Former President Donald Trump to be arraigned on federal charges Tuesday afternoon
Former President Donald Trump was back in Florida Monday night ahead of his arraignment on federal charges Tuesday afternoon.
Trump is then expected to fly back to New Jersey to address supporters from his Bedminster golf club Tuesday night.
“This is a tremulous moment for the country. I do think we have to risk it though, for the betterment of the country,” says Dr. Saladin Ambar, professor of political science at Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics.
Trump is the first former president to be charged with a federal crime. Trump and executive assistant Walt Nauta were charged with conspiracy, Espionage Act violations and withholding documents in a 37-count indictment filed last week.
“If we’re going to hold presidents to account, then there’s no real good time to do it,” Ambar says.
The professor says Trump’s case is an important moment to reassert the rule of law in the United States.
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“What do they say the opposite of love is, it’s not hate, it’s indifference. I think he’s indifferent to the rule of law,” Ambar says.
Gov. Phil Murphy – a former ambassador who dealt with classified information – reacted to the 37 charges against the former President during an event in Hoboken on Monday.
“This is potentially putting our national security at risk,” Murphy said. “It takes your breath away.”
Former Gov. Chris Christie agreed with Murphy on Friday, slamming Trump, his now-campaign opponent, for treating classified documents like trophies.
“This is irresponsible conduct,” Christie said. “Is this the kind of conduct we want from someone who wants to be President of the United States?”
Ambar says that Trump felt he had the right to have the documents.
“He felt he had a right to have them, and they were interesting and powerful in their own right and he should possess them,” Ambar says.
Ambar says he’s concerned about sporadic violence from Right Wing extremists as Trump’s case moves toward its conclusion.
“I’m deeply concerned about it because Donald Trump has been a non-too-subtle advocate of violence and the use of force to get what he wants,” Ambar says. “The one hope I cling to is that we are better prepared than we were on Jan. 6, 2021.”
Trump’s arraignment is scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday in Miami.