Trump in Florida to face charges in documents case

Former President Donald Trump has arrived in Miami to face criminal charges of unlawfully keeping U.S. national-security documents and lying to officials who tried to recover them, in a case that so far has powered rather than hampered his re-election hopes.

Trump is scheduled to be in a Miami federal courthouse on Tuesday at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) for an initial appearance in the case. 

He has proclaimed his innocence and vowed to continue his campaign to regain the presidency in the 2024 election.

Trump, who turns 77 on Wednesday, left his Bedminster golf club in New Jersey by motorcade and flew from Newark on his private jet to Miami. 

Supporters gathered nearby for a noon rally at a Miami golf club he owns, where he was due to stay the night.

Special Counsel Jack Smith accuses Trump of taking thousands of papers containing some of the nation’s most sensitive national-security secrets when he left the White House in January 2021 and storing them in a haphazard manner at his Mar-a-Lago Florida estate, according to a grand jury indictment released last week.

Photos included in the indictment show boxes of documents stored on a ballroom stage, in a bathroom, and strewn across a storage-room floor.

The indictment alleges Trump lied to officials who tried to get them back.

Trump is the first former or current president to face criminal charges, but legal experts say that does not prevent him from running for president – or taking office even if he is found guilty.