Trump Arraigned on Federal Charges, Continues Campaign Fundraising Efforts
Former President Donald Trump’s second indictment occurred this Tuesday as he pleaded not guilty to all 37 charges in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case.
In yet another historical event, Trump was federally arraigned on felony charges, marking him as the first former president sought to be put on a criminal trial. In April, Trump became the first president, current or former, to be charged with criminal activity – now, he has also become the first to be charged with a federal crime.
Trump posted on Truth Social on the way to the arraignment, classifying the case as a “witch hunt” and finishing with “MAGA.”
The case centers on the allegations that Trump was actively involved in packing classified documents when leaving the White House in 2021 and that he was additionally responsible for his lawyer misleading the investigation into the papers he had stored at his Florida home.
Some of the 37 charges Trump now faces include conspiracy to obstruct justice and willful retention of national defense information. Other charges include corruptly concealing documents in addition to false statements and representations.
Trump’s aide, Walt Nauta, was also indicted for false statements and concealing documents. Nauta is faced with six charges yet has not entered a plea as of Tuesday.
SPEEDY TRIAL SOUGHT FOR TRUMP CASE
Special counsel Jack Smith, who headed the investigation, said in a brief public statement last Friday that his office will pursue “a speedy trial on this matter consistent with the public interest and the rights of the accused.”
Smith, who was appointed by the Justice Department to oversee two separate investigations of Trump, also stated that the defendant “must be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”
However, he also clearly established, “We have one set of laws in this country, and they apply to everyone. Applying those laws and collecting facts that’s what determines the outcome of an investigation. Nothing more, nothing less.”
TRUMP’S REACTION TO THE SECOND INDICTMENT
Trump was booked in court at his arraignment, and digital fingerprints were taken for processing.
The former president was not handcuffed, and no travel restrictions have been placed on him. Trump was released on bond under the condition that he not speak about the case with a list of witnesses. This list will likely include Nauta, among other names.
Trump made his first statement after the arraignment via another post to Truth Social. “Thank you, Miami. Such a warm welcome on such a SAD DAY for our Country!” read the statement.
Trump followed his court appearance by visiting a Cuban restaurant in Miami and engaging with supporters, shaking hands amidst a crowd that chanted “USA!”
Trump then gave comments at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., where supporters rallied to raise funds for his campaign. There, Trump reiterated remarks that the investigation was unjust, restating that he was allowed to take documents with him when leaving the White House, despite the National Archives and Records Administration explicitly stating this is untrue.
He then went on to attack the current administration, citing “election interference” and “political persecution.”
CNBC provided a video of these comments, which lasted around 30 minutes: Former President Donald Trump delivers remarks following his arraignment.
Trump began his comments, “Today, we witnessed the most evil and heinous abuse of power in the history of this country. A corrupt sitting president had his top political opponent arrested on fake and fabricated charges in which he and other presidents would’ve been guilty of — right in the middle of a presidential campaign in which he was losing badly.”
TRUMP CONTINUES CAMPAIGN AMID HISTORIC CHARGES
In an unprecedented turn of events, Trump is the only former president to be federally indicted and charged with a crime. How this twice-indicted, twice-impeached candidate will fare in the coming election is yet to unfold.
Given his actions, Trump appears firmly entrenched in the presidential race. As of now, he continues to be considered the leading candidate for the Republican nomination.