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Donald Trump says not guilty in classified docs case as charges tally rises to 40



Donald Trump says not guilty in classified docs case as charges tally rises to 40. AFP/File

Former US President Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty to three additional charges in a case related to mishandling classified government documents. 

The new charges come as part of a superseding indictment filed by special counsel Jack Smith. The 77-year-old Trump, a frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, submitted his plea through a written notice to a Florida federal court.

In a significant legal development, Donald Trump also waived his right to be present at his upcoming arraignment on August 10th for the new charges. This decision follows his recent not-guilty plea in a separate federal court in Washington where he faces charges of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election results.

The latest charges against Trump center around allegations that he obstructed the FBI’s investigation into the handling of classified documents. It is claimed that he attempted to delete security camera footage at his Mar-a-Lago estate, with the intent to hinder the FBI’s access to crucial evidence. The indictment also names two co-defendants: Trump’s longtime personal aide, Waltine “Walt” Nauta, and Mar-a-Lago’s property manager, Carlos De Oliveira. Both Nauta and De Oliveira are charged with concealing documents, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and making false statements.

Donald Trump is set to face trial in Florida in May of next year for reportedly taking classified documents to his Mar-a-Lago estate and refusing to return them. The seriousness of these charges, including unlawful retention of national defense information and obstruction of justice, could lead to severe legal consequences.

As legal proceedings unfold, these charges further deepen the legal challenges faced by the former president. Trump’s defense continues to maintain his innocence, alleging that these actions are politically motivated. The case not only adds to the legal complexities surrounding Trump but also has potential implications for his aspirations in the upcoming 2024 presidential race.

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