obstruction or willful violation of the law has surfaced.

President Trump’s own former Attorney General William Barr told Fox News that the president has no right to keep such classified records, giving a grim prediction about the president’s fate.

Mr. Barr said of the charges in the indictment, “If it’s even half true, he’ll be overjoyed. I mean, this is a pretty, very detailed indictment, and it’s really bad. And it’s going to present President Trump.” This idea,” he said. As a victim here—a victim of a witch hunt is absurd. ”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Former President Donald Trump Heads to Florida for History-Making Court Appearance

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