Trump pleads not guilty to superseding charges in classified documents case

August 4, 2023

Former President Trump on Friday pleaded not guilty and waived his personal appearance for an arraignment on superseding charges related to his handling of classified documents post-Presidency. 

Special Counsel Jack Smith levied four additional charges against Trump in a superseding indictment that was unsealed last Friday. Those four criminal counts included altering, destroying, mutilating, or concealing an object; and corruptly altering, destroying, mutilating or concealing a document, record or other object; and an additional charge of willful retention of national defense information.

The new charges piled on top of the 37 criminal counts to which Trump pleaded not guilty on June 13, including 31 initial  counts for willful retention of national defense secrets in violation of the Espionage Act, as well as one count each of making false statements, conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, and a scheme to conceal. 

An issue in the revised indictment is an alleged effort to destroy subpoenaed surveillance video to hide hundreds of classified government records that Trump kept at his Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago.

This latest not guilty plea from the former President comes one day after he was arraigned and pleaded not guilty at the federal courthouse in Washington DC to four criminal counts related to his actions surrounding the 2020 Presidential election and the deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. 

That indictment was also submitted to a federal grand jury by Smith.

In April Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records and conspiracy related to his alleged role in hush money payments during the 2016 campaign season. That indictment came down in New York State court.

On his Truth Social platform Friday, Trump asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in his numerous legal cases, saying they’re costing him time and money that he would rather invest in his 2024 reelection campaign.

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