- Trump was indicted for illegally storing classified documents in Mar-A-Lago on June 6, 2023.
- The indictment consisted of 37 counts against the former president.
- Special Counsel Jack Smith spoke about the charges and how important keeping classified documents protected was important for the country’s safety.
Former President Donald Trump was indicted by the Justice Department for illegally storing classified documents at his Mar-A-Lago residency in Florida after his term ended in 2021, per The New York Times. The indictment was filed on Thursday, June 6 by the Justice Department in Miami’s Federal District Court. This is the first time in U.S. history that a president has faced federal charges.
After the indictment was announced, Special Counsel Jack Smith made a statement regarding Trump’s indictment and encouraged others to read the entire document. “Today an indictment was unsealed charging Donald J. Trump with felony violations of our national security laws as well as participating in a conspiracy to obstruct justice,” he said in a press conference on Friday, June 9. “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.”
Find out more about Trump’s indictment here.
Donald Trump Indicted For Classified Documents
The investigation into Trump and the classified documents has been going on for over a year! Mar-A-Lago was raided by FBI agents, searching to see if the former president had classified documents, in June 2022. The Justice Department had issued a subpoena into the docs in May 2022, but when Trump did not cooperate, agents raided his home to find any classified materials. Agents found boxes of classified documents, which the former president should not have had, although Trump has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and claimed that he had declassified them before bringing them to his home.
The unsealed indictment revealed 37 charges in the case, per ABC News. The indictment showed evidence of Trump illegally storing the classified documents as well as communications about efforts to try to stop an FBI raid, searching for the documents. One of the charges that Trump is facing is under the Espionage Act, according to CNN. Trump’s aide Walt Nauta has also been indicted in relation to the documents, per CNN.
Trump’s charges consist of 31 counts of willful retention of classified documents, one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, 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 scheme to conceal, and one more count of making false statements, per CBS News.
Donald Trump’s Response To Being Indicted
Trump, 76, confirmed his indictment while simultaneously bashing President Joe Biden. “The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been Indicted, seemingly over the Boxes Hoax,” he wrote in a statement posted on his Truth Social platform, “even though Joe Biden has 1850 Boxes at the University of Delaware, additional Boxes in Chinatown, D.C., with even more Boxes at the University of Pennsylvania, and documents strewn all over his garage floor where he parks his Corvette, and which is ‘secured’ by only a garage door that is paper thin, and open much of the time.”
In a follow-up post, he added, “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!”
The indictment comes shortly after Trump’s attorneys met with the Justice Department to ask that the former president not be charged in the investigation, per The Washington Post. Trump took to Truth Social to share an all-caps message to assert his innocence and said that other politicians had also taken classified documents. “HOW CAN DOJ POSSIBLY CHARGE ME, WHO DID NOTHING WRONG, WHEN NO OTHER PRESIDENT’S WERE CHARGED,” he wrote. “ONLY TRUMP – THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME!”
Donald Trump’s other legal battles
Trump’s indictment for the documents comes weeks after he was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in New York, including the alleged hush money payment to adult star Stormy Daniels. Trump pleaded “not guilty” after he was arrested in New York in April. He was also found liable in the civil suit against E. Jean Carroll who won a lawsuit, finding that the former president had sexually assaulted her in the 1990s and that he’d defamed her by denying the claims. He was not found liable of rape. She was awarded $5 million in the lawsuit.
Aside from the New York legal battles, Trump is also currently undergoing a grand jury investigation in Georgia for his attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Atlanta District Attorney Fani Willis is expected to announce whether Trump will be indicted or not between mid-July and September 1, per The Associated Press.
The classified documents indictment isn’t the only Justice Department investigation that Trump was under. The Justice Department is also investigating the former president’s involvement in the January 6 attack on the Capitol, after his supporters invaded the building to try to overturn the results of the 2020 election. A House Select Committee investigating January 6 had recommended four criminal charges.