On Tuesday, Donald Trump made his first appearance before a federal court in Miami. He is accused of mishandling and keeping classified documents on his Mar-a-Lago property.
Here’s a look at the charges, the special prosecutor’s investigation, and how Trump’s case differs from that of other politicians whose possession of classified documents is known to the public:
WHAT THEN OCCURS?
Before a scheduled hearing at 3 p.m. in a federal court in Miami, Trump must surrender to federal authorities. He needed to testify alongside his camera assistant Walt Nauta, who is also accused in the case.
In contrast to her earlier hearing in New York, there won’t be any pictures of the courtroom because cameras aren’t allowed in federal courts. However, if there were any doodles, they would be the only representations of the actual comparecencia in the courtroom.
Additionally, it is prohibited for reporters to bring electronic devices before the judge, so there won’t be any real-time updates through text message or tweet. This rule typically depends on each federal judge, but in this case a court order was issued that imposes restrictions specifically on Trump’s initial audience.
It is anticipated that Trump and Nauta will both declare themselves to be innocent in this case, after which both parties will discuss the terms of the agreement, which may include a directive to deliver the president’s passport.
When Trump appears before a federal court, he won’t be subject to a police photograph since the authorities already have enough images of him in their identification database. According to a spokesperson for the Servicio de Alguaciles of the United States, Trump’s digital dactilary huellas would be taken, and his date of birth and Social Security number would be registered.
WHAT ARE THE CARGOS?
Trump is facing 37 charges related to the improper handling of classified documents, including 31 charges in violation of a statute of the Espionage Act relating to the purposeful retention of national security information. Among other crimes, the charges also include obstruction of justice and making false statements.
Trump is accused of keeping records from the House White House’s intelligence sessions, some of which detail the military capabilities of the EE. UU. and other countries, as well as records related to the “nuclear armament in the United States” and “capacidades nucleares of an extraneous country.” as per the accusation.
Tax authorities object that Trump displayed the documents to individuals who lacked security clearance to review them and then attempted to conceal the documents from his own attorneys as they attempted to comply with federal demands to locate and return documents.
The major offenses carry sentences of up to 20 years in prison.
How was this case handled?
The staff of the National Archives and Records Administration contacted Trump’s representatives in the spring of 2021 after realizing that vital documents from their tenure in the position were missing.
The White House records are deemed to be government of the United States property under the Presidential Records Law and must be preserved.
In December 2021, a Trump representative informed the National Archives that presidential records had been discovered at Mar-a-Lago. The National Archives located 15 boxes of documents from Donald Trump’s Florida home in January 2022 and informed the Department of Justice employees that they contained “a lot” of classified information.
In May, the FBI and the Department of Justice issued a citation for the remaining classified documents that Trump was in possession of. About three docenas of documents and a court-approved statement from Trump’s attorneys attesting to the fact that the requested information had been provided were sent to the investigators who went to the property weeks later to gather the records.
But that claim turned out to be false. Federal employees returned to Mar-a-Lago in August 2022 under an allotment order and seized more than 33 boxes and containers containing a total of 11,000 documents from a bank and an office, including 100 classified documents.