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Trump to be arraigned in federal court in Miami, security measures tightened

The FBI raided Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in August 2022 in search of classified documents. 

Published: June 12, 2023 11:09pm

Updated: June 13, 2023 7:40am

Former President Donald Trump's arraignment takes place Tuesday in a Miami federal courthouse where he faces 37 counts as part of Special Counsel Jack Smith's investigation into alleged mishandling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago property.

The FBI raided Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in August 2022 in search of classified documents. 

Trump has referred to the charges as an abuse of power by the Justice Department, as he begins his campaign to become president again in 2024.

"The ridiculous and baseless indictment of me by the Biden administration's weaponized 'Department of Injustice' will go down as among the most horrific abuses of power in the history of our country," Trump recently said. "This vicious persecution is a travesty of justice."

Trump has continued to argue that he was protected under the Presidential Records Act to continue to negotiate with the National Archives about which documents he could keep.

Among Smith's charges is that Trump has violated the federal Espionage Act in taking at least some of the documents. 

Judge Aileen M. Cannon, who Trump appointed as a federal judge in 2020, will oversee the case.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is facing an investigation into similar concerns about his handling of classified documents.

Classified documents were discovered in November at the Penn Biden Center in Washington by one of Biden’s lawyers. The documents were reportedly from when he served as former President Barack Obama's vice president, and additional documents were found at Biden's Wilmington, Del., home. 

Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed Special Counsel Robert Hur to look into Biden's handling of classified documents.

On Monday, in advance of his court appearance, Trump pledged on Truth Social to appoint a special prosecutor, if reelected, to investigate Biden and his family's business dealings.

During the 2016 presidential election, Trump vowed to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate his opponent, Hillary Clinton, but abandoned his plans when he took office. In July 2016, the FBI announced that Clinton was not facing charges for her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state under Obama.

Federal, state and local authorities are ramping up security at the courthouse ahead of Trump’s arraignment. Officials are reportedly monitoring social media and online forums for threats of violence.

In April, there were protests outside of the courthouse in New York during Trump's arraignment in a separate case involving hush money payments Trump allegedly made to porn star Stormy Daniels before he became president. 

It is not clear if Trump's mugshot would be taken on Tuesday. Trump was not handcuffed and a mugshot was not taken after he was formally charged in the New York case.

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