Michigan AG charges participants in 2020 fake elector plot | CNN Politics

Sixteen fake electors who signed certificates falsely claiming President Donald Trump won Michigan in the 2020 election have been charged with multiple felonies, state Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Tuesday.

This is the first time any of the fake electors have been charged with a crime related to the scheme, versions of which took place in multiple states.

All 16 individuals were each charged with eight felonies: Two counts of forgery, one count of conspiracy to commit forgery, two counts of election law forgery, one count of conspiracy to commit election law forgery, one count of publishing a counterfeit record and one count of conspiring to publish a counterfeit record.

The group of fake electors from Michigan includes current and former state GOP officials, the Republican National Committee member, a sitting mayor, a school board member and Trump supporters who were the plaintiffs in a frivolous lawsuit that tried to overturn the 2020 results.

“This plan, to reject the will of the voters and undermine democracy, was fraudulent and legally baseless,” Nessel said in a video released Tuesday.

Nessel, a Democrat, initially referred the matter to federal prosecutors at the Justice Department, but she reopened the state probe in January. Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith is also actively investigating the fake electors plot, and some fake electors have testified to his grand jury.

CNN has reached out to the defendants seeking comment.

Michigan was one of the seven battleground states where the Trump campaign put forward slates of “fake electors” as part of their plan to undermine the Electoral College process, and potentially disrupt Congress’ certification of the 2020 election results on January 6, 2021.

The 16 fake GOP electors from Michigan met in Lansing on December 14, 2020, and signed certificates falsely proclaiming that Trump won the state and they were the rightful electors. They were rebuffed by police when they tried to enter the statehouse to deliver the papers, according to videos of the interaction, which took place while the real group of Democratic electors were meeting inside the building. President Joe Biden defeated Trump by a little more than 154,000 votes in the 2020 election.

In the view of the Trump campaign, these were “alternate” electors who could have somehow replaced Biden’s electors when Congress counted the electoral votes on January 6, 2021, handing Trump a second term. However, a wide array of legal experts, including many inside the Trump White House and Trump campaign, thought this plan was unconstitutional and possibly illegal.

The charged individuals are former Michigan GOP co-chair Meshawn Maddock; current Michigan GOP vice chair Marian Sheridan; RNC committeewoman Kathy Berden; Wyoming, Mich., Mayor Kent Vanderwood; Shelby Township clerk Stanley Grot; Grand Blanc school board member Amy Facchinello; local GOP officials Rose Rook and Mari-Ann Henry; pro-Trump lawsuit plaintiffs John Haggard and Timothy King; unsuccessful GOP candidates Clifford Frost and Michele Lundgren; as well as Hank Choate, James Renner, Mayra Rodriguez and Ken Thompson.

CNN has previously reported that Trump campaign officials, led by the former president’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, oversaw efforts to put forward fake slates of electors in seven key states, including Michigan.

An audio recording obtained by CNN early last year captured one of the now-charged fake electors from Michigan boasting that the Trump campaign directed the entire operation.

“We fought to seat the electors. The Trump campaign asked us to do that,” Meshawn Maddock, then the co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party, said at a public event at the time that was organized by the conservative group Stand Up Michigan, according to the recording.

The House January 6 committee uncovered evidence that Trump knew about the plan and that he spoke directly about it with RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who is from Michigan. She testified that Trump and his allies told her the electors’ plan was important, and that the RNC later helped the Trump campaign assemble the slates of GOP electors.

Federal investigators from the special counsel’s office have asked key witnesses in their separate investigation about the role of higher-level Trump officials in the fake electors scheme, CNN has reported.

In the video released Tuesday alongside the charges, Nessel once again shot back against allegations that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent, saying that the election in her state “was procedurally the same as in every previous modern presidential election.”

“These defendants may have believed the now long-debunked myths of vote tampering or ballot dumps,” Nessel said. “They may have felt compelled to follow the call to action from a president they held fealty to. They may have even genuinely believed that this was their patriotic duty.”

She continued, “But none of those reasons or feelings provide legal justification to violate the law and upend our Constitution and our nation’s traditions of representative government, self-determination, and a government by the people.”

Nessel also said that her office will continue to investigate efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and “has not ruled out potential charges against additional defendants.” She also pre-empted attacks that will surely come from Trump allies, who may claim the indictments are politically motivated.

“There will be those who claim these charges are political in nature. But when there is overwhelming evidence of guilt in respect to multiple crimes, the most political act I could engage in as a prosecutor would be to take no action at all,” Nessel said.

Michigan’s top elections official, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, praised the charges Tuesday, telling CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “AC360” that they are a “strong and bold statement” that is “rooted in facts and the law.”

“We hope, and I expect, this will have a deterrent effect for any plans that are afoot,” Benson continued, looking ahead to the 2024 election.

This story has been updated with additional reporting.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated with the correct spelling of fake elector Mari-Ann Henry’s name.

The walls are closing in.

CNN reports: Sixteen fake electors who signed certificates falsely claiming President Donald Trump won Michigan in the 2020 election have been charged with multiple felonies, state Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Tuesday.


California man who attacked police with taser on Jan. 6 sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison – CBS News

Hunter Biden Indicted Porch Pirates UNLV Shooting Putin Reelection CBS News Live Managing Your Money Newsletters News US World Politics Entertainment HealthWatch MoneyWatch CBS Village Technology Science Crime Sports Essentials Trump gag order in 2020 election case largely upheld by appeals court Migrants from around the world converge on remote Arizona desert FDA approves gene-editing treatment for sickle cell disease Michigan high school shooter sentenced to life in prison without parole 2 Americans charged with murder of Canadian tycoon and his partner Texas shooting suspect tried to escape from jail after arrest in deadly rampage The U.S. states where homeowners gained — and lost — equity in 2023 Biden administration announces $8 billion in new rail project funding Think twice before scanning a QR code — here’s why. 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Mixible Local Baltimore Bay Area Boston Chicago Colorado Detroit Los Angeles Miami Minnesota New York Philadelphia Pittsburgh Sacramento Texas More Latest Video Photos Podcasts In Depth Local A Moment With… Innovators & Disruptors Newsletters Mobile RSS CBS Store Paramount+ Join Our Talent Community Davos 2023 Search Search Politics California man who attacked police with taser on Jan. 6 sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison By Keshia Butts, Robert Legare Updated on: June 21, 2023 / 2:52 PM EDT / CBS News Washington — A California man who prosecutors described as “one of the most violent defendants on January 6, 2021” was sentenced to 151 months — about 12 ½ years — in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to violent and obstructive conduct during the Capitol riot. File: Jan. 6, 2021, defendant Daniel Rodriguez Government exhibit Daniel “DJ” Rodriguez admitted as part of a plea agreement in February that he attacked former Washington, D.C. police officer Michael Fanone with a taser, causing him to lose consciousness, and that he worked to stop Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election. Rodriguez will also have to pay $96,000 to cover medical treatment for Fanone and $2,000 in restitution for the destruction of the Capitol on Jan. 6. Requesting a longer sentence of 14 years in prison, prosecutors said Rodriguez administered a group chat in which he and a co-defendant discussed battles and operations in Washington, D.C., before then-President Donald Trump announced his Jan. 6 rally and later planned their trip to the nation’s capital after Trump sent a tweet saying the day would “be wild.” Click here to view related media. click to expand “You showed up in D.C. spoiling for a fight,” Judge Amy Berman Jackson said to Rodriguez as she sentenced Rodriguez on Wednesday. And she told his legal team that Rodriguez “was a one-man army of hate.” Jackson also said that “people need to understand that you cannot do this or anything like this again.” Rodriguez’s attorneys said he was “remorseful” for his actions and even wrote a letter to Fanone in which he called the former police officer “a brave man.” “I am looking at serving a long prison sentence and no letter I write is getting me out of that. Sir, I only want to apologize from the heart,” Rodriguez wrote to Fanone. “I got carried away and have never been through something like that, that made me out of my mind. I wish I was smarter. I should have protected you because I have deep respect for law enforcement, and I have always stood up for police officers.” “I have not looked at Jan. 6 the same, my actions the same,” he told Jackson in court. He also made reference to his upbringing in California with a single mom and a high school education. But after sentencing Wednesday, Rodriguez left the court yelling, “Trump won.” Fanone, who was in the courtroom Wednesday, walked out of the courtroom during Rodriguez’s address, telling reporters in the hallway “I wasn’t gonna listen to this guy.” In response to Rodriguez’s “Trump won” comment, Fanone retorted that Rodriguez would have “13 years to think about it.” File: Daniel Rodriguez, in Trump hat, shown near police officer at Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Government exhibit “Rodriguez believed the 2020 Presidential election had been stolen, and those responsible should be in prison or dead,” attorneys at the Justice Department wrote in their pre-sentencing court filings, “And this mistaken belief gave him the authority, in his mind, to plan an assault on anyone who stood in his way.” He admitted in his plea agreement that on December 29, 2020, he posted in the group chat, “Congress can Hang. I’ll do it. Please let us get these people dear God,” court records revealed. Days later, Rodriguez and his codefendant, Edward Badalian, traveled from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., where they attended Trump’s rally before marching to the grounds of the Capitol. Badalian was found guilty of conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding earlier this year. A federal judge dismissed one count against him. ”There will be blood. Welcome to the revolution,” Rodriguez messaged on the eve of the assault. Once at the Capitol, according to prosecutors, Rodriguez made his way to a tunnel at the building’s lower west terrace — where some of the most violence attacks against police occurred — and discharged a fire extinguisher at officers. Another alleged rioter then handed him a taser and, after minutes of intense fighting, investigators allege the mob pulled Fanone from the police line and into the crowd. “Rodriguez moved through the crowd, towards the captured officer. With his electroshock weapon in hand, Rodriguez reached his arm towards the side of Officer Fanone’s neck, landing the device on the side of Officer Fanone’s neck, below the left ear of Officer Fanone’s helmet,” prosecutors said in court filings, “Despite Officer Fanone’s efforts to get away, Rodriguez struck again, placing the electroshock weapon on the back of Officer Fanone’s neck.” The defendant later entered the Capitol and tried to use a wooden plank to break an office window from the inside. “OMG I did so much f***ing s***,” Rodriguez wrote after the breach, according to his plea agreement, “Tazzed the f*** out of the blue.” Prosecutors argued there was “ample” evidence that proved Rodriguez worked specifically to obstruct Congress’ work that day. “Rodriguez stands convicted of actually using violence against a police officer who was defending the seat of the government while the peaceful transfer of power was occurring,” they wrote. But his defense attorney laid blame for the riot and Rodriguez’s conduct on Trump, arguing in pre-sentencing filings that his client “believed the former President’s lies and manipulation, just as thousands of others did when they gathered at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, with the understanding they were there on behalf of the President of the United States to protect their government.” Assault On The U.S. Capitol More Ex-police chief who brought hatchet to Capitol on Jan. 6 gets 11 years Former Olympic swimmer sentenced to 3 years probation for role in Jan. 6 riot U.S. appeals court: Trump not immune from civil lawsuits over Jan. 6 attack House Republicans to release most of Jan. 6 footage Former “QAnon Shaman” apparently running for Congress More Read More First published on June 21, 2023 / 1:32 PM EDT © 2023 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. More from CBS News Copyright ©2023 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. 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January 6th insurrectionist Daniel Rodriguez, who beat officer Michael Fanone, sentenced to 13 years in prison, screamed out “Trump won!” as police escorted him to prison.


