February 24, 2024

By ADRIANA GOMEZ LICON and ERIC TUCKER (Related Press)

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) — In search of to show authorized issues into political achieve, former President Donald Trump arrived Monday to a crowd of supporters at a federal courthouse in Florida for a closed listening to within the legal case charging him with mishandling categorized paperwork.

His motorcade left after a number of hours as supporters known as his identify.

Within the newest mixing of courtroom appearances into Trump’s election-season calendar, supporters with indicators and flags assembled exterior a courthouse barricade as a Trump marketing campaign message to allies with the topic line of “I’m in courtroom. Once more!” warned that unspecified opponents “need me arrested” and “erased from the poll.”

The message bolstered his group’s technique of politicizing his 4 legal prosecutions, together with in Florida, the place he faces dozens of felony counts accusing him of hoarding extremely categorized data at his Mar-a-Lago property and obstructing FBI efforts to get them again.

Monday’s courtroom date was scheduled as a procedural listening to, closed to the general public, to debate the procedures for dealing with categorized proof within the trial at the moment set for Could 20. U.S. District Decide Aileen Cannon set arguments within the morning from protection attorneys and within the afternoon from prosecutors, every exterior of the opposite’s presence.

“Protection counsel shall be ready to debate their protection theories of the case, intimately, and the way any categorized info is likely to be related or useful to the protection,” Cannon wrote in scheduling the listening to.

The closed listening to comes as prosecutors have additionally revealed {that a} potential authorities witness has obtained threats over social media that at the moment are the topic of federal investigation.

Trump’s motorcade arrived on the courthouse in Fort Pierce shortly after 9 a.m. Supporters exterior held indicators with messages together with “Trump 2024” and “Florida is Trump Nation.” He left the constructing in his motorcade after 2 p.m. whereas supporters shouted his identify.

The listening to is one among a number of voluntary courtroom dates that Trump has attended in latest weeks — he was current, as an illustration, at appeals courtroom arguments final month in Washington — as he seems to exhibit to supporters that he intends to combat his legal prosecutions whereas additionally searching for to reclaim the White Home this November.

Along with the Florida case, Trump faces prices in Atlanta and Washington associated to efforts to overturn the outcomes of the 2020 presidential election. He’s additionally charged in state courtroom in New York in reference to hush cash funds made to porn actor Stormy Daniels. He has denied any wrongdoing.

____

Tucker reported from Washington.