On Friday, federal prosecutors unveiled an extensive 49-page indictment against Donald Trump, alleging that the former president unlawfully retained and shared sensitive military secrets while instructing his staff to help him evade authorities attempting to recover them. The indictment comprises a total of 37 charges across seven different offenses. These charges include:
- Intentionally retaining national-defense information.
- Withholding records.
- Making false statements.
- Conspiracy to obstruct justice.
In five counts, Trump is joined by his former military valet, Walt Nauta, who later worked at Mar-a-Lago resort following his tenure at the White House. Nauta also faces an independent charge of making false statements.
According to the indictment, the classified documents retained by Trump contained details concerning U.S. and foreign defense capabilities, weapons systems, U.S. nuclear programs, potential vulnerabilities of the U.S. and its allies to military attacks, and plans for possible retaliatory actions following foreign aggression.
This indictment marks the first action taken by special counsel Jack Smith in his ongoing investigation into the mishandling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. During his first public appearance as special counsel, Smith emphasized the significance of the charges and encouraged the public to thoroughly review the indictment to grasp the gravity of the crimes involved. He also stressed that the country’s laws apply to everyone without exception.
In response to the indictment, former President Donald Trump addressed his supporters in a speech, claiming that he and his followers were being targeted by the “deep state.” This was Trump’s first public address since the federal charges related to his handling of classified documents were filed against him. Speaking before a Republican audience at the state Republican conference in Columbus, Georgia, Trump openly discussed the 37-count indictment.
Trump denounced the charges as baseless and accused the Biden administration’s Department of Justice of engaging in an egregious abuse of power. He further claimed that his prosecution was an assault on justice and warned that it ultimately targeted his supporters. Trump characterized himself as a barrier against the nefarious intentions of various groups within the country, including globalists, Marxists, and RINOs (Republicans in Name Only).
Special Counsel Jack Smith, responsible for overseeing the investigation into Trump’s handling of classified information, assured that a speedy trial would be conducted. Trump will appear before Judge Aileen Cannon in the Southern District of Florida on Tuesday. Trump will appear before Judge Aileen Cannon in the Southern District of Florida on Tuesday. Trump contended that the federal charges and the ongoing investigations in New York City concerning his business records exemplify the Left’s exploitation of institutions such as the FBI, DOJ, and local district attorneys to interfere in elections.
Trump also criticized President Joe Biden in his speech, focusing on inflation, foreign policy, and energy prices. He highlighted Biden’s document scandal, referring to reports suggesting that Biden improperly retained documents from his time as vice president. Notably, prominent Georgia officials, including Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, were absent from the gathering, citing a lack of invitation. However, Georgia Lt. Governor Burt Jones was in attendance at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center, where the meeting took place.