Donald Trump, a former U.S. president, has claimed that he has been charged with mishandling secret papers at his Florida residence. This has sparked a federal prosecution, which is likely the most dangerous of many legal threats the former president is facing as he tries to retake the White House.
The indictment was not immediately officially confirmed by the Justice Department. However, seven criminal counts were reportedly included in the indictment, according to two people familiar with the issue who were not authorised to speak publicly about it. One of them claimed that just before Mr. Trump disclosed on his Truth Social platform that he had been charged, prosecutors contacted his attorneys.
Trump announced what would be shocking news on his platform Truth Social: the first time a sitting or former commander-in-chief has ever faced federal charges. “The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been Indicted, seemingly over the Boxes Hoax,” he wrote.
The Justice Department is now embroiled in the most divisive case it has ever faced thanks to the indictment. The Republican presidential race that Mr. Trump is currently leading is upset by its first case against a former president, and any felony charges would increase the likelihood of a lengthy jail term.
Mr. Trump said he was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday afternoon. Within 20 minutes of making the news, he started gathering money for his 2024 presidential run. In a video, he proclaimed, “I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!” and repeated his catchphrase that the inquiry is a “witch hunt.”
Trump is now in even more legal danger as a result of the case. He has already been charged in New York and is already the subject of other investigations in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Trump’s claims of broad presidential authority will be contrasted with Attorney General Merrick Garland’s oft-repeated maxim that no one, not even a previous commander in chief, should be seen to be above the law as the case proceeds.
The indictment results from a months-long investigation by special counsel Jack Smith into whether Mr. Trump broke the law by keeping hundreds of documents with the designation “classified” at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach and whether Mr. Trump took actions to thwart the government’s efforts to retrieve the records.
According to prosecutors, Mr. Trump transported around 300 secret documents to Mar-a-Lago after leaving the White House, including about 100 that the FBI collected during a search of the residence in August of last year, underscoring the seriousness of the Justice Department’s inquiry.
The special counsel inquiry has always been viewed by Mr. Trump and his team as being far riskier than the New York case, both politically and legally.
Since Mr. Trump’s attorneys learned that he was the subject of the investigation, campaign staffers have been preparing for the consequences, believing it is just a matter of time until charges are filed.
However, it is still uncertain what Mr. Trump’s immediate and long-term political repercussions will be. Despite the fact that his first indictment sparked millions of dollars in donations from furious fans, Mr. Trump’s standing in the polls was unaffected. Whatever happens, the indictment and the subsequent court battle will thrust Mr. Trump back into the public eye and divert attention from the other candidates who are attempting to gain ground in the 2024 presidential election.