MIAMI — Former President Donald Trump huddled Monday with his legal team at his Doral resort ahead of his Tuesday afternoon arraignment on more than three dozen federal charges related to unlawful possession of classified documents.

He landed in Miami on Monday afternoon and headed straight to the nearby resort, where he also interviewed lawyers to represent him in what he called “the Greatest Witch Hunt of all time.”

Mr. Trump is the first president to face felony federal charges. Legal experts warned that if he is convicted of just one of the 37 counts, the 76-year-old could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.



Mr. Trump shook up his legal team last week. He announced that he was parting ways with attorneys Jim Trusty and John Rowley, who are not admitted to the Florida Bar.

Mr. Trump said he would be represented by Todd Blanche and a law firm to be named later.

The former president has little time to secure a new legal team. He must report to the federal courthouse in Miami at 3 p.m. Tuesday. U.S. Marshals are expected to take him into custody and fingerprint him.

It’s not clear whether Mr. Trump will pose for a mug shot. One would typically be required, but the former president did not have his mug shot taken when he was indicted on felony state charges in New York City in April. Those charges were related to suspected hush-money payments to two adult performers and a doorman in 2016.

Mr. Trump has proclaimed his innocence of all the charges he faces. He is expected to be released in Miami after entering a plea of not guilty to Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman. He plans to leave Miami immediately and return to his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club for a fundraiser.

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Security at the federal courthouse was ramped up ahead of Mr. Trump’s arraignment. The former president’s supporters are expected to stage protests outside the courthouse.

One Florida group said it will bring four busloads of “MAGA” supporters from Orlando to the courthouse for a “flag- and sign-waving rally.” Other Trump backers are using social media sites to organize protests.

In an interview with Roger Stone on WABC radio on Sunday, Mr. Trump endorsed peaceful protests of his indictment and the state of the country, which he said is in decline under President Biden and congressional Democrats.

“We need strength in our country now. Our country is being taken away from us,” Mr. Trump said. “They have to go out, and they have to protest peacefully.”

The case is not likely to go to trial until next year, although special counsel Jack Smith, appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to prosecute the case, said he is seeking a speedy trial.

Mr. Trump’s attorneys are expected to push the trial into 2024 and preferably beyond the presidential election. If Mr. Trump wins the White House, “the case goes away,” said former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani.

The 49-page indictment includes 31 counts of willful retention of documents and charges Mr. Trump and his aide Walt Nauta of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

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The indictment alleges Mr. Trump’s stash of classified material at his Mar-a-Lago estate included nuclear secrets and papers on foreign weapons systems. The charges accuse Mr. Trump of not just storing the documents in insecure locations but at one point waving around highly sensitive U.S. military plans to people without security clearances.

The document alleges Mr. Trump conspired with Mr. Nauta to move boxes with sensitive documents around the estate — part of which operates as a social club for outside guests — and give misleading statements to investigators about whether they turned over requested papers to the FBI and grand jury.

Former Attorney General William P. Barr called the charges “very damning” and told Fox News that if half of the counts are true, “He’s toast.”

Mr. Trump’s supporters condemned the indictment as a political hit job to kneecap his 2024 run for the White House.

Mr. Trump has been soaring in the polls and is ahead of his Republican competitors by roughly 20 points in early-voting states and more than 30 points nationally.

In the WABC radio interview, Mr. Trump called Mr. Smith “a bully.” He said the indictment aims to cover up new revelations about the Biden family business deals, including an accusation by a paid FBI informant that Mr. Biden took a $5 million bribe when he was vice president in the Obama White House.

“This thing is a disgrace,” Mr. Trump said.




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