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Former US president Donald Trump leaves his Trump National Doral resort in Florida. Alamy Stock Photo

Donald Trump pleads not guilty to 37 charges of hoarding top-secret US government documents

The court appearance marked the former US president’s second time since April facing a judge on criminal charges.

LAST UPDATE | 13 Jun 2023

DONALD TRUMP HAS pleaded not guilty to dozens of felony charges of mishandling US government documents at a court in Florida. 

The former US president arrived at the Miami courthouse at around 7pm Irish time to face 37 counts of unlawfully retaining classified documents and obstructing the government’s efforts to get them back.

Walt Nauta, a Trump aide who was seen on surveillance camera removing boxes at Mar-a-Lago, is also charged with withholding records, concealing documents, scheming to conceal facts from investigators and making false or misleading statements.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, branding the charges against him a “hoax”, and encouraged supporters to join a planned protest at the Miami courthouse.

The appearance marked Trump’s second time since April facing a judge on criminal charges.

Good evening, Jane Moore here.

Former US president Donald Trump is on his way to a courthouse in Florida, where he will face charges of mishandling classified documents. 

Stick with us for the next few hours as I’ll be bringing you the latest developments throughout the evening. 

But first, let’s recap on what we know so far:

  • Last week, Donald Trump was indicted on 37 felony counts related to retaining classified information, obstructing justice and false statements.
  • It marked the US Justice Department’s first official confirmation of a criminal case against Trump arising from the retention of hundreds of documents at his Florida home, Mar-a-Lago.
  • The indictment accuses Trump of having improperly removed scores of boxes from the White House to take them to Mar-a-Lago, many of them allegedly containing classified information related to US nuclear programs and defense and weapons capabilities of both the US and foreign countries.
  • It is alleged that the documents were stored in a shower, bathroom, ballroom and a bedroom of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
  • Trump is expected to deny the 37 counts of illegally retaining classified documents and obstructing the government’s efforts to get them back.
  • The former US president has branded the charges against him a “hoax” and denied any wrongdoing.
Trump arrives at court

In the last ten minutes, Donald Trump arrived at the Wilkie D Ferguson Jr courthouse in Miami.

His motorcade was filmed arriving outside the court before driving into an underground garage.

the-motorcade-carrying-former-president-donald-trump-arrives-near-the-wilkie-d-ferguson-jr-u-s-courthouse-tuesday-june-13-2023-in-miami-trump-is-making-a-federal-court-appearance-on-dozens-of The motorcade carrying former President Donald Trump arrives near the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. US Courthouse. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

police-gather-after-the-motorcade-carrying-former-president-donald-trump-arrived-at-the-wilkie-d-ferguson-jr-u-s-courthouse-tuesday-june-13-2023-in-miami-trump-is-making-a-federal-court-appear Police gather after the motorcade carrying former president Donald Trump arrived at the courthouse. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Trump is now in federal custody. 

The New York Times is reporting that the booking process for Trump and Walt Nauta, his aide who was seen on CCTV footage removing boxes at Mar-a-Lago, has been completed.

Supporters gather outside the court

Meanwhile, supporters of the former US president have gathered outside the courthouse to show their support. 

Some have Trump 2024 flags, supporting his bid for president next year.

A number of anti-Trump protesters have also gathered. 

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miami-usa-13th-june-2023-people-gather-outside-president-donald-trumps-arraignment-at-wilkie-d-ferguson-jr-united-states-federal-courthouse-in-miami-florida-on-june-13-2023-photo-by-michele Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

people-rally-outside-the-wilkie-d-ferguson-jr-u-s-courthouse-tuesday-june-13-2023-in-miami-former-president-donald-trump-is-making-a-federal-court-appearance-on-dozens-of-felony-charges-accusi Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

miami-florida-usa-13th-june-2023-domenic-santana-a-supporter-of-the-charges-against-former-us-president-donald-trump-dresses-in-costume-in-front-of-the-wilkie-d-ferguson-jr-us-federal-courtho Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

alina-habba-lawyer-for-former-president-donald-trump-speaks-outside-the-wilkie-d-ferguson-jr-u-s-courthouse-tuesday-june-13-2023-in-miami-trump-is-making-a-federal-court-appearance-on-dozens Alina Habba, lawyer for former Us president Donald Trump, speaks outside the Wilkie D Ferguson Jr courthouse. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Alina Habba, an attorney and spokesperson for Donald Trump, has told Fox News that what is happening to him “should terrify all citizens of this country”. 

Speaking outside the Miami courthouse, she said: “The decision to pursue charges against President Trump, while turning a blind eye to others, is emblematic of the corruption that we have here.

“We are at a turning point in our nation’s history,” she added.

Habba is not representing Trump in this case.

journalists-line-up-to-be-admitted-inside-the-wilkie-d-ferguson-jr-u-s-courthouse-tuesday-june-13-2023-in-miami-former-president-donald-trump-is-making-a-federal-court-appearance-on-dozens-of Journalists line up to be admitted inside the Wilkie D Ferguson Jr. US Courthouse in Miami ahead of Donald Trump's arrival. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Earlier this afternoon, journalists queued outside the Wilkie D Ferguson Jr courthouse to be admitted to cover Trump’s arraignment. 

Reporters were not permitted to bring mobile phones, laptops, cameras or other electronic devices inside the courtroom. 

Trump pleads not guilty to 37 charges

Donald Trump has now entered the courtroom for his arraignment.

He has entered a plea of not guilty to the 37 charges against him through one of his lawyers.

According to CNN, Special Counsel Jack Smith – who announced the historic federal indictment last week – is attending the hearing.

Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, told the magistrate judge: “We most certainly enter a plea of not guilty”. 

ABC News journalist Olivia Rubin describes Trump’s demeanour in court here. 

According to the New York Times, Trump was allowed to leave the court with no travel conditions as prosecutors told Judge Jonathan Goodman that they did not believe he was a “flight risk”. 

However, the judge said Trump should have no contact with witnesses – including Walt Nauta – about the facts of the case except through their counsel.

Nauta still works for Trump and arrived at the Miami courthouse with him earlier. 

Donald Trump has now left the courthouse in Miami. 

Supporters of the former US president cheered as his convoy began to depart the courthouse as the US secret service and motorcycle police escorted the motorcade. 

He is reportedly heading to the airport where he is expected to fly to his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.

The former US president’s motorcade was momentarily prevented from leaving the Miami courthouse as one anti-Trump protester ran in front of it. 

He was quickly dragged away by police, allowing the convoy to depart. 

With that, we’re going to end the liveblog for the evening.

We will have a full report of Donald Trump’s court appearance on the site shortly. Thanks for sticking with us.