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Former President Trump indicted on 37 counts in classified documents case

Former President Donald Trump has been indicted on 37 counts in connection with his handling of classified documents that he kept at his Mar-a-Lago resort after he left the White House, according to a Justice Department announcement.

The unsealed indictment charges Trump with 36 counts of violating the Espionage Act, a law that prohibits unauthorized disclosure of national defense information, as well as one count of obstruction of justice.

The indictment also names Walt Nauta, a former White House valet who followed Trump to Mar-a-Lago and served as his personal aide, as a co-conspirator. Nauta is charged with making false statements to the FBI.

The charges stem from a special counsel investigation led by Jack Smith, a former federal prosecutor who was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland in March to probe Trump’s handling of classified documents. He brought these documents with him to Florida after he left office in January 2021.

The investigation was triggered by a whistleblower complaint from a former National Security Council official who alleged that Trump had taken boxes of classified documents with him without proper authorization or security measures.

The indictment alleges that Trump retained hundreds of pages of classified documents in his residence at Mar-a-Lago, including some marked as “top secret” and “secret.” It also claims that he instructed Nauta to move them to different locations to evade a subpoena from the Justice Department.

The indictment also alleges that Trump lied to his own lawyers about declassifying the documents and that he admitted in a recorded conversation that he did not do so.

Trump is scheduled to appear in federal court in Miami for his arraignment on June 13, 2023. He faces up to 10 years in prison for each count of violating the Espionage Act and up to five years for the obstruction of justice count.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and called the indictment a “witch hunt” by the “corrupt Biden administration.” He posted a video on his social media platform Truth Social claiming that he was an “innocent man” and lamented the Biden administration.

“This is yet another attempt by the Radical Left Democrats to destroy me and everything I have done for our Country,” Trump wrote. “They are vicious, nasty, and totally out of control. They will stop at nothing to take me down. But I will never give up. I will fight for America and the truth until the end.”

Trump’s attorney Jim Trusty told CNN that the Espionage Act charges were “ludicrous.”

The indictment marks the first time a former president has faced federal criminal charges. It also adds to the legal woes of Trump, who is already facing several civil lawsuits and criminal investigations in New York and Georgia over his business dealings and his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.


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Tags: #politics #2024election #primary


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