Donald Trump Charged With Illegal Retention of Classified Documents – According to multiple individuals familiar with the situation, federal prosecutors have brought charges against Donald Trump for unlawfully keeping national security documents and impeding the government’s attempts to recover them. This notable event represents a significant legal threat to the former president.
The specific details of the indictment, which was submitted in federal district court in Miami, are not known as it is currently sealed. The justice department did not provide any immediate comment on the matter. On Thursday afternoon, Trump acknowledged the indictment on his social media platform, Truth Social, shortly after his legal team received an email from prosecutors working under special counsel Jack Smith.
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The email outlined the charges and called upon the former president to turn himself in to authorities in Miami next Tuesday. According to sources familiar with the matter, the summons included a set of charges against Donald Trump, which encompassed the willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document, corruptly concealing a document, concealing a document in a federal investigation, engaging in a scheme to conceal, and false statements.
During an interview on CNN, Trump’s lawyer, Jim Trusty, confirmed that the summons paper listed seven charges. Trusty mentioned that he hadn’t personally seen a copy of the indictment but expressed optimism that it could potentially be unsealed before Trump’s initial court appearance. From his Bedminster golf club in New Jersey, Trump lashed out at the indictment in a series of posts on Truth Social. “I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former President of the United States,” Trump said, adding: “I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!”
According to reports, the former president had come to accept the likelihood of being indicted. This acceptance followed the impaneling of a new grand jury in Florida last month, which was seen by his advisors as an indication that the case had entered its concluding phase after being transferred from Washington. Despite Trump’s legal team being informed last week that he had been labeled a “target” in the ongoing criminal investigation, indicating imminent charges, the news of the indictment caught Trump and his inner circle off guard.
Following the announcement, Trump reportedly spent the initial part of the evening contacting allies in Congress to garner support and monitoring the media coverage to identify his defenders. Subsequently, he went to a golf club for dinner and took on the role of DJ, personally selecting songs to play over the loudspeakers. Furthermore, a video was released by Trump’s team, recorded a day earlier, in which he once again asserted his innocence.
In Washington, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy expressed his disapproval of the charges on Twitter, referring to them as a “dark day” and falsely suggesting that the Biden administration, rather than a grand jury, was responsible for the indictment. He added that House Republicans would hold those involved accountable, characterizing it as an abuse of power.
The criminal charges related to the Mar-a-Lago documents case significantly heighten Trump’s legal jeopardy. This comes after he was previously indicted this year on state charges in New York by the Manhattan District Attorney for his involvement in hush-money payments to an adult film star. Trump currently stands as the leading candidate for the 2024 Republican nomination.