Former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty after he was arrested and booked at a federal courthouse in Florida on Tuesday afternoon for allegedly refusing to return classified documents to federal authorities after he left the White House.
Trump was already the first former president to face criminal charges and is now the first to face federal charges. An indictment unsealed Friday alleges that Trump, with the help of his body man Walt Nauta, flouted a subpoena requiring him to surrender highly sensitive documents that he kept in unsecured locations at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida — and that the men concealed this from federal officials as well as Trump’s own attorneys. The documents allegedly contained national defense information, including plans to attack an unidentified foreign country, and US nuclear weapons capabilities.
Trump was charged with a total of 37 counts, including willful retention of national defense information under the Espionage Act, making false statements and representations, conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, and scheming to conceal.
US District Judge Aileen Cannon, whom Trump appointed in 2019, is reportedly overseeing the case for now. She previously appointed a special master to examine the documents retrieved from Mar-a-Lago last year at the Trump team’s request, and was criticized for delivering Trump several perplexing legal wins in the first phase of the documents case proceedings.
In the days since his indictment, Trump has indicated on his social network Truth Social that he intends to fight the charges, calling them the product of a political “witch hunt” and an attempt to interfere with the 2024 election.
Here’s everything else you need to know about Trump’s second arraignment.
Where and at what time will Trump be arraigned?
Trump arrived at the Miami federal courthouse around 1:50 pm ET and was taken into custody by officers there. He left the courthouse shortly after 3 pm ET. His arraignment largely followed a pattern established by his April arraignment in New York in a separate case concerning hush money payments to the adult film star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign. In April, Trump was fingerprinted but not put in handcuffs and did not have his mugshot taken. He was also allowed to return home following his arraignment in New York.
The former president now plans to return to his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club to make public remarks. He similarly made public remarks following his April indictment, raising grievances against the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and people involved in other investigations against him.
Trump is also scheduled to hold a fundraiser at his golf club in the evening that is expected to bring in $2 million, Politico reported. That’s a hefty sum, but not an unreasonable target given that he also saw a surge in campaign donations following his first indictment. Ninety percent of Tuesday night’s proceeds are expected to go to Trump’s reelection effort, with the remainder taken to help with his growing legal fees.
Will there be protests?
In a radio interview Sunday, Trump called for his supporters to protest. Federal and local authorities are preparing for the possibility, ramping up their capacity in Miami and reportedly prohibiting police officers from taking the day off. The courthouse perimeter has been roped off and surrounded with barricades.
Some far-right groups and figures have been calling for protests around the courthouse. That includes a local chapter of the Proud Boys, a militia group whose leaders were found guilty of seditious conspiracy in the January 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection, as well as former Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake and a number of alt-right influencers.
At the Georgia Republican convention Saturday, Lake suggested she — and many other Republicans who are members of the National Rifle Association — would be ready to meet any Trump detractors planning a counter-demonstration.
“If you want to get to President Trump, you’re going to have to go through me and you’re going to have to go through 75 million Americans just like me,” she told the crowd.
Who’s representing Trump?
Attorneys Jim Trusty and John Rowley, both of whom had been tapped to work on the federal documents case, resigned last week following the announcement of the indictment. They offered few specifics as to why, simply calling it a “logical moment” to do so. The Washington Post reported, however, that there were significant disagreements about the best legal strategy moving forward, with some in Trump’s camp urging his attorneys to slam the charges as a partisan “witch hunt” and others pushing a more traditional approach intended to sway potential jurors.
Trump reportedly interviewed several local lawyers on Monday, looking for Florida attorneys who would focus on the documents case, and has thus far not announced any new counsel.
For now, that’s left Trump with two attorneys, who’ve both worked with him on separate cases. Former prosecutor Todd Blanche, a lawyer also working on Trump’s defense in the New York criminal case addressing hush money payments to Daniels, will be in the courtroom on Tuesday.
