Miami Judge Just Issued First Decision Moments Before Trump Arraignment

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump will be arraigned in a Miami courthouse. The judge presiding over the case has ruled that no cameras, phones, or other devices will be permitted in the courtroom.

“The ban was announced late on Monday by the chief judge for the Southern District of Florida, Cecilia M. Altonaga, as the time of the much-awaited appearance of the former president in court quickly approaches. Trump will be arraigned at a Miami court on Tuesday—an appearance that has posed an issue for many broadcasters and networks on how to cover the historic event,” Newsweek reported.

To quote Altonaga’s order: “On Tuesday, June 13, 2023, all cellular phones and/or electronic equipment are hereby prohibited for news reporters and other members of the media inside the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. United States Courthouse in Miami.”

Scott MacFarlane, a correspondent for CBS News in the U.S. Congress, tweeted, “There will be no photos. No video. No audio. And no journalists permitted to communicate to the outside world through phone devices (or thru any other technology) during the first-ever federal arraignment of a former US President.”

Trump has been accused on 37 counts by Special Counsel Jack Smith of handling sensitive documents improperly. Trump, who will challenge President Joe Biden in the 2016 presidential race, may spend decades in prison if he is found guilty on all counts.

The indictment claims that on at least two separate occasions, Trump exposed a number of individuals who lacked the necessary security clearances to classified information. According to the DOJ, both incidents happened at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

CNN received information about one of the reported incidents.

On June 2, 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 said last Thursday that the US Department of Justice had indicted him on charges related 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.

“Maximum sentences for the respective charges, per their statutes, range from five up to 20 years, although any eventual sentence should Trump be convicted would likely be much lower,” the outlet added.

“Any eventual sentence should Trump be convicted would likely be much lower,” ABC noted in its report.

According to Jeffrey Clark, a former assistant attorney general in the Trump administration, something on page three of the 49-page indictment is troublesome for the prosecution.

Clark stated on Twitter that the lawsuit should be dismissed due to the media leak.

“I’m beginning to read the indictment against Trump,” he wrote. “But even three pages in, it’s clear that the leaks that preceded the indictment are far too close to what is actually being pleaded by DOJ to be a coincidence.”

“For example, in paragraph 6a on page 3, we hear about the recording of the Bedminster call, which the MSNBC’s of the world have been beating a dead horse about for quite a while based on such leaks. This means that Trump lawyers could not possibly be the source of the leaks,” Clark continued.

“Ergo, the leaks are coming from DOJ,” he said. “They must be investigated and punished. Also, this is grounds for granting a motion highlighting jury pool poisoning and dismissing the indictment before it reaches even its one-month birthday.”

He added: “All of this is so outrageous; it shocks the conscience. It’s fundamentally anti-American. Trump Witch Hunt Number … what? I’ve lost count. Let’s call it Trump Witch Hunt #99.”


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