Trump All But Confesses to Mishandling Classified Docs on Fox News

Music Politics Shop TV & Movies Video & Photos (Sub)Culture RS Recommends Culture Council Rolling Stone MAGA Maniac Trump All But Confesses to Mishandling Classified Docs on Fox News The former president, facing charges of mishandling classified information, nearly confessed to the crime — while blaming his “golf shirts” by Miles Klee June 19, 2023 7:39PM EDT Getty Images Popular on Rolling Stone A week after his second post-presidential arrest, this one for his alleged mishandling of classified documents after leaving the White House, Donald Trump turned to Fox News host Bret Baier on Monday to make the case for why he should lead the country again. But he ended up essentially confessing to the crime of which he’s accused: stealing and sharing top-secret government information. Before that, however, Baier pressed Trump to explain why he kept the boxes of classified materials at Mar-a-Lago and refused to comply with government requests to return them, as described in his new felony indictment. In between dismissing the case as “the document hoax” or accusing other presidents of illegally hoarding their own sensitive documents, Trump offered the bizarre explanation that he couldn’t give up the boxes to authorities because they also contained… his clothes. “Like every other president I take things out,” Trump said. “In my case, I took it out pretty much in a hurry. People packed it up and left. I had clothing in there, I had all sorts of personal items in there. Much, much stuff.” After a brief digression to call his former attorney general Bill Barr a “coward,” Trump reiterated, “I have got a lot of things in there. I will go through those boxes. I have to go through those boxes. I take out personal things.” Finally, he clarified what those items were: “These boxes were interspersed with all sorts of things: golf shirts, clothing, pants, shoes, there were many things,” he said. While not wanting Dark Brandon to seize your golf shirts may prove a compelling argument in court, another of Trump’s evasions seems less likely to hold water. Baier also brought up one of the most damning parts of the federal indictment, a recording from July 2021 in which Trump is heard showing off a document detailing an attack plan against Iran, revealing that it’s still officially secret and he no longer has the power to declassify it. Trump blustered for a moment about what he actually said, then pivoted to the claim that he wasn’t even holding a particular document — despite corroborating testimony from others in the room when it happened. No wonder this guy’s lawyers keep quitting on him. Editor’s picks The 250 Greatest Guitarists of All Time The 100 Best Albums of 2023 The 50 Worst Decisions in Movie History All 243 of Taylor Swift’s Songs, Ranked See more There’s a lot going on here and this is going to reviewed: Trump on the recording of him pic.twitter.com/JpohMqb2Li — Acyn (@Acyn) June 19, 2023 “Bret, there was no document,” Trump insisted. “That was a massive amount of papers and everything else, talking about Iran and other things. And it may have been held up or may not. That was not a document. I didn’t have any document per se. There was nothing to declassify, these were newspaper stories, magazine stories, and articles.” When Baier referred again to the facts of the recording laid out in the indictment, Trump said, presumably of the prosecutors: “These people are very dishonest people, they are thugs.” He also suggested they could be “stuffing” the boxes with incriminating material. Trump’s answer immediately made waves, with even some of his frequent defenders suggesting the former president may have just undermined himself. On Twitter, Pro-Trump legal scholar Jonathan Turley praised Baier’s interview — and included an ominous warning for Trump: “Bret Baier conducted an extraordinary interview with Donald Trump who discussed the criminal allegations in detail. Statements of this kind are generally admissible at trial…” Later on in the interview, Trump and Baier got into a debate on the results of the 2020 election, with the Fox anchor trying in vain to remind the former president that he lost while Trump rambled on about fake ballots. The rest of the conversation involved Trump bashing Biden’s international diplomacy, from Ukraine to the Middle East to China, and musing about how much better things were with him in office. Afterward, Fox News chief political analyst Brit Hume said that Trump’s answers regarding matters of the law were “on the verge on incoherent,” and specifically mentioned the bizarre detail of not returning the boxes of classified documents because they hadn’t been “separated from his golf shirts or whatever he was saying.” Overall, Hume said, it sounded as if Trump was making the argument that the papers were his to do with as he liked, “which I don’t think is going to hold up in court.” Related Trump Could Tap Taylor Swift Conspiracy Theorist as Attorney General: Report Special Report with Bret Baier will air the second half of this interview on Tuesday evening. Will we learn more about the precious polos that Trump was shielding from government overreach? One can only hope. Trending Taylor Swift’s ‘Time’ Cover Is Breaking Far-Right Brains Inside Trump’s Plot to Corrupt the 2024 Election With ‘Garbage’ Data Texas Threatens Doctors After Judge Says Woman Can Get Emergency Abortion Multiple Women Accuse Popular Van Life Influencer of Unwanted Sexual Behavior Leave a Comment Share This © 2023 PMC. All rights reserved.

In Part 1 of a Fox News interview with Brett Baier, Donald Trump again claimed without evidence he won the 2020 election and, most importantly, tipped his hat to his legal defense… that the classified documents were not classified and the boxes were actually filled with his golf shirts… despite being on tape admitting he was holding classified documents in his hand, witnesses in attendance described the classified document Trump was holding, and saying he didn’t declassify the documents and knowing he couldn’t after he left office.


Trump rejected lawyers’ efforts to avoid classified documents indictment – The Washington Post

One of Donald Trump’s new attorneys proposed an idea in the fall of 2022: The former president’s team could try to arrange a settlement with the Justice Department.

The attorney, Christopher Kise, wanted to quietly approach Justice to see if he could negotiate a settlement that would preclude charges, hoping Attorney General Merrick Garland and the department would want an exit ramp to avoid prosecuting a former president. Kise would hopefully “take the temperature down,” he told others, by promising a professional approach and the return of all documents.

