Former President Donald Trump was arraigned by federal prosecutors at a courthouse in Miami, Florida, on Tuesday, marking the first time in U.S. history that criminal charges have been brought against a former president.
Trump was released after a 45-minute proceeding in which he pleaded not guilty to 37 criminal counts stemming from a Department of Justice investigation into alleged mishandling of classified documents.
Trump was not handcuffed or forced to take a mugshot, and cameras were not allowed in the courthouse.
Outside of the courthouse, thousands of Trump supporters rallied in support and greeted the former president as his motorcade arrived and departed from the courthouse.
Some in the crowd waved Trump 2024 flags and other signs showing Republican and patriotic imagery.
Upon leaving the courthouse, Trump flashed a thumbs-up to the crowd through his motorcade’s windows. He later stopped at Cafe Versailles, a popular cafe in Miami, for a meal. There, a group of supporters apparently prayed over the former president, a video posted by Townhall shows.
People pray over Donald Trump at a cafe in Miami after being arraigned in a federal courthouse. pic.twitter.com/h3Phr1gL7o
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) June 13, 2023
Trump and his staff asked potential protestors in advance to remain peaceful on Tuesday. Nonetheless, the Miami Police Department deployed a significant number of officers to maintain order in case of any outbreaks of violence, none of which ultimately occurred.
The only apparent disruption to the day’s proceedings came from one protestor who jumped in front of Trump’s Secret Service motorcade as the vehicles pulled away from the courthouse.
Former President Trump issued a defiant statement on social media immediately before the event, claiming that the Department of Justice’s prosecution is politically motivated.
“ON MY WAY TO COURTHOUSE. WITCH HUNT!!! MAGA,” the post read.
Democrats have characterized Trump’s statements as a threat to the rule of law. Trump and his supporters have pointed to alleged evidence that both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Joe Biden mishandled classified documents themselves but were not referred for prosecution by the Department of Justice.
Former President Trump’s case will be tried before a Miami jury. The presiding Judge will be Judge Aileen Cannon. Some Trump critics, such as Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, have called for Cannon to recuse herself or be replaced due to her perceived bias in favor of Trump.