Former President Donald Trump has been arrested at the federal courthouse in Miami and will soon be arraigned on charges related to mishandling classified documents.
Deputy marshals have booked the former president and take electronic copies of his fingerprints during Tuesday’s proceedings. They were not expected to take a mugshot of Trump, given his recognizability.
Trump’s aide and co-defendant, Walt Nauta has been arrested, fingerprinted and processed.
The criminal charges in the Justice Department’s classified documents case escalates the legal jeopardy surrounding the 2024 GOP front-runner.
Tuesday’s hearing, at 3 p.m. ET in Miami, is expected to be procedural in nature. Trump will enter a plea, there will be a discussion of the conditions of his pretrial release, and it’s possible that potential restrictions around Trump’s conduct as the case moves forward are brought up.
Trump is facing 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.
His close aide, Walt Nauta, was also charged in the indictment, unsealed Friday, which alleges the two men engaged in a conspiracy to obstruct the federal investigation. Nauta also will be appearing in court.
Trump left his Doral resort in his motorcade Tuesday along with Nauta, who was traveling in a separate vehicle. As he got in his vehicle, a bystander asked Trump how he was feeling. Trump said “great” and waved.
On his social media, Trump posted before heading to court that it was “ONE OF THE SADDEST DAYS IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY. WE ARE A NATION IN DECLINE!!!”
Tuesday’s hearing will kickstart what will likely be a winding, dramatic judicial process, with criminal and appeal proceedings that may play out for years. US District Judge Aileen Cannon – a Trump nominee whose decision last year to order a third-party review of an FBI search of Mar-a-Lago was widely criticized and overturned by a conservative appeals court – has been assigned the case.
Tuesday’s proceedings will be overseen by a magistrate judge, expected to be Jonathan Goodman, who is the magistrate on duty in Miami this week.