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24 May, 2024
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Trump indicted on 37 federal counts

Unsealed indictment reveals serious charges

Source: Fox News

Former President Trump was indicted on 37 federal counts, including willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and false statements, according to an unsealed copy of the indictment obtained by Fox News.

Special Counsel Jack Smith unsealed the indictment against the former president Friday.

The classified documents Trump stored in his boxes included information regarding the defense and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign countries.

Trump first announced he had been indicted on Thursday night. Trump told Fox News Digital he will plead not guilty.

The indictment states that Trump, as president, "had lawful access to the most sensitive classified documents and national defense information gathered and owned by the United States government, including information from the agencies that comprise the United States Intelligence Community and the United States Department of Defense.

"Over the course of his presidency, TRUMP gathered newspapers, press clippings, letters, notes, cards, photographs, official documents, and other materials in cardboard boxes that he kept in the White House," the indictment states. "Among the materials TRUMP stored in his boxes were hundreds of classified documents."

"The classified documents TRUMP stored in his boxes included information regarding defense and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign countries; United States nuclear programs; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack; and plans for possible retaliation in response to a foreign attack," the indictment states. "The unauthorized disclosure of these classified documents could put at risk the national security of the United States, foreign relations, the safety of the United States military, and human sources, and the continued viability of sensitive intelligence collection methods."

The special counsel claims that Trump showed classified documents to others in 2021--once in July 2021 at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and once in August or September 2021.

"In July 2021, at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey (The Bedminster Club), during an audio-recorded meeting with a writer, a publisher, and two members of his staff, none of whom possessed a security clearance, TRUMP showed and described a ‘plan of attack’ that TRUMP said was prepared for him by the Department of Defense and a senior military official. TRUMP told the individuals that the plan was ‘highly confidential’ and ‘secret,’" the indictment said. "TRUMP also said, ‘as president, I could have declassified it,’ and, 'Now I can't, you know, but this is still a secret.'"

In August or September 2021, the special counsel alleges Trump "showed a representative of his political action committee who did not possess a security clearance a classified map related to a military operation and told the representative that he should not be showing it to the representative and that the representative should not get too close."

The FBI, in March 2022, opened a criminal investigation into the unlawful retention of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. The federal grand jury investigation began in April 2022.

"The grand jury issued a subpoena requiring Trump to turn over all documents with classification markings," the indictment states.

The special counsel alleges Trump "endeavored to obstruct the FBI and grand jury investigations and conceal his continued retention of classified documents" by suggesting that his attorney "falsely represent to the FBI and grand jury" that he "did not have documents called for by the grand jury subpoena."

The indictment says Trump also suggested his attorney "hide or destroy documents called for by the grand jury subpoena" and directed his aide—defendant Watine Nauta—to "move boxes of documents called for by the grand jury subpoena while claiming that he was cooperating fully."

The indictment names Nauta, who served as a White House valet, and later, a personal aide, as Trump’s "co-conspirator."

Smith says Trump retained classified information originating from the CIA, the Pentagon, the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, the Energy Department, the State Department, and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research.

Smith says Trump retained a document that denoted it was "releasable only to the Five Eyes intelligence alliance consisting of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States."

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