Trump Hearing Was Over in Less Than an Hour

Judge orders former president not to discuss case with witnesses, co-defendant
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2023 3:54 PM CDT
Trump Hearing Was Over in Less Than an Hour
People rally outside the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. U.S. Courthouse, Tuesday, June 13, 2023, in Miami.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Donald Trump, the first former president ever to appear as a defendant in a federal courtroom, entered a plea of not guilty Tuesday in a hearing that lasted under an hour. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman did not place any travel restrictions on Trump and his co-defendant in the classified records case, aide Walt Nauta, but he ruled that Trump cannot communicate with Nauta about the case, CNN reports. Goodman also said Trump's shouldn't contact witnesses about the facts of the case, except through their lawyers.

  • Trump, whose not guilty plea to 37 charges was entered on his behalf by lawyer Todd Blanche, "looked frustrated throughout his arraignment," tweeted Guardian journalist Hugo Lowell. "He folded his arms and re-folded his arms throughout, with a constant frown on his face."
  • The judge initially told Trump not to speak to witnesses at all but his lawyers objected, saying many of them are still Trump employees, the Washington Post reports. Goodman asked prosecutors to provide a list of witnesses Trump shouldn't discuss the case with.
  • The BBC reports that a protester lunged towards Trump's motorcade as it left the Miami courthouse but the man was quickly dragged away.

  • Special counsel Jack Smith, who is leading the investigation, was in the courtroom but did not speak, the Post reports. In Truth Social posts before the hearing, Trump called Smith a "lunatic" and a "Thug."
  • Nauta, whose lawyer needs to be sponsored by local counsel did not enter a plea but requested an extension on his arraignment, which is now set for June 27, the New York Times reports. The Times puts the length of the hearing at 47 minutes.
  • Outside the courthouse, one of Trump's lawyers denounced the prosecution, "What we are witnessing today is the blatant and unapologetic weaponization of the criminal justice system," said Allna Habba, who is not representing Trump in this case.
  • NBC reports that after the arraignment, Trump visited popular Cuban restaurant Versailles in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood, where the crowd sang "Happy Birthday" to him. Trump turns 77 on Wednesday.
(More Donald Trump stories.)

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