But Trump was not interested after listening to other lawyers who urged a more pugilistic approach, so Kise never approached prosecutors, three people briefed on the matter said. A special counsel was appointed months later.

Kise, a former solicitor general of Florida who was paid $3 million upfront to join Trump’s team last year, declined to comment.

That quiet entreaty last fall was one of many occasions when lawyers and advisers sought to get Trump to take a more cooperative stance in a bid to avoid what happened Friday. The Justice Department unsealed an indictment including more than three dozen criminal counts against Trump for allegedly keeping and hiding classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida.

Trump, 77, now faces the most legally perilous moment of his life playing out in a federal court — charges that could bring decades in prison. He pleaded not guilty in Miami on Tuesday and vowed to fight the charges.

“President Trump has consistently been in full compliance with the Presidential Records Act, which is the only law that applies to Presidents and their records,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement. “In the course of negotiations over the return of the documents, President Trump told the lead DOJ official, ‘anything you need from us, just let us know.’ Sadly, the weaponized DOJ rejected this offer of cooperation and conducted an unnecessary and unconstitutional raid on the President’s home in order to inflict maximum political damage on the leading presidential candidate.”

The PRA is not the only law applying to presidents and federal documents, as evidenced by the charges filed against Trump.

Since the National Archives first asked for the return of presidential documents in Trump’s possession in February 2021 and until a grand jury issued its indictment this month, Trump was repeatedly stubborn and eschewed opportunities to avoid criminal charges, according to people with knowledge of the case, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal internal details. They note that Trump was not charged for any documents he returned voluntarily.

Interviews with seven Trump advisers with knowledge of the probe indicate he misled his own advisers, telling them the boxes contained only newspaper clippings and clothes. He repeatedly refused to give the documents back, even when some of his longest-serving advisers warned of peril and some flew to Mar-a-Lago to beg him to return them.

When Trump returned 15 boxes early last year — leaving at least 64 more at Mar-a-Lago — he told his own advisers to put out statements to the National Archives and to the public that “everything” had been returned, The Washington Post has previously reported. But he quietly kept more than 100 classified documents.

Later, facing a grand jury subpoena, the indictment alleges the former president worked quietly with an aide to move boxes without telling his own lawyers, leading to a false attestation that every document had been returned.

“It was a totally unforced error,” said one person close to Trump who has been part of dozens of discussions about the documents. “We didn’t have to be here.”

Trump time and again rejected the advice from lawyers and advisers who urged him to cooperate and instead took the advice of Tom Fitton, the head of the conservative group Judicial Watch, and a range of others who told him he could legally keep the documents and should fight the Justice Department, advisers said. Trump would often cite Fitton to others, and Fitton told some of Trump’s lawyers that Trump could keep the documents, even as they disagreed, the advisers said.

In an interview Wednesday, Fitton said he dined with Trump on Monday night at his club, eating filet mignon with the former president one day before his first court appearance on the document charges. “I saw him last night; he’s in a good mood. He’s serious and ready to fight under the law.”

Fitton, who appeared before the grand jury and was questioned about his role in both the Mar-a-Lago documents case and the investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, acknowledged he gave the advice to Trump but declined to discuss the details of their conversations. He added that he read the indictment and did not believe it laid out illegal or obstructive conduct. Multiple witnesses said they were asked about Fitton in front of a grand jury and the role he played in Trump’s decisions.


“I think what is lacking is the lawyers saying, ‘I took this to be obstruction,’” said Fitton. “Where is the conspiracy? I don’t understand any of it. I think this is a trap. They had no business asking for the records … and they’ve manufactured an obstruction charge out of that. There are core constitutional issues that the indictment avoids, and the obstruction charge seems weak to me.”

Several other Trump advisers blamed Fitton for convincing Trump that he could keep the documents and repeatedly mentioning the “Clinton socks case” — a reference to tapes Bill Clinton stored in his sock drawer of his secret interviews with historian Taylor Branch that served as the basis of Branch’s 2009 book documenting the Clinton presidency.

Judicial Watch lost a lawsuit in 2012 that demanded the audio recordings be designated as presidential records and that the National Archives take custody of the recordings. A court opinion issued at the time stated that there was no legal mechanism for the Archives to force Clinton to turn over the recordings.

For his part, Fitton said Trump’s lawyers “should have been more aggressive in fighting the subpoenas and fighting for Trump.”

Trump’s unwillingness to give the documents back did not surprise those who knew him well. Former White House chief of staff John F. Kelly said that he was particularly unlikely to heed requests from people or agencies he disliked.

“He’s incapable of admitting wrongdoing. He wanted to keep it, and he says, ‘You’re not going to tell me what to do. I’m the smartest guy in the room,’” Kelly said Tuesday.

Other advisers said the FBI and National Archives wanting the documents so badly made Trump less likely to give them back.

Trump’s chances to avoid charges began in early 2021, according to current and former advisers. After Gary Stern, counsel at the National Archives, asked Trump’s team for the return of documents, some of his lawyers and advisers began advising him to return them. National Archives officials were privately baffled at what they viewed as inexplicably recalcitrant behavior and kept asking for answers to no avail.

In the fall of 2021, Alex Cannon, then a Trump attorney, urged the former president to return documents to the National Archives, repeatedly telling him that he was required to give them back, according to people familiar with the matter.

After months of talking to Trump and his staff, Cannon — referred to in the indictment as a “Trump Representative” — told Trump that the National Archives was threatening to go to Congress or to the Department of Justice if he did not return the documents, the people said.

“It’s mine,” Trump said, explaining why he did not want to give the materials back, according to people with knowledge of his comments.

That threat prompted Trump to eventually begin looking through some of his boxes — or “my papers” as he called them, according to text messages listed in the indictment sent by former assistant Molly Michael. He eventually returned 15 boxes of materials to the National Archives, in January 2022.

That was followed by Trump directing his lawyer and his spokesman to put out statements saying he had returned “everything” — which they declined to do. That episode became of interest to federal prosecutors, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.

After the National Archives in February found reams of classified material and disorganized boxes in February 2022, they referred the matter to the Justice Department for a potential investigation. Archives officials did not believe everything had been properly returned, The Post has reported.

They were right.

Trump had kept at least 64 boxes of documents, according to the indictment. Trump never believed that his home would be searched and thought that he would be able to keep the documents, two advisers said.

After being initially reluctant to be drawn into what they viewed as a dispute between the Archives and Trump, the Justice Department opened an investigation in April 2022 and sent a subpoena asking for all classified documents in May.

Meanwhile, Trump grew angry with his lawyers and chose new lawyers, bringing in Evan Corcoran to handle the matter at the recommendation of adviser Boris Epshteyn.

Shortly after the subpoena arrived, the indictment says, Corcoran and another lawyer met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago and told him he needed to comply. The indictment says Trump told the other lawyer not to return for the search of his property.

According to testimony Corcoran gave, he was encouraged by Trump to stonewall or not comply with the subpoena. Trump even suggested any “bad” documents could be plucked out of the file after Corcoran searched a storage room, according to the indictment.

“I really don’t want anybody looking through my boxes, I really don’t, I don’t want you looking through my boxes,” he said, according to Corcoran, as cited in the indictment. Trump also said, per the lawyer: “Well, what if we, what happens if we just don’t respond at all or don’t play ball with them?” and “Wouldn’t it be better if we just told them we don’t have anything there?”

But all the documents were not in the storage room, because the indictment alleges Trump and personal aide Walt Nauta moved some boxes without telling Corcoran. Nauta later helped pack some of the boxes to fly them from Mar-a-Lago to Bedminster, leading to a false attestation that everything had been returned, the indictment says.

A lawyer for Corcoran declined to comment on his testimony. A lawyer for Nauta, who is also charged in the indictment, declined to comment.

Kise, who originally urged a more cooperative approach, told others when he took the case that he believed that charges could be avoided. He began asking other advisers what happened during the subpoena process in an effort to understand why the Justice Department would take such an extraordinary step of searching the former president’s property.

Kise has largely been away from the documents case publicly in recent months as other lawyers pursued a more aggressive strategy, and Trump advisers say other lawyers badmouthed Kise to Trump.

In recent days, Kise was responsible for helping Trump find new lawyers in Florida — tapping his deep Rolodex in the state in a bid to find someone who’d be willing to work for Trump. In court on Tuesday in Miami, Kise was seated next to Trump as he was arraigned for 37 felony charges.

The latest: U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon overseeing Donald Trump’s classified documents case suggested that she might delay the planned scheduled, which includes a trial in May 2024.

