Special Counsel Jack Smith reiterated the fact that even former President Donald Trump must adhere to the rule of law, after unsealing the indictment in the classified documents case on Friday, June 9. Trump was charged with 37 counts in relation to mishandling classified documents, per ABC News. “Adherence to the rule of law is a bedrock principle of the Department of Justice, and our nation’s commitment to the rule of law sets an example for the world. 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. Nothing more and nothing less,” Smith said in a press conference.
'Donald J. Trump [is charged with] felony violations of our national security laws as well as participating in a conspiracy to obstruct justice.'
Watch Department of Justice Special Counsel Jack Smith’s full statement Friday on the indictment of former President Donald Trump. pic.twitter.com/WinyTLdZ62
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) June 9, 2023
In his brief statement, Smith spoke about how important classified materials are to protecting safety in the U.S. “The men and women of the United States Intelligence Community and our Armed Forces dedicate their lives to protecting our nation and its people. Our laws that protect national defense information are critical to the safety and security of the United States and they must be enforced. Violations of those laws put out our country at risk,” he said.
Before finishing his address, Smith showed that he was looking forward to the trial. “It’s very important for me to note that the defendants, in this case, must be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law,” he said. “To that end, my office will seek a speedy trial in this matter consistent with the public interest and the rights of the accused. We very much look forward to presenting our case to a jury of citizens in the southern district of Florida.
Trump’s indictment was announced on Thursday, June 8. He was indicted on federal charges of mishandling classified documents, following an FBI investigation. The Justice Department charged Trump after he illegally brought documents to his Mar-A-Lago residency in Florida. He is the first president in U.S. history to ever face federal charges. Walt Nauta, an aide to Trump, was also indicted in the case, per CNN.
After Trump was indicted, he released a statement on his campaign website, where he proceeded to share conspiracy theories about classified documents found in possession of President Joe Biden, disregarding the fact that Biden complied with FBI investigators. “I have been summoned to appear at the Federal Courthouse in Miami on Tuesday, at 3 PM. I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former President of the United States, who received far more votes than any sitting President in the History of our Country, and is currently leading, by far, all Candidates, both Democrat and Republican, in Polls of the 2024 Presidential Election. I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!” he said. “This is indeed a DARK DAY for the United States of America. We are a Country in serious and rapid Decline, but together we will Make America Great Again!”
While this is Trump’s first federal indictment, it is the second time he’s been indicted this year. He was first indicted on 34 felony counts for falsifying documents in New York, including the alleged hush money payment to adult star Stormy Daniels. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels, and the payment. Trump was arrested on the charges in April, but he plead “not guilty.”
Besides the state and federal charges, Trump was also found liable in a civil lawsuit by writer E. Jean Carroll, who accused Trump of raping and sexually assaulting her in the 90s. She also sued him for defamation after he denied her claims. He was found liable of defamation and sexual assault, but not rape, and Carroll was awarded $5 million by the jury.
Aside from the indictments that have already been announced, Trump is also the subject of a grand jury investigation in Georgia about his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. He’s also part of another Justice Department investigation for his involvement in the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol. The House Select Committee investigating January 6 recommended four criminal charges in their final meeting.