A Florida judge issued an order Monday night banning journalists from having cell phones or other electronic devices inside the courthouse for former President Donald Trump’s arraignment Tuesday.
Southern District of Florida Chief Judge Cecilia Altonaga ordered that all cell phones and electronic equipment are prohibited for members of the press inside the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. U.S. Courthouse in Miami.
Trump is set to be arraigned Tuesday on 37 charges in connection with special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into alleged mishandling of classified documents and alleged obstruction of justice.
Altonaga’s order states that the U.S. Marshals Service will inspect all electronic equipment as they are brought into the courthouse Tuesday to “protect the Bench, Bar, and public from harm.”
Penalties for violating the order can include up to 30 days in jail, a $5,000 fine and/or punishment for contempt of court, the judge reminded.
Smith argued in a 49-page indictment that Trump intentionally took classified material with him when he left the White House in January 2021.
The former president claims he is the victim of a “political hit job” for the classified documents case.
“Republicans are treated far different at the Justice Department than Democrats,” Trump said at a GOP convention in Columbus, Georgia, over the weekend.
Many lawmakers on Capitol Hill and political commentators have weighed in on the severity of the arraignment and what it could mean for Trump’s presidential campaign.
In Nov. 2022, Trump announced he was launching a third presidential bid — setting up a potential rematch with President Biden — but a conviction could possibly upset his hopes to regain the White House.