Trump Pleads Not Guilty in Classified Documents Case as Protesters Face Off

Donald Trump departs the White House for Palm Beach, FL where he will be spending the Christmas holiday, Friday, December 22, 2017. (Cedit: Shutterstock)

Former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to 37 felony counts related to his alleged mishandling of classified documents.

In video carried live on MSNBC, Trump’s motorcade arrived at Miami’s federal courthouse for his arraignment around 1:50 p.m. ET.

The ex-president waved to supporters from inside his vehicle. Some people in the crowd wore red MAGA hats while others carried American flags. Among the supporters was a group wearing T-shirts that said “Blacks for Trump.”

A large group of anti-Trump protesters stood nearby. Some yelled “no one is above the law.” Others waved signs saying “Lock Him Up.”

Heavily armed law enforcement officers from several agencies monitored the crowd outside the courthouse.

NBC News showed one anti-Trump protester, dressed in a prison uniform, approaching the motorcade before being immediately stopped by police.

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Just before the arraignment started, the 45th president wrote on his Truth social app that the case against him is a “witch hunt.”

He sat at a table in the courtroom with his arms crossed and scowled, the Associated Press reported. Cameras were not allowed in the courtroom.

He was expected to be released without having to pay bond or surrender his passport.

Outside the courthouse, Trump spokesperson Alina Habba said prosecutors in the case are “politically motivated” and added, “the people in charge of this country do not love America.”

This is first time the Department of Justice has ever charged a former president with a crime.

In the federal indictment, prosecutors said Trump kept “scores of boxes” containing classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

“Trump was not authorized to possess or retain those classified documents,” the indictment said. The 49-page document can be viewed here.

He is also accused in New York state court of falsifying business records related to hush-money payments made during the 2016 campaign.

Trump has denied wrongdoing in both cases as he runs for the White House in the 2024 race.