The Post reported that a seasoned Florida attorney named Christopher Kise would also be in court with Trump. Kise, who previously worked as solicitor general in the state and on then-Gov. Rick Scott’s transition team, was first brought onto the documents case last year before getting moved to address a civil case that Trump was fielding from the New York attorney general.
Historically, Trump has been a tough and mercurial client who sometimes ignores legal advice and fails to pay his bills. Trump’s past lawyers have faced their own legal scrutiny for the work they’ve done on his behalf, a risk many attorneys may not want to take, Bloomberg reports. Those factors — combined with the high level of scrutiny and degree of difficulty involved in the documents case — may be contributing to Trump’s troubles building out his defense team.
How are Trump’s 2024 rivals, and other Republicans, reacting?
The Republican reactions to Trump’s indictment fall into a couple different camps: Many, like House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, are defending him and accusing the DOJ of partisan bias; some, like former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, are critiquing the former president; and others, like Sen. John Thune (R-SD) are taking a more open-ended approach.
Many prominent Republicans denounced the charges against Trump as politicized and a biased interpretation of the law. That’s included certain 2024 presidential candidates including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence, underscoring the reality that Trump’s 2024 competitors have to win over his base even as they try to run against him. Entrepreneur and 2024 candidate Vivek Ramaswamy took it one step further by traveling to Miami to reiterate his commitment to pardoning Trump of federal charges if he were to become president, and calling on other candidates to agree to do the same.
Then there are the Republicans who’ve long been vocal critics and speak more to the smaller anti-Trump segment of the party. Christie, a fellow 2024 contender, and others who are condemning Trump’s actions, like former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, have argued that the indictment undermines Trump’s fitness for the presidency.
“Whether you like Donald Trump or you don’t ... this conduct is inexcusable for someone who wants to be president,” Christie said at a CNN town hall on Monday. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, another 2024 Republican candidate, has also said that Trump “was incredibly reckless with our national security” if the indictment is true.
Finally, a contingent of Republicans have offered more neutral reactions or none at all. Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a lawmaker who’s had his own clashes with Trump over January 6, is among those who haven’t come to the president’s defense or spoken up about the indictment. Thune, a top-ranking Senate Republican, has also called the Trump allegations “very serious” while noting that the DOJ faces a high “burden of proof.”
The split between House Republican leaders and those in the Senate is notable: There was far more cohesion in GOP lawmakers’ response to Trump’s first indictment. That more lawmakers are willing to acknowledge the seriousness of this second indictment is a reminder of just how damning the case against him appears to be this time.
What do Americans think about the second indictment?
Republican voters remain steadfastly loyal toward Trump despite the second indictment, according to recent polls.
A survey from YouGov/CBS News that contacted respondents from June 9-10 (after the indictment), found most Republican voters don’t think Trump did anything troubling. Overall, 80 percent of Americans believe it would be a security risk if Trump held on to documents about US military plans or nuclear systems after leaving office, but just 38 percent of likely Republican primary voters feel the same.
Additionally, 61 percent of likely Republican primary voters said the indictment didn’t change how they view Trump, while 14 percent said it changed their view of him for the better. A Reuters/Ipsos survey also taken after the indictment echoed these results, finding that 36 percent of Republicans are now more likely to vote for Trump following the latest criminal charges against him.
What happens next?
Jack Smith, a special counsel appointed by the Justice Department in November to investigate the case, said in a press conference Friday that he intended to pursue a “speedy trial.” But as with the case against Trump in New York, the Florida court case could extend well into the 2024 campaign season or even beyond the election.
If convicted, Trump could face prison time. Each count related to Espionage Act violations alone could carry a maximum sentence of up to 10 years. For the conspiracy and false statements charges, it’s five years per offense; for the obstruction charges, it’s 20 years.
Update, June 13, 3:25 pm ET: This story was originally published on June 12 and has been updated multiple times, most recently to reflect Trump’s not-guilty plea.
Correction, June 13, 11:40 am ET: A previous version of this article referred to Judge Aileen Cannon as the special master in the documents case; she appointed the special master, but did not serve in that role.