How Secret Service is preparing for Trump arraignment in Miami

For the second time this year, Donald Trump has been indicted, and a major American city is preparing to host an event fraught with political and logistical complications: a former president appearing in court to face criminal charges.

Trump faces dozens of counts in connection with keeping hundreds of classified documents after leaving the White House. The indictment in the case, filed in South Florida, accuses Trump of conspiring to obstruct justice; he has denied wrongdoing. Walt Nauta, an aide to Trump, was also charged.

Both men have been summoned to make their initial appearances on Tuesday afternoon at the federal courthouse in downtown Miami.

Much like when Trump traveled to a Manhattan courtroom in April to face felony charges brought there, the Miami proceedings are likely to produce a media circus, along with extensive security measures and possible demonstrations.

Trump indicted over classified documents. What it means, what happens next.

Since news of the indictment broke, law enforcement officials have started assessing plans for how to get Trump in and out of the courthouse on Tuesday and are preparing to have additional police officers ready for deployment.

An advance team of Secret Service agents began meeting Friday morning with federal court marshals and Miami police officials to assess how to create a security bubble around Trump.

The Secret Service faced a similar challenge because of Trump’s indictment in Manhattan on charges related to a 2016 payment to Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress who alleged she had an affair with Trump years earlier. He pleaded not guilty in that case.

Before he was indicted in New York, Trump had called for protests against the possibility of him facing charges, exhortations that paralleled his similar rhetoric before his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in January 2021.

On the day of his court appearance in Manhattan, though, the scene outside was a surreal spectacle, with a horde of journalists joined by Trump supporters, protesters and curious observers. His presence required a raft of security measures, including shutting down the courthouse for a time so the Secret Service could make sure it was safe, closing a major roadway to enable his travel and postponing some routine court appearances to limit the number of people present.

Soon after, Trump was the defendant in a civil case brought in New York City by E. Jean Carroll, an author who accused him of sexually assaulting and defaming her. The jury found Trump liable on both claims, awarding Carroll $5 million in damages; he is appealing.

Trump never testified or appeared in court during that trial, and one of his defense attorneys told the judge beforehand that any court appearance by Trump would have created significant “logistical and financial burdens,” among them the need for “a tactical plan” created by the Secret Service.

Secret Service officials expect that orchestrating Trump’s appearance at the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. Courthouse in Miami on federal charges should be far easier than preparing for his Manhattan arraignment, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the planning who…

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