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Donald Trump pleads not guilty to charges worth 400 years jail in stolen secret documents scandal

Donald Trump pleads not guilty to charges worth 400 years jail in stolen secret documents scandal

The former US President has faced down a courtroom after being accused of swiping and hoarding highly classified files from the White House.

Donald Trump has become the first US President to face a courtroom on federal charges as he pleaded not guilty to 37 counts that claim he took, hoarded, and refused to return a cache of highly classified government documents.

Trump's attorney Todd Blanche entered the plea of not guilty on behalf of the 76-year-old billionaire turned politician.

"We most certainly enter a plea of not guilty," Blanche told the 13th floor courtroom, as per AP.

Trump's former aide Walt Nauta, who is facing similar accusations and six criminal charges, sat beside the former US President and also pleaded not guilty.

Trump was allowed to leave court without any restrictions to domestic or international travel.

That makes him the first US president - sitting or otherwise - in history to cop a federal criminal indictment.

The Republican was charged in an indictment that was unsealed to the public on June 9.

He faces 37 criminal counts over alleged violations of the Espionage Act, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and making false statements to investigators.

The charges come after Trump agreed to return 15 boxes of records to the US National Archives and Records Administration in January 2022.

Officials soon discovered more than 700 pages of records in the cache of files that were marked as classified.

Some of the highly sensitive information included plans for a clandestine attack on a foreign nation, according to a report by The Guardian.

Another document, dated June 2020, contained information about the 'nuclear capabilities of a foreign country'.

Another undated document contained information about the 'nuclear weaponry of the United States'.

Despite the top secret nature of some of the documents, the former president stored boxes containing the classified files in random, unsecured rooms across his Florida estate.

The unsealed indictment revealed he stored the files in locations across Mar-a-Lago including an office space, his bedroom, a storage room, a bathroom, a ballroom and in the shower.

It is understood Trump took the documents from the White House before finishing up his tenancy as the 45th President of the United States, taking them with him to his home in Florida.

As per the transcript of the audio recording obtained by CNN, Trump knew the documents contained 'secret' military information.

"As president, I could have declassified, but now I can’t," Trump said in the recording, as per the transcript.

Featured Image Credit: Associated Press / Alamy. Abaca Press / Alamy

Topics: Donald Trump, News, US News, Politics