Former President Donald Trump is expected to appear in a Miami court on Tuesday after being indicted on federal charges of mishandling classified documents and obstructing justice.
The indictment, unsealed last week, accuses Trump of illegally storing and refusing to return hundreds of highly sensitive documents that were found at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Trump is facing 37 counts, including unlawful retention of defense information, making false statements and witness tampering.
Trump is the first former president to face federal criminal charges. He was also arraigned in a New York court in April on charges of falsifying business records related to hush money payments. The Miami case stems from a special counsel investigation that was launched after a whistleblower reported finding classified documents in various locations at Mar-a-Lago, including bathrooms, ballrooms and golf carts. The documents included presidential briefings, intelligence reports and diplomatic cables.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and called the charges a “witch hunt” and a “hoax”. He has also accused the special counsel of being biased and politically motivated. He has vowed to fight the charges and clear his name. He has also hinted at running for president again in 2024.
Trump is scheduled to appear before U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga at 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday at the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. U.S. Courthouse in downtown Miami. He will have to surrender for pretrial services, including booking and processing, before the hearing. Cameras are not allowed in the federal court, but some reporters will be allowed to watch and share updates.
Law enforcement officials have prepared for possible protests and unrest outside the courthouse on Tuesday.