The case: The criminal investigation looks into whether Trump took government secrets with him after he left the White House and obstructed a subsequent investigation. Trump has pleaded not guilty. Here’s what to know about the classified documents case.

The charges: Trump faces 40 separate charges in the documents case. Read the full text of the superseding indictment against Trump and our top takeaways from the indictment.

Can Trump still run for president? While it has never been attempted by a candidate from a major party before, Trump is allowed to run for president while under indictment in four separate cases — or even if he is convicted of a crime. Here’s how Trump’s indictment could impact the 2024 election.

@[100044274887410:2048:Donald J. Trump] rejected pleas from his D-level lawyers several times to quietly return the classified documents he stole, but instead opted to listen to the legal advice of not-a-lawyer @[2517459524978538:274:Tom Fitton] who runs the far-right group @[100064539227808:2048:Judicial Watch].

This is amazing because Judicial Watch was formed by Fitton to stop every probable policy of the @[100044322825129:2048:Barack Obama] administration, with occasional success, and transformed into a MAGA/QAnon/antivaxxer/anti-LGBTQ group. And now because of Tom Fitton, Donald Trump may spend the rest of his life in jail.


Trump pleads not guilty to federal indictment charges. Here are key moments from his arraignment.

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Here are key moments from his arraignment. get the free app By Caroline Linton, Kathryn Watson, Stefan Becket, Caitlin Yilek Updated on: June 14, 2023 / 12:12 AM EDT / CBS News Trump pleads not guilty at federal arraignment Former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 37 felony counts related to his alleged mishandling of classified documents. This is the first time the Department of Justice has ever charged a former president with a crime. Trump was released on his own recognizance after the 45-minute proceeding. As a condition of his release, he is barred from talking to his aide Walt Nauta, who was charged with six counts in the 44-page indictment, about the case. Trump will not be required to relinquish his passport and there will be no limit on his domestic or international travel. He departed the courthouse just before 4 p.m. ET. He later flew to New Jersey, where he addressed supporters at his Bedminster resort on Tuesday night. Trump, who flew on his private plane to Miami on Monday, arrived at courthouse at around 1:50 p.m. ET and then was booked. Officials told reporters ahead of the arraignment that there would be no mugshot, and cameras were not allowed in the courthouse. Special counsel Jack Smith, whose office led the investigation that led to the Justice Department to charge Trump, arrived in Miami on Monday night. Follow updates below: Click here to view related media. click to expand New Updates 9:03 PM / June 13, 2023 Trump takes the stage in Bedminster Trump took the stage at his Bedminster, New Jersey, resort at 8:45 p.m. to “God Bless the USA” and chants of “Trump, Trump, Trump.” Supporters waved and caught video of the former president on their cell phones. Trump, making his first public remarks since being arraigned, again repeated many of the same false claims he has made over the past several days, alleging the indictment is a “political persecution like something straight out of a fascist or communist nation.” A defiant Trump also falsely claimed presidents have an “absolute right” to keep any and all documents they want. Trump makes first public remarks since federal arraignment By Kathryn Watson 8:22 PM / June 13, 2023 Trump touches down in New Jersey The former president has touched down in Newark, New Jersey, ahead of his speech at his club in Bedminster. Rows of chairs for supporters were set up at the club, and reporters were required to wait in the sun all afternoon for Trump’s arrival. By Kathryn Watson 7:30 PM / June 13, 2023 Why some citizens waited hours to see Trump arraigned Just seven members of the general public, along with a couple dozen reporters, were allowed into the federal courtroom during former President Donald Trump’s arraignment Tuesday. They waited for hours, unsure if they’d be able to witness the proceeding in-person. “I had the day free and the former president’s here getting arraigned. It’s unprecedented history,” Raj Abhyanker, a lawyer from California, told CBS News. Lazaro Ecenarro, a Trump supporter wearing a Make America Great Again hat, also said he was drawn to the courthouse by the significance of the moment. “This is historic,” Ecenarro said. “What we’re witnessing is historic, but at the same time it’s embarrassing because it makes us a laughingstock internationally.” Read more here. By Graham Kates 6:04 PM / June 13, 2023 How much influence could Judge Aileen Cannon have on the Trump case? U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, remains assigned to oversee his classified documents case. Last year, Cannon was involved in the legal case surrounding the FBI’s August 2022 search at Mar-a-Lago. In response to a lawsuit brought by Trump, Cannon agreed to appoint a special master — a neutral third party — to review the items seized by the FBI during its search. However, her ruling, which was widely criticized by legal experts, was later reversed by an appeals court. What is Rule 29? Judge Aileen Cannon’s power in Trump’s case Jessica Levinson, a CBS News legal contributor and professor at Loyola Law School, explains how much impact Cannon could have on the case. Levinson said Cannon will have “a lot of control over jury selection.” She also explained how Rule 29 could come into play. “She (Cannon) can actually, under the federal rules of criminal procedure, she can actually substitute her own judgment, like any other federal judge can, for the judgment of the jury,” Levinson said. “After the prosecution has completed its case — before the jury reaches a verdict — she can say, ‘There’s not enough evidence here.’ And if she makes that decision, it’s not appealable, it’s not reviewable. So that would be huge. I’m not saying it’s likely, but she has a lot of power.” 5:50 PM / June 13, 2023 Biden declines to comment on Trump arraignment Asked if he would comment on the arraignment of his predecessor, President Biden said “no.” The president has made a point not to comment on the case against Trump brought by his Justice Department. By Kathryn Watson 5:01 PM / June 13, 2023 Trump boards his plane to New Jersey The former president boarded his plane at 4:40 p.m., lightly pumping his fist for the cameras. He is heading to Bedminster, New Jersey, to address supporters Tuesday night. By Kathryn Watson 4:21 PM / June 13, 2023 Trump’s motorcade makes stop at popular restaurant in Little Havana Trump stops at cafe and greets supporters after federal arraignment Trump’s motorcade made a stop at Versailles Restaurant Cuban Cuisine, a well-known Cuban spot in Little Havana, a neighborhood where he has many supporters. The restaurant is a popular spot for candidates on the campaign trail. Faith leaders prayed for the former president, and supporters snapped photos with him. Trump briefly addressed reporters, saying he would be giving a “little speech” at Bedminster. Asked at the restaurant how the court went, Trump said he thinks his case is “going great.” “I think it’s a rigged deal — we have a rigged country here with the country, we have a country that’s corrupt,” Trump added. Supporters also sang “Happy Birthday” to the former president, who turns 77 on Wednesday. By Kathryn Watson 4:11 PM / June 13, 2023 Trump brought his own Sharpie to sign his personal surety bond The former president brought his trademark Sharpie to the court to sign his personal surety bond. The signature Trump drew with his Sharpie was large and bold enough to be visible to reporters five rows back. Former President Donald Trump’s signature on the personal surety bond in his federal case. Trump’s team left the room first, after the magistrate. Trump turned and looked at a few reporters before leaving, but did not appear to engage eye contact with special counsel Jack Smith. By contrast, Smith, standing in the first row behind prosecutor David Harbach, appeared focused on Trump as he stood up and slowly walked out of the courtroom. By Graham Kates 4:06 PM / June 13, 2023 Conditions of Trump’s release Trump will not be required to surrender his passport, there will be no limit on his international or domestic travel, and he will be held on a personal surety bond that has no dollar value. The former president will also not be allowed to talk with his co-defendant Walt Nauta, an aide to Trump and Navy veteran, about the facts of the case. They will be able to communicate otherwise. The Justice Department will submit a list of people who could be witnesses in the case, many of whom are former or current employees of Trump or allies. The judge said that Trump will not be able to speak with people on this list. Trump’s legal team had objections to this provision, but the judge decided the list would still be submitted, and any further disagreement would be settled by the court. By Robert Legare 4:02 PM / June 13, 2023 Trump’s motorcade leaves Miami courthouse Trump motorcade leaves courthouse after arraignment in Miami with supporters alongside Trump’s motorcade left the courthouse shortly before 4 p.m., with throngs of supporters cheering him on. With few barricades, people were able to run alongside the vehicles in the motorcade. Trump is expected to return to Bedminster, New Jersey, where he’s due to deliver remarks Tuesday evening. By Kathryn Watson 3:40 PM / June 13, 2023 Case still assigned to Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee The case is still assigned to Aileen Cannon, a federal district judge in South Florida appointed by former President Donald Trump. CBS News correspondent Scott MacFarlane, who was in the courtroom, said that it was announced that the case is still earmarked for Cannon, though it’s unclear whether she will remain the presiding judge. A previous ruling by Cannon granting Trump’s request for a special master and ordering the the Justice Department to temporarily stop using the seized materials for its investigation until completion of the special master’s review was criticized by a higher court. The decision was then reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in a unanimous ruling. That decision has led to calls for her to recuse herself in this case. By Caitlin Yilek 3:12 PM / June 13, 2023 Trump pleads not guilty to all charges Trump pleaded not guilty to all 37 charges through his lawyer Todd Blanche. Trump sat expressionless with his arms folded during the hearing, reported CBS News correspondent Scott MacFarlane, who was inside the courtroom. Trump wore a navy suit and red tie. His co-defendant, Walt Nauta, sat at the same table as Trump and their attorneys. By Caitlin Yilek 3:20 PM / June 13, 2023 Former Trump attorney Tim Parlatore says just because indictment “looks damning” doesn’t mean it’s accurate or tells the full story Former Trump attorney Timothy Parlatore on indictment Former Trump attorney Tim Parlatore acknowledged that the indictment, if one assumes everything in it is true, doesn’t look great on its face. But Parlatore noted that as a criminal defense attorney, he often looks at indictments and the evidence doesn’t always match up the way the Justice Department says it does. “CBS Evening News” anchor and managing editor Norah O’Donnell asked Parlatore if Trump’s former Attorney General Bill Barr’s assessment that it’s a “very, very damning indictment” is wrong. “Well, I think that the problem is, you look at the indictment and if you just read it by yourself and you assume that everything in it is true and you kind of ignore a lot of the conduct of the DOJ team in getting this way, it can look that way,” Parlatore said. “However, as a criminal defense attorney, one of the things that I do for a living is I take documents like this, I look at them a little more skeptically. I then go through the evidence to see if it actually matches up. And oftentimes, it doesn’t. DOJ oftentimes will bring indictments where by the time we get to discovery, we realize, these aren’t true, or they’re certainly not airtight. “Just because it looks damning” doesn’t mean it is, Parlatore said. Parlatore questioned the way the Justice Department has handled the case, in particular, the crime-fraud exception that was granted by a judge to pierce attorney-client privilege and allowed records of a conversation between Trump and Trump attorney Evan Corcoran to be presented to the grand jury. Corcoran argued Judge Beryl Howell “got it wrong.” Beyond his contention that Trump’s legal team wasn’t “able to fully litigate the motion,” in response to the special counsel’s motion to pierce the privilege, Parlatore cast Trump’s comments to Corcoran as questions it would be reasonable for a client to ask: what am I required to do? What are we allowed to do? He argued that one element that has not received much mention is Trump’s remark, Parlatore said, “where he’s specifically saying, ‘I read about when Hillary Clinton got a subpoena and David Kendall deleted 33,000 emails. Are we allowed to do the same thing because they didn’t get into trouble?” “You want clients to ask you those kinds of questions,” he argued, so they can understand what their rights are, and they should be able to ask those questions in an attorney-client privilege environment. Trump, according to notes included in the indictment, said, “I don’t want anybody looking, I don’t want anybody looking through my boxes, I really don’t, I don’t want you looking through my boxes.” He also said, “Well what if we, what happens if we just don’t respond at all or don’t play ball with them?” and “Well look, isn’t it better if there are no documents?” Parlatore said ultimately, he thinks that testimony will be suppressed because Howell “got it wrong.” By Kathryn Watson 2:59 PM / June 13, 2023 Trump enters courtroom as hearing begins Trump entered the courtroom a few minutes before 3 p.m. ET with his lawyers as the hearing began. Special counsel Jack Smith is seated in the front row. By Caitlin Yilek 2:44 PM / June 13, 2023 Trump booking process completed The former president has officially been booked, as of approximately 2:30 p.m. Trump was not expected to have a mugshot, although he was expected to be fingerprinted and undergo a DNA swab. After booking, the former president will be in the courtroom for the arraignment proceeding. By Kathryn Watson 2:26 PM / June 13, 2023 Trump spokesperson Alina Habba says former president is “defiant” Trump attorney Alina Habba addresses reporters in front of courthouse at arraignment Trump attorney and spokesperson Alina Habba said the former president is “defiant” as he undergoes processing in federal court. Habba, who is not representing Trump in this case, said “countless other individuals” including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Joe Biden retained possession of classified documents, “yet have not been prosecuted.” She said the U.S. has a “two-tiered system of justice.” “The people in charge of this country do not love America,” Habba said. “They hate Donald Trump. What we are witnessing today is the blatant and unapologetic weaponization of the criminal justice system.” Habba did not speak to whether her client did the things of which he stands accused by the Justice Department. Habba compared the current situation to what happens in Cuba and Venezuela, something that elicits strong emotions for many in South Florida, which has a large immigrant population from those countries. “We are at a turning point in our nation’s history,” Habba said. “The targeting, prosecution of a leading political opponent is the type of thing you see in dictatorships like Cuba and Venezuela.” By Kathryn Watson 1:55 PM / June 13, 2023 Trump arrives at Miami courthouse Former US President Donald Trump arrives to the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. United States Courthouse in Miami, Florida, on Tuesday, June 13, 2023. Bloomberg Trump’s motorcade arrived at the federal courthouse in Miami at 1:50 p.m., greeted by supporters and opponents alike. The public won’t see much of Trump as he heads into the building. By Kathryn Watson 1:45 PM / June 13, 2023 Demonstrators gather outside the courthouse A small group of pro-Trump supporters and anti-Trump protesters gathered Tuesday in front of Miami’s Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. courthouse, where The Associated Press reported they were squabbling. Demonstrators began gathering in the pre-dawn hours, according to CBS News Miami. Gregg Donovan, who came from California to support Trump, told CBS Miami that this is a “very sad day in America.” He called it “surreal” and “the worst day since President Kennedy and President Lincoln were shot.” “I thought America was supposed to be the leader of, you know, the example, and now what’s happening,” he said. People supporting and opposing former President Donald Trump make themselves heard outside of the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. United States Federal Courthouse before the arraignment of Trump on June 13, 2023 in Miami, Florida. / Getty Images Domenic Santana of Miami spoke out against Trump, saying, “America fell for the biggest con in history.” Santana called Trump “a graduate from the school of rats” and said he “should have gone to jail a long time ago.” Around 10:30 a.m., the crowd was pushed back from an area by the courthouse where the media was stationed due to a “security threat.” CBS Miami reporter Joe Gorchow said someone had attached what appeared to be a television to a light pole. It had a message on its front that used an expletive to describe the “communist media.” The TV was taken down. A police K9 alerted to the area and members of the bomb squad were brought in to check it out. Just before noon, the all clear was given and people were allowed to return to the area. 1:38 PM / June 13, 2023 Trump ready to tell his side of story as he’s arraigned in documents case, says attorney Trump goes into his arraignment Tuesday with an understanding of the serious nature of the federal criminal charges filed against him, says a spokesperson for Trump, but he and his legal team are taking issue with an indictment that they say is politically motivated, lacks context and tells only one side of the story. Trump attorney Alina Habba, now the spokesperson for the former president, told CBS News senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge in an interview before Trump’s arraignment that “of course” he’s aware of the seriousness of the charges, but argued the special counsel’s team of prosecutors is applying the “antiquated” Espionage Act “to political opponents in a way that has never been seen before.” Read more here. 2:29 PM / June 13, 2023 Vivek Ramaswamy calls on 2024 presidential candidates to commit to pardoning Trump Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy, who has vowed to pardon former President Donald Trump if he’s convicted in the federal case, said he sent a letter to other candidates asking them to make the same commitment. His campaign said it mailed and emailed letters to 2024 presidential candidates, including Democrats Robert Kennedy and Marianne Williamson, asking them to either promote to pardon Trump or explain why they refuse. Ramaswamy appeared outside the Miami courthouse on Tuesday, saying the indictment “reeks of politicization.” Though he admitted he “would have made different judgments” than Trump. “But a bad judgment is not illegal behavior,” he said. But former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who announced his candidacy last week, called the indictment “very damning” in a town hall with CNN on Monday night. “It is a very tight, very evidence-laden indictment. The conduct in there is awful,” Christie said. Sen. Tim Scott acknowledged Monday it was a “serious case with serious allegations,” but added “you’re innocent until proven guilty. By Caitlin Yilek 1:35 PM / June 13, 2023 Trump departs Doral en route to courthouse The former president’s entourage has left his Doral resort, and is en route to the courthouse in Miami for the roughly 25-minute drive. By Kathryn Watson 1:30 PM / June 13, 2023 Feds concerned about security outside courthouse Multiple federal sources have told CBS News that they are concerned about the security outside the courthouse, which Miami police are both providing and supervising. Miami police are using plastic yellow tape to cordon off the area, not metal bike rack fences or even the heavy garbage trucks that are used in New York and elsewhere to prevent access for high-profile events. Federal sources are concerned if large crowds develop and got out of hand, the security would not hold. The U.S. Marshals, U.S. Secret Service, federal court officers and the US. Department of Homeland Security only have jurisdictional protection inside the courthouse and of the former president himself, not outside the courthouse. By Pat Milton 1:27 PM / June 13, 2023 Jill Biden says it’s “a little shocking” that Republicans still plan to vote for Trump after indictment First lady Jill Biden said it’s “a little shocking” that many Republicans still plan to vote for former President Donald Trump after he was indicted for his alleged mishandling of classified documents, according to the Associated Press. “They don’t care about the indictment. So that’s a little shocking, I think,” she said during a campaign fundraiser in New York City on Monday. President Biden has so far declined to comment on the federal indictment. A recent CBS News poll found that Trump is Republicans’ top choice to take on Mr. Biden in the 2024 election. By Caitlin Yilek 11:52 AM / June 13, 2023 No Trump mugshot, officials say Trump will be booked either just before or just after the arraignment, depending on when he arrives, officials told reporters. An official familiar with the planning told CBS News that Trump will not be “arrested,” but instead “processed” and in the loose custody of the U.S. Marshals. There will not be a mugshot taken, officials said. The U.S. Marshals Service has determined it will use a previously taken photo. They will administer a digital fingerprint scan and collect typical information: date of birth, Social Security and recent address history. A decision about his passport will be made by pretrial services. — Graham Kates, Andres Triay, Pat Milton 11:03 AM / June 13, 2023 Trump indictment timeline — What happens after arraignment? Trump’s arraignment and trial will take place in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida, where the indictment against the former president was filed last week. Most of the alleged crimes described in the indictment occurred in or around Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach. The former president is expected to surrender to U.S. marshals at the federal courthouse in downtown Miami, where he’ll be booked and processed. Cameras have been prohibited in the courthouse, and there’s little chance that the public will catch a glimpse of him during his arraignment. A group of media organizations sought to allow some photos to be taken, but the judge rejected the request. The courthouse complex is connected by underground tunnels, making it easier for Trump to evade the public. At Trump’s arraignment, which isn’t expected to take long, Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman will set deadlines for federal prosecutors to turn over the evidence they’ve gathered to the defense. The court will then adjourn until a later date. Read more here. By Kathryn Watson 10:35 AM / June 13, 2023 What to expect inside and outside the courtroom Trump federal arraignment: What to expect inside and outside the courtroom Trump is scheduled to be arraigned in a Miami federal courtroom at 3 p.m. Tuesday. In the video above, CBS News chief election and campaign correspondent Robert Costa and CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman have more on how the day is expected to go for the former president. 