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Two major cases against Donald Trump just took a big hit after the former president’s arraignment on federal charges related to his handling of classified documents on Tuesday in Miami.
During an interview on MSNBC, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that her case as well as the one filed by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg against Trump “will unfortunately have to be adjourned” as the federal case will take precedence over both cases.
“In all likelihood, I believe that my case, as well as DA Bragg and the Georgia case, will, unfortunately, have to be adjourned pending the outcome of the federal case,” James said. “So it all depends upon the scheduling of this particular case. I know there’s gonna be a flood, a flurry of motions, motion to dismiss, discovery issues, all of that. So it really all depends. Obviously, all of us want to know what Judge [Aileen] Cannon is going to do and whether or not she’s going to delay this particular case.”
Trump appeared in Miami on Tuesday for his arraignment in the case brought against him by Special Counsel Jack Smith, who was appointed by Biden’s Department of Justice.
Trump pleaded “not guilty” through his attorneys in federal court.
The federal judge granted Trump a pretrial release with no special conditions except no contact with witnesses. Smith has charged Trump with 37 counts related to his handling of classified documents. If he is found guilty on all counts, Trump — who is President Joe Biden’s chief rival in next year’s presidential election — could face decades in prison.
Judge Goodman, who oversaw Trump’s arraignment on Tuesday, did not allow cameras, phones, or electronic devices in the Miami courtroom — but reporters relayed what they noticed while inside.
“However, there was no apparent eye contact between Trump and Smith during the day’s proceedings. Trump sat with his arms folded most of the time, talking with his lawyers occasionally. But Trump did not speak and Magistrate Judge Goodman never addressed him directly,” Fox News reported.
“Judge Goodman asked both sides if they agreed to waive the reading of the indictment, to which they agreed, so the matter got to Trump’s arraignment fairly quickly. Most of the arguments from both sides were about Trump’s contact with potential witnesses, and the defense pointed out that they don’t even have a full list of witnesses yet,” the outlet added.
CNN’s Evan Perez was also inside the courtroom and said Trump did not seem thrilled to be there.
“He had a very serious look on his face, periodically had his arms folded,” Perez said. “The former president entered the room probably about 30 or 40 minutes before the judge. We couldn’t see exactly when he entered the room because the televisions of the room that we were in were not turned on immediately, but we saw, you know, the lawyers take their seats and the former president sort of twiddling his thumbs while he waited for proceedings to take his place.”
According to the indictment, Trump allegedly showed classified documents to a number of people who did not have the proper security clearances on at least two separate occasions. The DOJ alleges that both instances took place at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, N.J.
Details regarding one of the alleged instances were leaked to CNN.
The network reported that federal prosecutors had “obtained an audio recording of a summer 2021 meeting in which former President Donald Trump acknowledges he held onto a classified Pentagon document about a potential attack on Iran, multiple sources told CNN, undercutting his argument that he declassified everything.”
Trump announced last Thursday that he had been indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on charges connected to his handling of classified materials.
The charges “include willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, a scheme to conceal, and false statements and representations,” ABC News reported.