Former President Donald Trump said Thursday he had been indicted in the Justice Department’s long-running probe of his handling of classified documents that involved an extraordinary raid on his Mar-A-Lago property—marking his second history-making indictment since launching his third campaign for the White House.
Trump said in a Truth Social post federal officials informed his lawyers about the indictment, and ordered him to appear in federal court in Miami on Tuesday at 3 p.m.
Federal prosecutors have not confirmed the indictment, but the New York Times reported Trump was charged with seven criminal counts including willful retention of national defense secrets, conspiracy to obstruct justice and false statements, citing unnamed sources.
Trump attorney Jim Trusty told CNN the charges appear to include an Espionage Act count, as well as “obstruction-based” and false statement charges—Trusty said the DOJ hasn’t given Trump’s legal team a copy of the indictment, but a summons ordering the former president to show up in court offers some information about the charges.
The indictment marks the first time a former president has faced federal charges—Trump became the first former president to be criminally charged in state court in March, when he was indicted on felony falsifying business records charges in Manhattan Criminal Court.
Trump was widely expected to face charges after his lawyers met with DOJ prosecutors on June 5 and reportedly received a letter informing them Trump was a target of a criminal investigation, indicating the months-long case could be nearing its conclusion.
Trump called himself an “INNOCENT MAN” in a Truth Social post. He later posted a four-minute video in which he called the allegations against him a “hoax” and “warfare for the law” designed to harm his political prospects, and rehashed false claims the 2020 election was “taken.” Trusty, meanwhile, called the Espionage Act charge “ludicrous” and the false statement charges a “crazy stretch, just from the facts as we know it.”
The reported criminal charges stem from a Justice Department investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents launched last year, after the National Archives and Records Administration alerted the agency that Trump had taken classified documents to Mar-A-Lago. The charges were brought after grand juries in Florida and Washington reviewed evidence and heard witness testimony in the case. The case centers on Trump taking more than 300 classified documents with him to his Palm Beach private club and residence after leaving office, including more than 200 he voluntarily turned over to NARA and the DOJ and an additional 103 the FBI seized in an August raid. In recent months, federal investigators have reportedly focused the probe on whether Trump and his associates interfered in the agency’s investigation, in addition to whether Trump mishandled classified documents. The DOJ subpoenaed nearly all of Mar-A-Lago’s employees, the New York Times reported, and gathered surveillance footage from the property as part of its efforts to determine whether steps were taken to remove or destroy documents.
The room at Mar-A-Lago where security tapes were stored flooded last October when a maintenance worker drained the resort pool, CNN reported. The incident raised suspicions among Justice Department investigators probing whether Trump and his associates attempted to interfere in their inquiry by deleting footage, according to the Times.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Trump’s team is reportedly preparing to launch a fundraising blitz, similar to the one following his indictment in Manhattan Criminal Court, that will cast the DOJ probe as a politically motivated plot designed to interfere with his chances of being re-elected, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Trump was indicted on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in Manhattan Criminal Court in April in connection with his role in an alleged hush money scheme designed to prevent adult film star Stormy Daniels from going public with allegations of an affair with Trump ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The DOJ is also probing Trump’s role in the January 6 insurrection, and the Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney’s office is investigating whether he played a part in efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the state.
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