Former US President Donald Trump is facing a series of charges, including one count related to an alleged breach of the Espionage Act, in an indictment resulting from an investigation into his handling of classified documents. This marks the first instance in American history that a former president has been confronted with federal charges.
Jim Trusty, Mr. Trump’s lawyer, confirmed in an interview with CNN that his client is facing seven counts, including obstruction of justice, making false statements, conspiracy, and a charge linked to the alleged breach of the Espionage Act. Mr. Trusty dismissed the Espionage Act allegation as “ludicrous.”
On his Truth Social platform, Mr. Trump posted that he had been indicted, seemingly referring to the “boxes hoax.” The former president’s attorney revealed that he has been summoned to appear at a federal court in Miami, Florida, on June 13th at 3 pm local time.
In a separate post, Mr. Trump expressed his concern over the situation, stating, “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!” He later released a video in which he appeared downtrodden and fatigued, proclaiming his innocence and referring to the nation as a failing one.
This new indictment is the second faced by Mr. Trump, who previously pleaded not guilty to numerous felonies in a New York state case regarding alleged hush money payments made during his 2016 presidential campaign.
The investigation by the Department of Justice focuses on Mr. Trump’s possession of classified documents after his presidency ended in January 2020. The National Archives and Records Administration, the federal agency responsible for overseeing government materials, had repeatedly requested information regarding the whereabouts of specific files from Mr. Trump’s team, to no avail.
Suspecting that Mr. Trump still held classified documents, the Department of Justice authorized a court-approved search of his home and Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in August 2022. During the search, law enforcement discovered 182 documents labeled “confidential,” “secret,” and “top secret,” which require the highest levels of security clearance to access.
Throughout the investigation, Mr. Trump maintained his innocence, asserting that he had done nothing wrong by retaining files from the White House upon leaving office. He also claimed to have “declassified” the documents, although no evidence has been provided to substantiate this.
It’s worth noting that President Joe Biden is also being investigated for his possession of classified documents in personal residences and a Washington office from his time as vice president and senator. Additionally, Mr. Trump’s former vice president, Mike Pence, recently had his investigation closed after having classified files in his home.
Aside from the charges related to classified documents, Mr. Trump is under federal investigation for his alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results and his role in the violent insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. There is also a possibility of indictment in Georgia’s inquiry into his alleged interference in the state’s 2020 election results.
Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy criticized President Biden, falsely suggesting that he personally indicted Mr. Trump. McCarthy vowed that House Republicans would hold the perceived “weaponization of power” accountable.
Responding to questions regarding the impartiality of the Justice Department, President Biden emphasized during a press conference that he has never interfered with their decision-making process, stating, “I have never once, not one single time, suggested to the Justice Department what they should do or not do relative to bringing a charge or not bringing a charge. I’m honest.”
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