Trump arrives in Miami for court date over classified documents stashed at mansion

Donald Trump has arrived in Miami for an historic federal court appearance on charges he stole classified information and lied to block efforts to get it back.

He touched down in his private plane on Monday afternoon, one day before his initial appearance in front of a judge.

Supporters gathered outside one of his golf clubs where he is due to spend the night.

Mr Trump faces 37 felony counts over documents found at his Florida home, as well as claims he obstructed justice and made false statements.

Pictures released after the Department of Justice unsealed its indictment showed boxes of documents stacked inside his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, including in a bathroom.

Details on nuclear weapons programmes, potential vulnerabilities of the US and its allies, and plans for retaliatory military attacks were in some of the documents, according to prosecutors.

Roughly 13,000 documents were seized in raids on the property nearly a year ago. One hundred of them were marked as classified.

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Prosecutors say Mr Trump‘s hoarding of papers from his time as president jeopardised national security – and the Espionage Act charges carry the prospect of up to 20 years in jail.

It is the first federal indictment of a former president, but Mr Trump claims he is being persecuted in an attempt to stop him becoming president again in 2024.

However, any trial might not start until after the November election.

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Writing on his Truth Social site before boarding his flight, he wrote: “I hope the entire country is watching what the radical left are doing to America.”

Miami police’s chief said he was expecting up to 50,000 people on the streets for Tuesday’s hearing and that downtown roads could be closed if necessary.

Security and federal officers were stationed outside the Wilkie D. Ferguson Federal Courthouse on Monday, and more than a dozen media tents were already set up.

Mr Trump, who turns 77 this week, is also due to go on trial in March over separate claims that he falsified business records to conceal damaging information and unlawful activity.