MIAMI — Former President Donald Trump entered a not guilty plea Tuesday to charges he lied and schemed to withhold sensitive classified materials after leaving the White House.
The 76-year-old former president was stone-faced as he sat in the courtroom with his legal team. Trump was indicted last week on 37 federal felony counts, including willful retention of national defense information, making false statements and representations, and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Trump, wearing his signature blue suit and a red tie sat quietly with his hands crossed and had a not guilty plea entered by his attorney.
“We most certainly enter a plea of not guilty,” Trump lawyer Todd Blanche told the judge.
Special counsel Jack Smith, who has been a target of Trump since the indictment was announced, sat front row and kept his eyes on the former president the entire time. Trump did not glance over at Smith.
There were not any travel restrictions put on Trump nor was he asked to surrender his passport. However, the judge did bar Trump from discussing the case with any witnesses identified on a list compiled by government lawyers.
The historic day marks the first time in U.S. history that a former president has been charged with federal crimes.
After Trump left the courthouse, he stopped at the popular Cuban restaurant Versailles, where his supporters sang to him “Happy Birthday” and prayed over him.
“Thank you Miami. Such a warm welcome on such a SAD DAY for our Country!” Trump posted on Truth Social as he was headed toward the airport.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and continues to say he was entitled to the documents, adding the indictment and charges were politically motivated.
Alina Habba, a Trump attorney, who also serves as his spokesperson, made brief comments outside the courthouse, saying the move was proof of political motives.
“People in charge of this country do not love America. They hate Donald Trump,” Habba said.
Trump did not make public at the courthouse but will deliver remarks at his estate in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Tuesday night.