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Former US President Donald Trump Pleads not Guilty to Federal Indictment

Former US President Donald Trump was recently indicted with 37 charges over his handling of classified documents that were brought to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Trump is the first US president to face federal charges, and this is not his first time around. His first indictment was by the Manhattan district attorney’s office on 34 counts of falsifying business records to disrupt the 2016 election.

Despite the allegations, Trump pleaded not guilty on Tuesday during the arraignment in Miami to all 37 criminal charges: 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information, and additional counts of conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, scheme to conceal, and false statements and representations.

Judge Aileen Cannon oversaw Trump’s indictment, and she was appointed to the federal district court in southern Florida by Trump in 2020. Trump’s co-defendant, Will Nauta, who was arrested alongside Trump, will be arraigned later this month. Trump has repeatedly denied all allegations, and he entered a not-guilty plea through his attorneys, not speaking a word during his entire court appearance.

Despite being found not guilty, Trump is determined to attack the special counsel’s indictment, describing the indictment as the “most evil and heinous abuse of power” while speaking to reporters. He released a four-minute video on Thursday evening, stating that the Justice Department is being weaponized to yield his power. “I am an innocent man. I did nothing wrong”, Trump claimed in the video.

After leaving the courthouse, Trump greeted his supporters at a restaurant in Miami. He then went to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey where he responded to the indictment. The federal indictment marks a pertinent phase for the former president, who is running again in the 2024 presidential election while facing criminal charges. Trump claims that these are all efforts to impede on his political prowess and success. He argues that the investigations are “election interference” and that the indictment is a “political persecution like something straight out of a fascist or communist nation.”

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