A 37-count criminal perfect against Donald Trump was unsealed on Friday, revealing allegations that the former president knowingly withheld hundreds of classified government records and conspired to prevent their return to US officials.
The billing documentalleging that Trump kept records containing national defense information at his Florida home after leaving the White House, was made public a day after a grand jury in US District Court in Miami voted to indict him.
Among other allegations, the indictment says that Trump showed classified documents to other people in the summer of 2021, after leaving office in January of that year.
Follow our live coverage of Donald Trump’s indictment in the case of classified documents.
One of those documents was an “attack plan” that he told a publisher and writer at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club had been prepared by the Pentagon.
“As president I can declassify this,” Trump told them, according to an audio recording of the July 2021 comment cited in the indictment.
“Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret,” he added.
A month or so later in Bedminster, Trump showed a representative of a political action committee “a classified map related to a military operation” and told another man that “he shouldn’t show it to the representative and that the representative should not get too close,” the indictment alleges.
Also charged in the indictment is Trump’s valet, Walter Nauta, who faces some of the same charges as his boss, alleging he conspired to keep classified records and hide them from a federal grand jury.
The indictment said Trump was personally involved in packing boxes of documents as he prepared to leave the White House at his home at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.
The FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago in August uncovered hundreds of classified documents, which Trump failed to hand over to US officials after they spent a year or more trying to recover them.
The indictment alleges that Trump as president placed in cartons of documents containing information about the defense and weapons capabilities of the United States and foreign countries, US nuclear programs, and “potential vulnerabilities of the United States States and its allies in the military attack.”
When he left the White House, Trump ordered several such boxes shipped to Mar-a-Lago, where they were stored in a ballroom, bathroom, shower, and office space, including his bedroom and storage room, said the indictment.
“On December 7, 2021, Nauta found some of Trump’s boxes had fallen and their contents spilled on the floor of the Storage Room [at Mar-a-Lago] including a document marked “SECRET//REL TO USA, FVEY,” which states that information in the document can only be released to the Five Eyes intelligence alliance consisting of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, ” said the indictment.
During the time Trump had documents at Mar-a-Lago, his club hosted more than 150 social events, drawing thousands of guests, the indictment said.
Department of Justice special counsel Jack Smith, who led the Trump investigation, said in a televised statement Friday afternoon, “We have a set of laws in this country, and they apply to everyone.”
“Our laws protecting national defense information are critical to the safety and security of the United States, and they must be enforced,” Smith said. “Violation of those laws puts our country at risk.”
The special counsel continues to oversee a separate criminal investigation of Trump into his efforts to reverse his loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
Former US President Donald Trump is seen in Midtown on April 03, 2023 in New York City. Trump is scheduled to appear tomorrow in a Manhattan courthouse following his indictment by a grand jury.
Gotham | Pictures of Gc | Getty Images
Trump, who is seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, and Nauta are scheduled to be arraigned in Miami on Tuesday, a day before Trump’s 77th birthday.
He and Nauta each face a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charges, conspiracy to obstruct justice and counts related to withholding and concealing government records.
Thirty-one of the counts accuse Trump of knowingly withholding national defense information.
He was also charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice; withholding a document or record; corruptly concealing a document or record; withholding a document from a federal investigation; scheme to hide; and false statements and representations.
Trump came under criminal investigation in the spring of 2022, after the FBI was notified that classified documents had been found in 15 boxes of government records he had turned over to the National Records and Archives Administration after months of efforts by NARA to recover them. documents the agency believes are missing. .
By law, presidents must turn over all government records to NARA when they leave office.
The indictment states, “Upon his departure from the White House, Trump caused numerous boxes, many of which contained classified documents, to be transported to The Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida , where he maintains his residence.”
“Trump was not authorized to possess or retain those classified documents,” the indictment said.
The DOJ is showing photos of classified documents found at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago residence.
Trump later suggested to one of his lawyers that the lawyer lie to the FBI and a grand jury by saying he didn’t have the documents they were looking for, and that he ordered Nauto to move boxes of documents to hide them from to Trump’s own attorney, the FBI and the grand jury, according to the indictment.
The indictment alleges that Trump suggested to his lawyer that the lawyer hide or destroy the documents and that Trump only gave the FBI and the grand jury some of the documents he kept while saying he was fully cooperating.
Trump also caused a certification to be submitted to the FBI and grand jury that falsely represented that all the documents were produced when he knew that was not true, according to the indictment.
The indictment estimates that Trump’s trial will take 21 days.
The DOJ indictment includes images of classified documents found at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago residence.
On Friday, two of Trump’s lawyers resigned from representing him in the classified documents case and the criminal investigation involving the 2020 election.
Trump was indicted by a New York state grand jury in late March on charges of falsifying business records related to a $130,000 hush payment his then-lawyer Michael Cohen gave to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.
Trump has pleaded not guilty in that case, which is set to go to trial next March in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Read the indictment against Donald Trump:
This is breaking news. Check back for updates.