Former US President Donald Trump on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to 37 charges related to alleged mishandling of classified documents, CNN reported.
Trump’s lawyers asked for a jury trial during the former president’s arraignment at a federal courthouse in Miami. “We most certainly enter a plea of not guilty,” Trump attorney Todd Blanche told the judge.
Trump himself did not speak during the hearing.
The former President’s aide and co-defendant, Walt Nauta, was also arrested, fingerprinted and processed. He had an initial appearance Tuesday but will not be arraigned until June 27.
Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman ruled at the hearing that Trump could not communicate with Nauta about the case. The judge also told prosecutors to make a list of potential witnesses that Trump can’t communicate with about the case – except through counsel.
The judge did not, however, place any travel restrictions on either defendant.
The Justice Department recommended that both Trump and Nauta be released with no financial or special conditions. Prosecutor David Harbach said that, “the government does not view either defendant as a flight risk.”
Following the arraignment, Trump visited Miami’s iconic Versailles Restaurant in Little Havana, where the crowd serenaded him by singing “Happy Birthday” to him, one day before his 77th birthday.
According to the indictment, which was unsealed on Friday, Trump faces 37 felony counts, alleging he illegally retained national defense information and that he concealed documents in violation of witness-tampering laws in the Justice Department’s probe into the materials.
Trump left his Doral resort in his motorcade Tuesday along with Nauta, who was traveling in a separate vehicle. As he got in his vehicle, a bystander asked Trump how he was feeling. Trump said “great” and waved.
On Saturday, Trump denounced the indictment against him in a speech in Georgia, calling it "ridiculous and baseless."
Despite the indictment against Trump, a poll released on Monday found that he remains far ahead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Some 43% of self-identified Republicans said Trump was their preferred candidate, compared to 22% who picked Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Trump's closest rival.