10:12 AM / June 13, 2023 Christie says Trump “doesn’t give a damn about the American people” Chris Christie, who is battling former President Donald Trump for the 2024 presidential nomination, said at a CNN town hall on Monday night that Trump “doesn’t give a damn about the American people.” Christie, a former federal prosecutor, called Trump a “child” for not accepting the 2020 election results. He also called Trump a “three-time loser,” adding “he hasn’t won a damn thing since 2016.” Christie said he agreed with former Attorney General Bill Barr, who said on Fox News Sunday that Trump was “totally wrong that he had the right to have those documents.” When asked if President Biden “weaponized” the Justice Department against Trump, Christie said, “I don’t think so … The evidence looks pretty damning.” “We’re in a situation where there are people in my own party who are blaming DOJ. How about blame him? He did it,” Christie said. Christie called Trump’s conduct alleged in the indictment “vanity run amok, ego run amok.” — Grace Kazarian 9:31 AM / June 13, 2023 Miami police prepare for protesters outside courthouse Miami police said they were prepared for the possibility of thousands of protesters outside the federal courthouse. Opponents and supporters of former President Donald Trump demonstrate outside the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. United States Courthouse in Miami, Florida, ahead of his scheduled arraignment on June 13, 2023. Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images The security preparations come as Trump is expected to be booked and processed after surrendering to U.S. Marshals — and after Trump urged his supporters to converge on Miami, through a social media post on his Truth Social platform. The former president, however, is not expected to walk through the front door or any crowd, but through a private entrance with the Secret Service at his side. Miami defense attorney Michelle Suskauer, a veteran in the field, believes the crowd is unlikely to catch even a glimpse of Trump when he arrives. Miami police prepare for protesters outside courthouse where Trump faces criminal charges Read more here. — Scott MacFarlane and Analisa Novak 7:53 AM / June 13, 2023 Trump’s legal team downplays Tuesday’s arraignment as simply “procedural” According to sources familiar with the planning, Trump is expected to be joined by lawyers Todd Blanche and Chris Kise. Meetings with local attorneys are continuing. One member of Trump’s legal team downplayed Tuesday’s arraignment as simply “procedural” when speaking about the upcoming court appearance. After meetings last night with Walt Nauta’s legal team and his own lawyers, Trump will keep meeting with Florida lawyers this week as he seeks to add more seasoned criminal defense lawyers to his legal team, they added. But for now, he’s leaning on Blanche, who he sees as a “killer,” and Kise, who knows Florida, to help him navigate this terrain. Other Trump lawyers such as Lindsey Halligan and Boris Boris Epshteyn remain involved and often central in the “fight this in the court of public opinion” area, but as this enters a new, more serious phase in federal court, sources tell me an expanding team is necessary for Trump to be on strong footing ahead of a protracted legal battle with the special counsel. — Robert Costa and Fin Gomez 7:43 AM / June 13, 2023 Trump’s advisers say his mood is “defiant and confident” over the charges Trump huddled with top campaign and legal advisers on Monday night at his Trump Doral hotel ahead of his court scheduled court appearance on Tuesday. Trump and his team had dinner in a private room at the hotel’s BLT Prime restaurant and next to the restaurant’s circular bar that had the Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets NBA Finals game playing on the TV. Trump’s advisers said his mood ahead of the court appearance can be described as “defiant and confident” over the charges he faces, and that he plans to “fight” the federal charges. His advisers said that Trump and his team have been buoyed by recent polls, including the new CBS poll, that showed in the aftermath of Thursday’s indictment news, Trump had a formidable double-digit lead over the rest of the GOP field, including Ron DeSantis. Earlier in the day, Trump was greeted with cheers and applause by hotel patrons and supporters when he first arrived into the lobby. A larger group of Trump supporters had congregated in a parking lot across the street from the opulent Doral property. Pro-Trump supporters, some wearing Trump t-shirts and hats, sat at the bar and some said they were also planning on attending the courthouse protests on Tuesday. One Florida Trump supporter at the Trump Doral bar, a New York transplant who was staying at the hotel in hopes of running into the former president, said she hoped that Trump would not be convicted and imprisoned because she thought there could be a “civil war” if it were to happen. By Fin Gómez 7:35 AM / June 13, 2023 Special counsel Jack Smith arrived in Miami Monday night Special counsel Jack Smith, whose office oversaw the investigation that led to the Justice Department to charge Trump, arrived in Miami on Monday night. By Jeff Pegues 7:23 AM / June 13, 2023 Security in Miami heightened ahead of arraignment Miami Police Chief Manny Morales said Monday that the city is ready for protests ranging anywhere between 5,000 to 50,000 people, and he encouraged any demonstrations to be peaceful. “I just want to assure the city we are ready, and we’re ready for it to be over and done,” Morales said. Security for Trump’s court appearance will involve multiple law enforcement agencies, including U.S. Marshals, who are responsible for securing the courthouse and federal grounds; the U.S. Secret Service, which is responsible for providing security for Trump as a former president; Miami police, who will be responsible for the streets around the federal courthouse and dealing with protesters; as well as Miami-Dade County police, who will provide added security around the courthouse, Trump National Doral, and the movement of Trump around the county; Florida Highway Patrol, to help with road closures; and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. By Caroline Linton 7:23 AM / June 13, 2023 How are Trump’s federal charges different from his New York indictment? The federal charges come just a couple of months after Trump was charged by a New York grand jury in a separate case. The Manhattan grand jury found Trump should be charged for allegedly illegally disguising payments to his “fixer” Michael Cohen, who paid adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election to stay quiet about an alleged affair with Trump. Trump was charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. On April 4, he spent about an hour inside a Manhattan courtroom with his legal team and became the first former president in U.S. history to face criminal charges. He pleaded not guilty. While both cases could involve prison time if Trump is convicted, legal analysts say the federal charges, involving sensitive government documents, appear to raise greater concerns. “For me the difference between the two cases is huge. It’s not just state versus federal, it’s also the severity of the crimes, it’s the amount of evidence that’s been amassed,” Jessica Levinson, a Loyola Law School professor and CBS News legal contributor, said. Read more here. By Caitlin O’Kane 7:22 AM / June 13, 2023 What are the charges against Trump? The indictment, filed by special counsel Jack Smith, lists 37 felony counts against Trump related to his handling of sensitive government documents, including some that allegedly involve “defense and weapons capabilities” and U.S. nuclear programs. A Trump aide, Walt Nauta, is also charged in the case. The 37 counts against Trump are: 31 counts of willful retention of classified documents 1 count of conspiracy to obstruct justice 1 count of withholding a document or record 1 count of corruptly concealing a document or record 1 count of concealing a document in a federal investigation 1 count of scheme to conceal 1 count of making false statements and representations. Nauta, Trump’s 40-year-old former valet, was charged with six counts: 1 count of conspiracy to obstruction justice 1 count of withholding a document or record 1 count of corruptly concealing a document or record 1 count of concealing a document in a federal investigation 1 count of scheme to conceal 1 count of making false statements or representations. The charges against Trump involve 31 records “relating to the national defense” discovered at Mar-a-Lago, according to the indictment, including White House intelligence briefings from 2018 through 2020 related to foreign countries, documents concerning military capabilities of foreign countries and the U.S., a June 2020 document involving a foreign country’s nuclear capabilities, an undated record about U.S. nuclear weaponry and a document from October 2018 concerning the communications with another country’s leader. Twenty-one of these documents had a “TOP SECRET” classification marking, while nine were marked “SECRET.” The final document bore no marking, according to a chart included in the indictment. By Caroline Linton 7:22 AM / June 13, 2023 Trump to hold fundraiser Tuesday night in New Jersey After the arraignment, Trump will head back to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he will give remarks and have a fundraiser. The Trump campaign has been churning out fundraising emails based off his indictment. At the Georgia GOP convention on Saturday, Trump said the indictment had driven his poll numbers up and had “driven us right through the sky” on fundraising. By Caroline Linton Trump Investigations More Trump gag order in 2020 election case largely upheld by appeals court Trump returns to court as New York fraud trial nears end Colorado Supreme Court weighs challenge to Trump’s ballot eligibility Special counsel previews trial roadmap in federal 2020 election case against Trump Trump seeks “urgent review” of gag order ruling in New York civil fraud case More In: Donald Trump Copyright ©2023 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy California Notice Do Not Sell My Personal Information Terms of Use About Advertise Closed Captioning CBS News Live on Paramount+ CBS News Store Site Map Contact Us Help facebook twitter instagram youtube f We and our partners use cookies to understand how you use our site, improve your experience and serve you personalized content and advertising. Read about how we use cookies in our cookie policy and how you can control them by clicking Manage Settings. 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Happy Arraignment Day to all who celebrate.


