MIAMI, FLORIDA — Today, on the eve of his 77th birthday, former President Donald Trump will appear in federal court for an initial hearing on criminal charges related to allegations that he kept classified documents at his Palm Beach estate and obstructed efforts by the FBI to investigate.
The unprecedented indictment is the first time a former president or presidential candidate from a major political party has been charged by the DOJ. Trump faces 37 federal charges. The indictment reveals 31 charges tied to the 31 classified documents he is accused of illegally storing at his Mar-a-Lago resort. The six remaining charges are tied to his alleged efforts to hide classified information from FBI investigators.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN MIAMI?
When criminal defendants are taken into custody ahead of a court appearance, they are typically handcuffed, fingerprinted and have their mugshot taken.
When Trump arrives at the courthouse before the hearing, he will need to surrender for booking and processing. But his lawyers expect that he will only be fingerprinted before he appears in front of Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman. Trump may be transported through an underground garage connected to the building, so the public may not see him when he arrives.
The hearing will take place at 3:00 pm at the federal courthouse in downtown Miami and is expected to draw a large number of protesters and supporters to the area. On Monday afternoon, Miami Police Chief Manny Morales told reporters that officials are expecting anywhere between 5,000 and 50,000 people around the location of the courthouse.
Cameras are not allowed in federal court, so the hearing will not be televised, but the former president is expected to enter a not-guilty plea.
Trump has called for protests at the courthouse which may disrupt commuters on local streets. Morales said they currently do not have a plan to separate pro-Trump and anti-Trump protesters but federal, county and city law enforcement have coordinated a security plan to maintain order if the crowd becomes unruly.
Protestors will face temperatures above 90 degrees, and it will feel like 102 outside. Rain is also expected later in the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
According to Politico, Trump will travel to his Bedminster, NJ, golf club after his arraignment to give a speech at his birthday fundraiser.