Donald Trump has been an indictment for misusing government secrets
For keeping a number of secret documents at his Florida club and refusing to give them up to the FBI and the National Archives, former president Donald Trump has been charged federally. According to a person with knowledge of the allegations, he is accused of seven crimes, including the purposeful retention of material crucial to the nation’s defense, making at least one false statement, and obstructing justice. Charges from a federal grand jury in Miami have not been made public in charging documents.
“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!” Trump said in a post on his Truth Social platform.
Trump said in a statement that he has been summoned to appear in federal court in Miami on Tuesday.
Trump’s attorneys met with Justice Department representatives in Washington, D.C., earlier this week to try to avoid charges as the investigation has become more intense in recent days.
Special counsel for the DOJ Jack Smith’s office stated that they have no more comment at this time. Smith, a seasoned public corruption and war crimes prosecutor, is also in charge of the investigation into significant elements of the attempt to invalidate presidential election results on January 6, 2021.
The legal risk in Florida comes after a grand jury in Manhattan, working closely with District Attorney Alvin Bragg, was indicted earlier this year on 34 counts of manipulating corporate documents. In the accounting case involving hush money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in the last months of the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump has entered a not-guilty plea.
Although he has acknowledged paying Cohen back for money given to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, Trump has denied having an affair with her.
A third investigation into Trump’s alleged attempts to exert pressure on Georgia’s state election authorities is being led by a prosecutor in Fulton County.
Notwithstanding the criminal convictions, the former president has promised to carry on with his campaign to retake the White House in 2024. As the charges against him were made public in New York this year, Trump received millions of dollars in contributions. He is still in the lead among the few Republicans running for nomination.
The dispute over records at his resort at Mar-a-Lago in Florida exploded into public view in August 2022, when FBI agents executed a search warrant at the property while Trump was out of town. The former president tweeted about the search, which set off a weeks-long legal tug of war in Florida and Washington, D.C.
Reporters then learned that Attorney General Merrick Garland had personally approved the search. After reviewing a sworn declaration from the FBI, a federal magistrate court approved the search warrant. The affidavit indicated that there was “probable reason to think that evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other objects illegally possessed” were being improperly stored in a number of locations at Mar-a-Lago.
Authorities recovered highly classified materials — some so sensitive that the government officials involved in the search lacked the security clearance to review them. That discovery followed a letter from Trump’s lawyer attesting that they had conducted a “diligent” search for government secrets at the site and had found no more of them.
A judge in D.C. this year discovered grounds to suspect that Trump may have employed his counsel to break the law in relation to the Mar-a-Lago papers, in yet another bizarre turn of events. Judge Beryl Howell rejected Trump’s assertions of the attorney-client privilege as a consequence, allowing the Justice Department to continue. That lawyer, Evan Corcoran, has been seen in recent weeks at the federal courtroom, possibly appearing before a grand jury in a closed-door setting.
When the matter goes to trial, Trump’s own public comments could be used against him as proof of his mental state.
“Remember this: This is the Presidential Records Act. I have the right to take stuff,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity in March 2023, adding: “I have the right to take stuff. I have the right to look at stuff. But they have the right to talk, and we have the right to talk.”