Trump indicted in classified documents case

Former President Donald Trump has been indicted on seven federal criminal charges in connection with hundreds of classified government documents he retained at his Florida home after leaving the White House.

Trump himself disclosed the indictment in a series of posts on his Truth Social social media site on Thursday evening. He also said he has been summoned to appear in court in Miami on Tuesday.

NBC News soon after confirmed the indictment, which is the second time in recent months that Trump has been criminally charged. He remains under criminal investigation by the Department of Justice and a Georgia state prosecutor for his efforts to reverse his loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

Follow our live coverage of Donald Trump’s indictment in the classified documents case.

Trump’s attorney, James Trusty, in an interview with CNN, said the charges include false statements, conspiracy to obstruct and willfully retaining documents in violation of the Espionage Act. Those charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison if Trump is convicted, though the actual sentence would likely be lower because of federal sentencing guidelines.

Trump, who is seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is the only U.S. president, former or otherwise, ever to be criminally charged. A Trump political action committee immediately began fundraising off news about the latest indictment.

He was first indicted by a New York state grand jury in March on charges of falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment to a porn star in 2016.

In a video statement Thursday, Trump called the new charges “election interference at the highest level.”

On Truth Social, Trump wrote, “I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former President of the United States.”

“I AM AN INNOCENT MAN! This is indeed a DARK DAY for the United States of America,” he wrote.

A U.S. Secret Service official told NBC News that agency brass will meet with Trump’s staff on Friday and begin security and logistics planning for his appearance in a Miami court Tuesday.

Trump has been the focus of a federal criminal investigation since last year over his stonewalling of requests to return government records, including classified documents, after ending his term as president. By law, such records must be returned when a president leaves office.

Last August, FBI agents raided Trump’s home at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, searching for records they believed would be there.

Agents found hundreds of documents marked classified, along with many more government records that he had been obligated to return.

A spokesman for special counsel Jack Smith, who has been leading the investigation for the Department of Justice, declined to comment to NBC News on Thursday.

Trump, who most recently has been living at his residence in Bedminster, New Jersey, in his social media posts wrote, “The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been Indicted, seemingly over the Boxes Hoax.”

He griped that Biden had not been charged despite the fact that a number of government documents, some of which were classified, had been found at locations where Biden lived or worked as a private citizen.

Biden is the subject of an inquiry by another special counsel over those documents. But legal analysts have said his situation is different from that of Trump because of Trump’s failure to return government records despite repeated requests that he do so by U.S. officials.

A White House spokesman declined to comment to NBC News. He referred that query to the Department of Justice, “which conducts its criminal investigations independently.” 

Until this week, it was publicly known only that a grand jury in federal court in Washington, D.C., was hearing testimony and reviewing evidence related to the documents investigation of Trump, while a separate grand jury in the same courthouse investigated his attempt to overturn the 2020 election results.

But earlier this week it was revealed that another grand jury in U.S. District Court in Miami also had been collecting evidence in the documents probe. That disclosure raised the prospect that Trump would be criminally charged in Florida, not in Washington.

Trump has long maintained a home in Florida, which in recent election cycles has been won by him and by Republican candidates for governor and senator.

The state’s current governor, Ron DeSantis, is running against Trump for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.

Trump’s lawyers met with DOJ officials, including Smith, in Washington on Monday, reportedly to argue that Trump should not be indicted.

On Wednesday, a top Trump aide, Taylor Budowich, testified before the grand jury in Miami. Later that same day, NBC News and other media outlets reported that Trump had been formally notified that he was a target of the criminal probe, a step typically taken shortly before a person is indicted.

@[100044274887410:2048:Donald J. Trump] indicted with seven counts over his stolen classified documents case.


Trump announces U.S. will halt funding for WHO over coronavirus response

President Trump announced Tuesday that the U.S. is placing a hold on funding to the World Health Organization for 60–90 days over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, pending a review.

Driving the news: Trump accused the WHO of “severely mismanaging and covering up” the coronavirus crisis, adding that the U.S. “has a duty to insist on full accountability.”

  • “With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have deep concerns whether America’s generosity has been put to the best use possible,” Trump said at a briefing in the Rose Garden.
  • “If we cannot trust them, if this is what we will receive from the WHO, our country will be forced to find other ways to work with other nations to achieve public health goals.” 

By the numbers: The WHO’s 2018–2019 budget was about $6 billion, and the U.S. is by far the biggest donor of any country, contributing more than $400 million to the organization last year.

  • “American taxpayers provided between $400 million and $500 million per year to the WHO. In contrast, China contributes roughly $40 million a year, or even less,” Trump said Tuesday.
  • “As the organization’s leading sponsor, the United States has a duty to insist on full accountability. One of the most dangerous and costly decisions from the WHO was its disastrous decision to oppose travel restrictions from China and other nations.”

Behind the scenes: Trump has been fuming for days about what he sees as the WHO’s botched response to the pandemic and its deference to China.

  • “The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look,” Trump tweeted last week.
  • Trump’s national security team has rallied behind him, believing that the U.S. needed to go beyond public statements and make the WHO feel some pain for its missteps, according to officials involved in the internal discussions.
  • Our thought bubble: The decision gives Trump somebody else to blame and a way to deflect from his own missteps in handling the virus.

Details: Below are some of Trump’s specific complaints, which he said led him to his decision to freeze U.S. funding:

  • “The WHO failed to adequately obtain, vet and share information in a timely and transparent fashion. … The WHO failed in this basic duty and must be held accountable.”
  • “The WHO failed to investigate credible reports from sources in Wuhan that conflicted directly with the Chinese government’s official accounts. There was credible information to suspect human-to-human transmission in December 2019, which should have spurred the WHO to investigate.”
  • “Through the middle of January, it parroted and publicly endorsed the idea that there was not human-to-human transmission happening, despite reports and clear evidence to the contrary. “
  • “The delays the WHO experienced in declaring a public health emergency cost valuable time, tremendous amounts of time.”
  • “The inability of the WHO to obtain virus samples to this day has deprived the scientific community of essential data.”
  • “The WHO has not addressed a single one of these concerns nor provided a serious explanation that acknowledges its own mistakes, of which there were many.”

