Former President Trump Indicted for Keeping Classified Documents and Putting National Security at Risk

Donald Trump put the United States at risk by keeping confidential documents, including military and nuclear secrets, after he left the White House, according to a landmark indictment released Friday.

In the United States, “the laws are the same for everyone,” said the special prosecutor in charge of the investigation, Jack Smith, revealing this document during a brief televised address.

Those who “protect information related to national defense are essential” and “violating them puts our country in danger”, he asserted, asking for a “speedy trial” for the Republican billionaire.

Donald Trump announced Thursday that he had been indicted by federal justice for his management of the White House archives, a first for a former president, and that he was summoned to court in Miami on Tuesday.

“I am innocent,” he proclaimed, presenting himself as the victim of a plot orchestrated by his Democratic opponents to block his way to the White House, which he hopes to regain in 2024.

The indictment, released on Friday, has 37 counts, including “unlawful withholding of national security information”, “obstructing justice” and “false testimony”.

“It’s not America anymore!”, commented Donald Trump on his Truth Social network, assuring that he “never had anything to hide”.

In the toilets

In the United States, a law obliges presidents to transmit all their emails, letters and other working documents to the National Archives. Another, on espionage, prohibits keeping state secrets in unauthorized and unsecured places.

In January 2021, when he left the White House to settle in his luxurious Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, Donald Trump had however taken away dozens of boxes full of files.

According to the indictment, they remained stacked on the stage of a “ballroom”, before being transported to a “storeroom” accessible from the swimming pool, where certain documents marked with the mention “secret defence” had been seen sprawled on the ground.

A photo reproduced in this document shows stacks of boxes behind a toilet in a large bathroom.

In January 2022, after several reminders, he agreed to return 15 boxes containing nearly 200 classified documents.

The federal police, however, estimated that he had not returned everything and still kept a lot in his club in Palm Beach. In May, a summons to produce the missing documents was sent to Donald Trump.

His lawyers had returned 38 additional documents. Still convinced that it was missing, FBI agents had carried out a spectacular search at Mar-a-Lago on August 8 and had seized around thirty other boxes, containing 11,000 documents.

According to the indictment, the latter “included information on the defense capabilities of the United States and foreign countries”, “on American nuclear programs” and “on potential vulnerabilities in the event of an attack on the United States and its allies.

In addition to Donald Trump, the indictment concerns his former personal assistant, Walt Nauta, accused of having moved, at the request of his boss, boxes to hide them.

Actress the movies X

Another special prosecutor is investigating in parallel classified documents found earlier this year in a former office and at the home of Democratic President Joe Biden by his lawyers.

These embarrassing finds, along with others from ex-Vice President Mike Pence, allowed Donald Trump to downplay the seriousness of his conduct, even though Joe Biden has always cooperated with justice, voluntarily returning the documents, in much smaller numbers.

Anxious not to fuel accusations of “political persecution”, the Democratic president, who will also seek a second term in 2024, assured Friday that he “did not speak” of the file with his Minister of Justice, Merrick Garland, and did not have “no comment”.

For their part, the Republicans are closing ranks around Donald Trump, including his rivals for the party’s presidential nomination, which he is well ahead of.

The same solidarity was manifested in April, when the justice of the State of New York had also indicted him, for accounting fraud this time, within the framework of a payment in 2016 to an actress of X films so that she conceals an alleged affair.

And prosecutor Jack Smith, who has during his career notably prosecuted perpetrators of war crimes in Kosovo, is still investigating Donald Trump’s role in the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.