Trump indictment updates: Trump attacks special counsel after court

(MIAMI) — Former President Donald Trump made his first appearance Tuesday in a federal courtroom in Miami after he was indicted in an investigation into his handling of classified documents.

Trump, who has repeatedly denied any allegations of impropriety, entered a not guilty plea through his attorneys and did not speak at all during the court appearance.

Trump has been charged with 37 counts: 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information; one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice; one count of withholding a document or record; one count of corruptly concealing a document or record; one count of concealing a document in a federal investigation; one count of scheme to conceal; and one count of false statements and representations.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Jun 13, 10:10 PM EDT
Pence says he can’t defend what is alleged against Trump

Former Vice President Mike Pence said in an interview that he could not defend what was alleged against the former president.

After reading the indictment, Pence called the allegations charging former President Donald Trump “very serious” in an audio interview Tuesday with the Wall Street Journal.

“As the father and father-in-law of two men that currently serve in the Armed Forces of the United States, I will never diminish concerns over the handling of classified materials,” Pence said. “I can’t defend what has been alleged here, but the president is entitled to his day in court.”

Jun 13, 10:04 PM EDT
Trump attacks special counsel in speech

Trump also specifically took aim at special prosecutor Jack Smith and the Department of Justice — the government agency he once led as president.

Trump also said during his speech that they made the right move in not bringing charges against former Vice President Mike Pence for his handling of classified documents.

“He totally exonerated Mike Pence. I’m happy about that. Mike did nothing wrong, but he happened to have classified documents in his house,” Trump told his supporters before name-calling Smith, who he said does “political hit jobs.”

“I will tell you, I’m here. And I love you all. And we can take them,” he added.

Jun 13, 9:28 PM EDT
Trump claims he had right to documents

Former President Trump wasted no time slamming the indictment against him over his alleged mishandling of classified documents but remained as defiant as ever during his first official remarks since he was arraigned in federal court.

“Today we witnessed the most evil and heinous abuse of power in the history of our country. Very sad thing to watch,” Trump said in a speech Tuesday evening at his Bedminster club.

“It’s a political persecution like something straight out of a fascist or communist nation,” he added.

Trump once again falsely claimed that he was able to keep classified documents under the Presidential records act.

“I had every right to have these documents,” Trump said.

Jun 13, 7:41 PM EDT
Trump returns to New Jersey

Former President Donald Trump’s plane landed in Newark, New Jersey.

He will depart to his Bedminster club to greet a host of supporters, GOP donors and other guests.

-ABC News’ Darren Reynolds

Jun 13, 4:56 PM EDT
Trump heads back to New Jersey

Former President Donald Trump’s plane has departed Miami and is now en route to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where Trump will address his supporters Tuesday night.

Jun 13, 4:14 PM EDT
Trump makes stop at Cuban restaurant

Former President Donald Trump is making a stop at Versailles, a restaurant in Little Havana at the heart of Miami’s Cuban exile community.

He was greeted with cheers and shook hands and snapped photos with excited supporters.

Some patrons sang “Happy birthday” to Trump, who turns 77 on Wednesday.

“We’re a nation in decline, and then they do this stuff,” Trump said in brief remarks. “You see the crowds and everything else — we have a country that is in decline like never before, and we can’t let it happen.”

Trump’s aide and co-defendant, Walt Nauta, attended the restaurant stop with the former president.

Jun 13, 4:07 PM EDT
Trump leaves courthouse

Former President Donald Trump has left the Miami federal courthouse after pleading not guilty to charges including willful retention of national defense information and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Trump, alone in the motorcade, with only his Secret Service detail in his car, is next heading to a local business in Miami, sources told ABC News.

Later in the day, Trump will fly to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he’ll address his supporters Tuesday night.

Jun 13, 3:47 PM EDT
Trump enters not guilty plea

Defense attorney Todd Blanche entered a not guilty plea on behalf of former President Donald Trump.

