Trump has survived impeachment two times, been sued repeatedly, found liable for sexual abuse, his company has been found guilty of tax evasion, and he faces a criminal trial in New York. Now it is United States v. Donald Trump. He is now facing 37 felony counts – including 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information and making false statements – by a federal grand jury of Florida citizens. The detailed indictment was signed by special counsel Jack Smith and unsealed in Florida.
You can read the 49-page indictment here.
Special Counsel Jack Smith brief comments can be viewed here.
The indictment uses Trump’s own words which clearly indicate he was aware of classification responsibilities:
- “In my administration, I’m going to enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information. No one will be above the law.” Trump said in August 2016.
- “We can’t have someone in the Oval Office who doesn’t understand the meaning of the word confidential or classified.” Trump said in another campaign trail statement.
- “I have a unique, Constitutional responsibility to protect the Nation’s classified information.” A statement Trump made as president in 2018.
- “[S]uch access [to national secrets] is particularly inappropriate when former officials have transitioned into highly partisan positions and seek to use real or perceived access to sensitive information to validate their political attacks. Any access granted to our Nation’s secrets should be in furtherance of national, not personal, interests.”
- “As president, I could have declassified, but now I can’t.” According to the transcript, Trump is discussing a classified Pentagon document about attacking Iran.
- “Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret.” Trump asked a staffer if the war plans could be declassified knowing that he had lost the ability to declassify things since he was no longer president.
According to Georgetown University law professor Todd Huntley: “Between surveillance video footage, text messages and this audio recording, they have very strong evidence of the willful and intentional retention of those documents.”
Trump has been summoned to appear at the Federal Courthouse in Miami on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, at 3:00pm.