“We most certainly enter a plea of not guilty,” Trump attorney Todd Blanche told the judge.
During the hearing, Trump sat hunched over with his arms crossed and a scowl on his face. He did not speak.
Trump’s aide and co-defendant, Walt Nauta, was also arrested, fingerprinted and processed. He had an initial appearance Tuesday but will not be arraigned until June 27.
Here’s what else happened at Tuesday’s hearing, which ended after roughly 45 minutes:
Notable legal clouds that continue to hang over Donald Trump in 2023
Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman ruled that Trump could not communicate with Nauta about the case. The judge also told prosecutors to make a list of potential witnesses that Trump can’t communicate with about the case – except through counsel.
The judge did not, however, place any travel restrictions on either defendant.
The Justice Department recommended that both Trump and Nauta be released with no financial or special conditions. Prosecutor David Harbach said that “the government does not view either defendant as a flight risk.”
Goodman began the hearing thanking “the entire law enforcement community” for their work on Tuesday.
Before the arraignment hearing, deputy marshals booked the former president and took electronic copies of his fingerprints. They did not take a mugshot of Trump since he is easily recognizable. The booking process took about 10 minutes.
The criminal charges in the Justice Department’s classified documents case escalates the legal jeopardy surrounding the 2024 GOP front-runner. Special counsel Jack Smith attended Tuesday’s arraignment.
Trump faces 37 felony counts, alleging he illegally retained national defense information and that he concealed documents in violation of witness-tampering laws in the Justice Department’s probe into the materials.
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