Trump was frowning at some points and was looking down toward the floor for most of the hearing.

Trump was already in the courtroom by about 2:45 p.m., ahead of the scheduled 3 p.m. start time. Seated at the same table as Trump was his aide and co-defendant, Walt Nauta.

Trump waited in the courtroom for about 10 minutes before the judge arrived.

At first Trump appeared slumped in his chair, but when the judge asked for him to be officially arraigned, the former president sat up a bit and crossed his arms.

At one point during the arraignment, the magistrate judge asked Trump’s lawyers Todd Blanche and Chris Kise if they were permanent attorneys, and they indicated they were.

Trump was barred from speaking to any witnesses about the case, except through counsel.

Nauta did not enter a plea because he does not have local representation. He’s set to return to court on June 27.

Jun 13, 3:03 PM EDT
Special counsel Jack Smith in courtroom with Trump

Special counsel Jack Smith is currently in the courtroom for former President Donald Trump’s arraignment. It’s very unusual for a top prosecutor to attend such an early court appearance in a case.

This marks the first time Trump and Smith are in the same room.

Other prosecutors and Trump’s lawyers are also present.

Jun 13, 2:12 PM EDT
Trump completes booking process at courthouse, will head to courtroom

Former President Donald Trump is inside the Miami federal courthouse ahead of his 3 p.m. appearance.

Former President Donald Trump leaves his Trump National Doral resort, June 13, 2023 in Doral, Fla.
While the former president is inside the courthouse, many members of Trump’s team are staying in the motorcade, sources told ABC News.

Trump spokesperson Alina Habba spoke to reporters outside the courthouse while the former president was inside the building.

Trump’s booking process has been completed, sources told ABC News. He was not expected to be handcuffed or have his mugshot taken, sources told ABC News.

Jun 13, 2:00 PM EDT
Trump supporters, opponents congregate outside courthouse

Supporters and opponents of former President Donald Trump have congregated outside the courthouse with signs and costumes to make their voices heard.

Jun 13, 1:55 PM EDT
Trump arrives at federal courthouse

Former President Donald Trump has arrived at the Miami federal courthouse ahead of his 3 p.m. appearance.

Trump is not expected to be handcuffed or have his mugshot taken, sources told ABC News.

The booking process is not expected to take long, a law enforcement official told reporters, adding that it’s “the same process that everyone goes through.”

Jun 13, 1:48 PM EDT
Trump riding in car alone

As former President Donald Trump motorcades to the courthouse, he is riding in his car alone, sources told ABC News.

Trump’s lawyers, Todd Blanche and Chris Kise, are in the car behind him. Trump aide Walt Nauta, who is also charged in the federal indictment, is also riding in that car with his attorney, Stanley Woodward.

-ABC News’ Katherine Faulders and John Santucci

Jun 13, 1:32 PM EDT
Trump leaves Doral club to head to court

Former President Donald Trump has left his Doral, Florida, golf club to motorcade to the Miami federal courthouse for his 3 p.m. appearance.

Some supporters with Trump flags lined the street outside Doral.

Jun 13, 1:03 PM EDT
Crowds calm outside courthouse, Miami mayor says

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told ABC News that the crowd outside the courthouse “seems manageable” ahead of former President Donald Trump’s arrival.

“Everything seems, right now, very calm. We are hopeful that it remains that way,” he said.

Jun 13, 11:28 AM EDT
Trump not expected to be handcuffed

As negotiations reach final stages, ABC News has learned from sources that former President Donald Trump is not expected to be handcuffed or be required to empty his pockets when he’s processed at the courthouse on Tuesday.

Trump is also not expected to have a mugshot taken, according to sources.

His hands are expected to be scanned electronically, sources added.

Trump will be asked for his name and social security number when he’s processed, a law enforcement official told reporters.

The booking process is not expected to take long, a law enforcement official said, adding that it’s “the same process that everyone goes through.”

