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For the First Time, Ex-President Trump Appeared in the Fort Pierce Federal Courthouse for a Hearing in the Documents Case that Charges Him With 40-Felonies

Justice Department, White House, Google

Fort Pierce - Monday February 12, 2024: There were temporary road closures and heavy security around the Federal Courthouse in Fort Pierce today as ex-president Trump made an appearance in a closed-door hearing before Judge Aileen Cannon in the case that charges him with 40 felony counts related to the mishandling of top-secret classified Federal documents.

This was the first time that Trump has appeared in person in the Fort Pierce Federal Court House for a hearing in this case. Trump is accused of removing classified documents from the White House when he left office, refusing to honor multiple requests to return them, and then ordering his valet, Waltine Torre Nauta, and the the Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliveira to hide the documents from federal authorities who were trying to get them back. Both Nauta, and De Oliveira are alleged co-conspirators in the case.

Trump faces 32 felony counts of willful retention of national defense information in violation of the Espionage Act, 6 felony counts of obstruction-related crimes; and 2 felony counts of false statements under oath. A total of 40 felony charges.

However, because the hearing was not open to news organizations or to the public, we don’t know what was said during it, or what if any orders Judge Cannon issued.

Trump's motorcade arrived at the courthouse shortly after 9 a.m. Supporters outside held signs with messages including “Trump 2024” and “Florida is Trump Country.” He left soon after 2 p.m. while supporters shouted his name.

Monday’s court date was scheduled as a procedural hearing, closed to the public, to discuss the procedures for handling classified evidence in the trial currently set for May 20. In an order last week, Judge Cannon indicated that she would hear arguments from Trump's defense attorney during the morning season about when deadlines should be set for various arguments in the case.

In the afternoon she heard from Justice Department prosecutors who have objected to any further delays sought by the defense, and the need for Judge Cannon to reconsider the Justice Department's request to seal or redact some of the evidence already provided to Trumps lawyers during the discovery process.

When the president left the Fort Pierce courthouse in his motorcade shortly after 2 p.m. to return to Palm Beach on I-95, a Palm Beach County deputy who was part of the motorcade escorting him was injured in a crash.

The crash happened around 3:30 Monday afternoon on southbound I-95, between the High Meadow Avenue and Martin Highway, near Palm City.

As of Monday afternoon, few details about the crash had been released. So, at this time, we do not know how the crash happened or how serious the Deputy’s injuries are.