During Arraignment, Donald Trump was Silent and Jack Smith Stared Daggers at Him

On Tuesday, June 13, 2023, former President Donald Trump surrendered to authorities and was arraigned, then formally charged with 37

Donald Trump
Attorney Joe Tacopina, center, a member of former United States President Donald TrumpÕs criminal defense team, as Trump appears in the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse for his arraignment, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in New York, New York Credit: Timothy A. Clary / Pool via CNP/AdMedia

On Tuesday, June 13, 2023, former President Donald Trump surrendered to authorities and was arraigned, then formally charged with 37 felony counts.

31 of those counts relate to alleged violations of the Espionage Act – serious charges that mark a dark and historic day in the United States.

Trump’s behavior in the court room was apparently not what most people would have expected.

The charismatic, ever-moving, loud former President rarely gives other people a chance to speak, loves to boast and laugh loudly, and isn’t known for sitting quietly.

But sitting quietly is exactly what he did on Tuesday.

CNN reporter Evan Perez described to host Jake Tapper the way the former POTUS appeared while in court. “Without mind-reading,” Tapper asked for Perez’s thoughts on the former President’s mood.

Perez said, “He appeared very glum, he did not seem to have a lot of energy. Once in awhile, was twiddling his thumbs. Again, had his arms folded. It was certainly – you know, we’ve seen him sometimes when he’s irritated, when he’s not exactly very comfortable and happy inside a room – that is the look we saw there seated at the defense table, inside this courtroom.”


He added, “Packed courtroom, by the way. Initially, the US Marshalls and their clerk told us that we were going to be limited to about 20 seats inside that courtroom, along with members of the public. They actually had very few members of the public actually show up there to be in the room. And they ended up taking about 40 reporters inside this very packed courtroom.”

Perez then mused, “We’re all, of course, eyes glued to the former President. And it’s certainly the look of a man, you know, like you and I have seen, when he’s not happy – when he’s irritated sometimes – he has that folded-arm, sort of looking around, and not quite the energetic thing you see when he’s at his rallies, when he’s happy about how things are going.”

This is similar to how Trump presented in a Manhattan court for his April indictment on fraud charges.

But there was another person in the court room that drew eyes during the hearing – special counsel Jack Smith.

Smith is the one who headed the investigation into Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents, and was responsible for drafting the indictment which the grand jury then voted on.

Smith apparently stared Trump down unflinchingly during the entire hearing.

The Independent reports, “Hugo Lowell of The Guardian and other journalists reported that Mr Smith sat in the front row during Mr Trump’s arraignment on federal charges related to his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House in 2021 and ‘stared towards the former president for essentially the entire appearance.’”

And it’s not surprising that Smith was staring daggers, for a few reasons.

First, Trump is the target of his investigation – which means that he’s been learning the ins and outs of Trump’s behavior for the past few months, making it a bizarre moment of coalescence.

But additionally, Trump has taken to social media to accuse Smith’s agents of “planting” evidence and has made claims about him, calling him “deranged” and “psycho.”

So there’s probably a little bit of personal ire burning there too.