On Friday, the Department of Justice (DOJ), under Special Counsel Jack Smith, unsealed the indictment against former President Donald Trump. The charges include felony violations of national security laws and participation in a conspiracy to obstruct justice. The indictment was voted on by a grand jury of citizens in the Southern District of Florida.
Smith called the indictment a crucial step in enforcing the nation’s laws. He underscored the significance of these laws in maintaining the safety and security of the United States, and stressed that any violation could potentially put the country at risk.
Smith commented on the DOJ’s rule of law, stating, “We have one set of laws in this country and they apply to everyone. Applying those laws, collecting facts- that’s what determines the outcome of an investigation.” Smith went on to praise the prosecutors in his office, describing them as “among the most talented and experienced in the Department of Justice.”
However, he also made it clear that Trump must be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. His office plans to seek a speedy trial. The unprecedented indictment signifies a sad moment in the history of American politics.
On Friday, The DOJ unsealed the federal indictment against Trump, and an aide, marking the first time a former president has faced federal charges. The indictment centers around the alleged mishandling of over 100 classified documents. Trump is expected to appear in a Miami federal courthouse on Tuesday afternoon.
Trump faces roughly 37 counts on seven charges, including false statements, conspiracy to obstruct, and willful retention of national defense information. The indictment also details various locations at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida where Trump allegedly stored classified documents, including in a ballroom, a bathroom and shower, an office space, his bedroom, and a storage room.
Trump’s personal aide, Waltine Nauta, was also indicted on six counts, including conspiracy to obstruct and false statements. Both have denied any wrongdoing.
The investigation began last year when the National Archives alerted the FBI about government documents returned by Trump that were marked classified. Trump and his allies have tried to frame the indictment as politically motivated, with Trump arguing that he is being treated unfairly compared to President Biden.
Each of the charges carries a maximum fine of $250,000 and prison time of five to 20 years. Special counsel Jack Smith is expected to make a statement about the indictment later today. The federal indictment against former President Donald Trump and his associate Walt Nauta contains over 30 counts on seven charges against Trump, including:
- 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information: This involves the alleged mishandling of more than 100 classified documents. The indictment alleges that Trump moved to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida numerous boxes containing official government documents, some of which were marked classified at the time. These documents were allegedly stored in various locations at the estate, including a ballroom, a bathroom and shower, an office space, his bedroom, and a storage room.
- One count of conspiracy to obstruct justice: The indictment suggests that Trump directed one of his attorneys to “hide or destroy” documents called for by a grand jury subpoena.
- One count of withholding a document or record.
- One count of corruptly concealing a document or record.
- One count of concealing a document in a federal investigation.
- One count of scheming to conceal.
- One count of false statements and representations.