Background: Over the past week, officials within the White House’s Office of Management and Budget have been working on a menu of options for how to snub the WHO. Trump administration officials told Axios the options fall along two tracks.

  • The most likely route is to reprogram U.S. funding that was allocated to the WHO, moving it to other international organizations that can administer it for comparable purposes, officials said.
  • A more dramatic, but less likely, approach is to send a rescissions package to Congress, rescinding from the federal budget funds already allocated to WHO. A similar approach was adopted in 2017 when the U.S. cut $285 million from its funding to the United Nations.
  • Trump did not reveal on Tuesday which mechanism he will use to halt funding to the organization.

What they’re saying: António Guterres, secretary-general of the UN, to which the WHO reports, said in a statement, “Now is a time for unity in the global battle to push the COVID-19 pandemic into reverse, not a time to cut the resources of the … WHO, which is spearheading and coordinating the global body’s efforts.”


Trump Administration Diverts $3.8 Billion In Pentagon Funding To Border Wall

The Trump administration has notified Congress that it plans to divert $3.8 billion from the Defense Department’s budget to build the border wall.

This is in addition to more than $11 billion that’s already been identified to construct more than 500 miles of new barriers along the southern U.S. border with Mexico. That includes money that Congress has appropriated and funding that was previously diverted from military construction and counternarcotic operations.

The latest funding diversion takes $1.5 billion originally allocated for buying equipment for National Guard and Reserve units, such as trucks, generators and spare parts, as well as fighter jets and ships.

This administration said the diversion of funds was in support of “higher priority items” that were “necessary in the national interest,” according to the notice transmitted to Congress. It continues:

“[The Department of Homeland Security] has identified areas along the southern border of the United States that are being used by individuals, groups, and transnational criminal organizations as drug smuggling corridors, and determined that the construction of additional physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the United States border is necessary in order to impede and deny drug smuggling activities.”

The move drew bipartisan criticism, including from the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, Texas Rep. Mac Thornberry.

“The wall should be funded, but the funding must come through the Department of Homeland Security rather than diverting critical military resources that are needed and in law,” Thornberry said in a statement.

He added that Congress must act and is weighing how to proceed.

“Congress has the constitutional responsibility to determine how defense dollars are spent,” he said. “The re-programming announced today is contrary to Congress’s constitutional authority, and I believe that it requires Congress to take action. I will be working with my colleagues to determine the appropriate steps to take.”

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, accused the president of being “obsessed with fulfilling a campaign promise” while accusing the administration in a tweet of “stealing billions” from the Department of Defense.

Meanwhile, Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, the ranking member on the House Committee on Appropriations, championed the President’s decision.

She blamed Democrats for failing to work on securing the border, which in turn “forced the president to redirect funds.”

“I unequivocally support President Trump’s efforts to secure our nation’s borders and support our men and women in uniform. Democrats have refused to work with us on border security, which has forced the President to redirect funds from other defense programs in the short term in order to secure the southern border,” she said in a statement.

Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell, a Pentagon spokesperson, said the Department of Defense was “committed” to helping Homeland Security to construct fences and roads, and install lighting to thwart drug smuggling. He said the $3.8 billion will build more miles of barrier “to protect our borders.”

“Last month we received a new request from the Department of Homeland Security asking for assistance in blocking drug-smuggling corridors on Federal land along the southern border of the United States,” Mitchell said.

“In response, the Secretary of Defense authorized support of $3.8B to build approximately 177 miles of fencing that will help to protect our borders. We will continue to support DHS and other agencies as needed to keep our homeland is secure.”

Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the top Democrat in the Senate, Chuck Schumer of New York disagree.

They issued a joint statement that said Congress, not the executive branch, has the power of the purse, adding that it’s “a power that cannot be nullified so the President can fulfill an outrageous campaign promise.”

“This latest theft of nearly $4 billion in military funds represents another of President Trump’s broken promises to our servicemembers, especially our brave sailors who he assured would receive funding for urgently needed, state-of-the-art ships,” the press release said.

This is not the first time the Trump administration has redirected funds from the Pentagon to go toward a wall along the southern border.

Last March the Defense Department announced it would shift $1 billion from a military personnel account in order to pay for a 57-mile section of fencing.

The administration said at the time the dollars became available after recruiting goals of some service branches came up short of expectations.

The border wall has been controversial since then-candidate Trump made building a barrier a central pillar of his 2016 presidential campaign. He promised back then the wall would come at no cost to U.S. taxpayers and that Mexico would fully fund the project, which it has not.

In a status report last month, NPR’s John Burnett noted that U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is overseeing the barrier construction, said the price tag for project has exceeded $11 billion dollars, making it the most expensive wall of its kind in the world.


Trump suggests military should consider additional discipline for Vindman

President Trump on Tuesday suggested the military should consider additional disciplinary action against Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who provided damaging testimony against Trump in the impeachment inquiry and was reassigned from his White House job last week.

“We sent him on his way to a much different location, and the military can handle him any way they want,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “Gen. Milley has him now. I congratulate Gen. Milley. He can have him.”

Gen. Mark Milley is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Asked specifically if the Pentagon should pursue further action against Vindman, Trump said it would be “up to the military.”

“But if you look at what happened, they’re going to certainly, I would imagine, take a look at that,” he said.

The president’s comments on Tuesday signaled he was open to additional punishment for officials who testified against him in the impeachment inquiry. Some of his allies have sought to cast the ouster of witnesses like Vindman as justifiable reassignments rather than retribution.

Trump added that there were more departures to come, but it was unclear if he was referring specifically to impeachment witnesses.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday signaled there would be no punishment for Vindman, saying the Pentagon protects service members from retribution. 

“We protect all of our persons, service members, from retribution or anything like that. We’ve already addressed that in policy and other means,” Esper told reporters at the Pentagon during a press conference with his Colombian counterpart.

Vindman had been working temporarily at the White House as a member of the national security council when he was dismissed. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland was fired later the same day.

Both officials were among those who testified about Trump’s conduct toward Ukraine during House impeachment inquiry hearings last year. The House ultimately impeached Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, alleging he withheld security aid from Ukraine to pressure the country to investigate his political rivals.

The Senate acquitted Trump last week in a party-line vote.

Vindman proved to be one of Democrats’ most memorable witnesses. A Purple Heart recipient, Vindman testified that he believed Trump’s conduct on a July 25 call with the Ukrainian president was inappropriate and that he reported it to his superior.

Trump has mocked Vindman for wearing his military uniform during the hearing and complained about the contents of his testimony.

On Tuesday, the president accused Vindman of leaking and going outside the chain of command

[The Hill]

Trump Deletes Tweet Calling Bloomberg ‘TOTAL RACIST’ Over Very Same Stop & Frisk Policy He Backed in 2016

President Trump ripped 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg as a “total racist” after audio released Tuesday from a 2015 speech showed the former mayor unapologetically defending his controversial “stop-and-frisk” policy, which targeted young men of color.

“WOW, BLOOMBERG IS A TOTAL RACIST!” the commander-in-chief tweeted early Tuesday along with a link to the audio clip.

Within minutes, the tweet had been taken down.

In leaked audio of Bloomberg’s speech, the Democrat sounded defiant in his acknowledgment of how the policy targeted minority kids in minority neighborhoods, arguing that they were targeted “because that’s where all the crime is.”

“Ninety-five percent of murders, murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take a description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops,” Bloomberg said.

In late 2016, then-candidate Trump called for a nationwide stop-and-frisk policy during an interview with Fox News, saying the program “worked very well” for New York City.

“I would do stop-and-frisk. I think you have to. We did it in New York, it worked incredibly well and you have to be proactive and, you know, you really help people sort of change their mind automatically,” the then-GOP nominee told the network.

“You understand, you have to have, in my opinion, I see what’s going on here, I see what’s going on in Chicago, I think stop-and-frisk. In New York City it was so incredible, the way it worked.

“Now, we had a very good mayor, but New York City was incredible, the way that worked, so I think that could be one step you could do,” he added.

Upon entering the Democratic primary contest in November, Bloomberg apologized for his controversial policing policy.

A spokesperson for Bloomberg’s campaign could not immediately be reached by The Post for comment on Trump’s tweet.

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