-ABC News’ Katherine Faulders, Aaron Katersky and John Santucci

Jun 13, 11:20 AM EDT
How serious are obstruction charges?

Of all the federal charges that former President Donald Trump and his aide Walt Nauta face in the investigation into the alleged mishandling of top secret government documents, obstruction is one of the most serious, according to legal experts.

Claire Finkelstein, the founder and faculty director of the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, noted that the obstruction charges in the indictment against Trump and his aide carry as much serious weight as the charges related to keeping the top secret documents, with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Finkelstein said an obstruction charge can cover a broad range of alleged activities, from as simple as lying to investigators, to as major as destroying evidence. But she said it all comes down to one clear allegation: that the accused deliberately interfered with an ongoing criminal investigation.

Click here to read more.

-ABC News’ Ivan Pereira

Jun 13, 10:44 AM EDT
Read the federal indictment

The federal indictment against former President Donald Trump alleges that he willfully retained documents containing the nation’s most sensitive secrets, including nuclear programs, after he left office, showed some of them on at least two occasions and then tried to obstruct the investigation into their whereabouts.

Federal prosecutors allege that the classified documents included “defense and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign countries; United States nuclear programs; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack; and plans for possible retaliation in response to a foreign attack.”

Boxes of the documents were allegedly stored in locations around Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club, including a ballroom stage and a bathroom, according to prosecutors.

Read the full indictment here.

Jun 13, 9:28 AM EDT
Trump not expected to be handcuffed

As negotiations reach final stages, ABC News has learned from sources that former President Donald Trump is not expected to be handcuffed or be required to empty his pockets when he’s processed at the courthouse on Tuesday.

Trump is also not expected to have a mugshot taken, according to sources.

His hands are expected to be scanned electronically, sources added.

Jun 13, 8:25 AM EDT
Chris Christie calls Trump’s conduct ‘inexcusable,’ ‘self-centered’

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took aim at former President Donald Trump during a CNN Republican Presidential Town Hall Monday night, calling Trump’s conduct “inexcusable” for someone who wants to occupy the Oval Office.

“He has shown himself, and I think most particularly in his post-presidency, to be completely self-centered, completely self-consumed, and doesn’t give a damn about the American people, in my view, if what the American people want is in conflict with what Donald Trump thinks is best for him,” Christie said.

“I mean, put aside taking the documents in the first place,” Christie said. “But then when you start getting asked … nicely with a letter from the archivist saying, ‘Could you please give it back,’ and you ignore it, ignore it, ignore it. Then they come with a grand jury subpoena, and then, according to the indictment, you tell your lawyers to tell them we don’t have anything even though you have dozens and dozens of boxes of material. That’s obstruction of justice, if it’s true.”

Jun 13, 8:11 AM EDT
Lawyers Todd Blanche, Chris Kise expected to attend court appearance

Former President Donald Trump is expected to be joined by his lawyers Todd Blanche and Chris Kise at Tuesday’s court appearance in Miami, sources told ABC News. Meetings with additional local attorneys are ongoing.

Blanche is representing Trump in the Manhattan criminal case while Kise represents Trump and the Trump Organization in other matters.

Jun 13, 5:12 AM EDT
Trump to appear in court at 3 p.m.

Former President Donald Trump is set to appear in federal court at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

He’s accused of willfully retaining documents containing the nation’s most sensitive secrets, including nuclear programs, after he left office, prosecutors said. He allegedly showed some of the documents to people on at least two occasions and then tried to obstruct the investigation into their whereabouts, prosecutors claim.

Trump denied any wrongdoing over the weekend, saying: “We did absolutely nothing wrong. Take a look at the Presidential Records Act. We did it by the book. Perfect.”

Trump is expected to arrive at and depart from the Miami courthouse via secure private access points that would make it impossible for the public or journalists to see him.

Trump aide Walt Nauta, who was also charged in connection with his handling of government documents, is also due in court at 3 p.m.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

SHARE NOW