Trump to face charges in classified documents case, calls for protests

Former U.S. leader travels to Florida to face second arraignment since April; 'I HOPE THE ENTIRE COUNTRY IS WATCHING WHAT THE RADICAL LEFT ARE DOING TO AMERICA,' Trump writes on Truth Social

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Donald Trump heads to his arraignment in Manhattan court, New York City, April 2023
(Video: Reuters)

Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Miami on Monday to face federal criminal charges as a new Reuters/Ipsos poll found the case had not dented his reelection hopes.
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Trump is scheduled to be in a Miami federal courthouse on Tuesday at 3pm EDT (1900 GMT) for an initial appearance in the case.
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דונלד טראמפ בכנס של המפלגה הרפובליקנית בג'ורג'יה
דונלד טראמפ בכנס של המפלגה הרפובליקנית בג'ורג'יה
Donald Trump
(Photo: AFP)
Accused of unlawfully keeping U.S. national-security documents and lying to officials who tried to recover them, Trump has proclaimed his innocence and vowed to continue his campaign to regain the presidency in a November 2024 election.
Trump, who turns 77 on Wednesday, touched down in Miami at 2:54pm (1854 GMT) in a private jet with his name emblazoned on the side.
Supporters gathered outside a nearby golf club he owns, where he was due to stay the night.
"I HOPE THE ENTIRE COUNTRY IS WATCHING WHAT THE RADICAL LEFT ARE DOING TO AMERICA," he wrote on his Truth Social social-media platform before departing from New Jersey.
Trump has encouraged supporters to join a planned protest at the Miami courthouse Tuesday, where he will face the charges and surrender to authorities.
"We need strength in our country now," Trump said Sunday, speaking to longtime friend and adviser Roger Stone in an interview on WABC Radio. "And they have to go out and they have to protest peacefully. They have to go out."
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תומכי טראמפ מחות לאחוזתו בפלורידה
תומכי טראמפ מחות לאחוזתו בפלורידה
Trump supporters outside the former president's Florida residence
(Photo: AP)
"Look, our country has to protest. We have plenty to protest. We've lost everything," he went on.
He also said there were no circumstances "whatsoever" under which he would leave the 2024 race, where he's been dominating the Republican primary.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday found that 81% of Republicans thought the charges were politically motivated. The poll also found Trump continues to lead his rivals for the party's presidential nomination by a wide margin.
Some 43% of self-identified Republicans said Trump was their preferred candidate, compared to 22% who picked Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. In early May, Trump led DeSantis 49% to 19%, but that was before DeSantis formally entered the race.
Trump spoke to an enthusiastic crowd in Georgia over the weekend and his campaign said he would make a statement on Tuesday night, when he returns to New Jersey.
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תומכי טראמפ מחות לאחוזתו בפלורידה
תומכי טראמפ מחות לאחוזתו בפלורידה
Trump supporters outside the former president's Florida residence
(Photo: Reuters)
With memories fresh of the Jan. 6, 2021, assault by Trump supporters on the U.S. Capitol, officials have raised security concerns.
Miami police chief Manny Morales said the city was planning for a crowd size of up to 50,000 people and would close roads in the downtown area if necessary.
Special Counsel Jack Smith accuses Trump of taking thousands of papers containing some of the nation's most sensitive national-security secrets when he left the White House in January 2021 and storing them in a haphazard manner at his Mar-a-Lago Florida estate, according to a grand jury indictment released last week.
Photos included in the indictment show boxes of documents stored on a ballroom stage, in a bathroom and strewn across a storage-room floor.
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אגרגזים עם מסמכים מסווגים, מתוך כתב האישום
אגרגזים עם מסמכים מסווגים, מתוך כתב האישום
Boxes of documents stored in Trump's Florida residence
(Photo: EPA)
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אגרגזים עם מסמכים מסווגים, מתוך כתב האישום
אגרגזים עם מסמכים מסווגים, מתוך כתב האישום
Boxes of documents stored in Trump's Florida residence
(Photo: Reuters)
7 View gallery
אגרגזים עם מסמכים מסווגים, מתוך כתב האישום
אגרגזים עם מסמכים מסווגים, מתוך כתב האישום
Boxes of documents stored in Trump's Florida residence
(Photo: EPA)
The indictment alleges Trump lied to officials who tried to get them back.
Trump is the first former or current president to face criminal charges, but legal experts say that does not prevent him from running for president - or taking office even if he is found guilty, and will maybe even able to pardon himself.
Legal experts, including Trump's former attorney general William Barr, say the case is a strong one. The charges include violations of the Espionage Act, which criminalizes unauthorized possession of defense information, and conspiracy to obstruct justice, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Any federal trial in Florida may not take place until after the November 2024 presidential election. Trump also is due to go on trial in March 2024 in a separate case in New York state court, stemming from a hush-money payment to a porn star.
Ahead of his court date, Trump and his allies have been escalating efforts to undermine the criminal case against him and drum up protests.
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ג'ק סמי
ג'ק סמי
Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith
(Photo: AFP)
He's ratcheted up the rhetoric against the Justice Department special counsel who filed the case, calling Jack Smith "deranged" as he repeated without any evidence his claims that he was the target of political persecution.
And even as his supporters accuse the Justice Department of being weaponized against him, he vowed Monday to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate President Joe Biden and his family if Trump is elected to a second term. Biden has kept his distance from the case and declines to comment on it.
Smith, the special counsel leading the prosecution, is given a greater degree of independence than other Justice Department prosecutors, to try to minimize political factors. He is also investigating Trump's effort to overturn his 2020 loss to Biden.
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