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Day 875

1/ Trump surrendered to authorities and pleaded not guilty to 37 felony charges that he mishandled top secret classified information and obstructed justice after leaving the White House. Trump faces 31 counts of willful retention of national security records, one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, one count of withholding a document, one count of corruptly concealing a document, one count of concealing a document in a federal investigation, one count of scheme to conceal, and one count of false statements and representations. In their 49-page indictment, federal prosecutors allege that Trump had documents with details on “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.” Prosecutors added that Trump risked national security by keeping the classified documents in a bathroom, a ballroom, and his bedroom, among other places, at Mar-a-Lago. Nevertheless, Trump’s lawyer said at the arraignment that “We most certainly enter a plea of not guilty.” Trump’s personal aide, Walt Nauta, also appeared before the judge but did not enter a plea because he does not have a local Florida lawyer to represent him. Both Trump and Nauta were released with no travel restrictions, and they were not required to surrender their passports. It was the second time in three months that Trump was not mugshotted at an arraignment. Trump is currently the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination despite being impeached twice, charged with 34 felony charges in an unrelated case in New York, and still under investigation for his efforts to overturn 2020 election. He is the first former American president to stand accused of federal crimes, and faces the possibility of several years in prison if convicted. Alina Habba, a Trump attorney, meanwhile, said “People in charge of this country do not love America. They hate Donald Trump.” She added: “What we are witnessing today is the blatant and unapologetic weaponization of the criminal justice system.” (Washington Post / New York Times / Politico / Associated Press / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / ABC News / NPR / CNN / Bloomberg / CNBC)

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