What’s in the Trump indictment?
The Justice Department on Friday unsealed the indictment against former President Donald Trump, marking the first time a former or sitting US president has been charged with a federal crime.
The 49-page document includes 38 charges, 31 of which are violations of the Espionage Act and relate to Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents at his sprawling Florida estate.
According to the indictment, Trump is being charged with, among other things, willful retention of national-defense information, giving false statements, and withholding a record. What’s more, Walt Nauta, a Trump aide, is being charged alongside his boss in five of these counts as well as separately for giving false statements.
There are many damning revelations in the document, chief among them that the former president mishandled classified information related to the “Five Eyes” intelligence sharing program, which includes Australia, Canada, the UK and New Zealand. The photos of boxes of secret documents piled up at his mansion – in a bathroom and on a ballroom stage – don't help either.
Crucially, much of the indictment hinges on a 2021 recording in which Trump acknowledges that he has classified documents stored at Mar-a-Lago, his Florida property.
Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is leading the investigation at the Department of Justice, said at a press conference Friday that Americans should expect a “speedy trial,” an indication that the DOJ does not want this to loom large over the entire 2024 presidential race. Smith also encouraged Americans to read the indictment to get a sense of “the gravity of crimes charged.”
For now, the former president continues to proclaim his innocence in all caps on his social media platform, but more will be revealed about the ongoing legal process when he appears in a Miami court on Tuesday.