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Trump Indicted for Taking Classified Documents, Violating Espionage Act

Donald Trump has been indicted by a federal grand jury on 37 counts related to alleged unlawful retention of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate after his time in the White House ended. Trump was placed under arrest by deputy US Marshals at the Federal District Court in Miami on Tuesday, June 13, just before 3:00pm. His booking process and that of his aide and co-defendant Walt Nauta have been completed. Trump pleaded not guilty. Trump's mug shot is not expected to be taken due to his recognizability.


This indictment is the first time in U.S. history that a U.S. President has faced federal criminal charges.

Trump Indicted

Evidence in this investigation has been considered by two federal grand juries – one in D.C. and one in Florida. The potential crimes under consideration in these investigations include conspiracy to obstruct justice, willful retention of documents, and making false statements.


What's Next

Trump will enter a plea and he may receive a pretrial release. It's also possible that potential restrictions are brought up about Trump’s conduct as the case moves forward.


Background on Trump's Indictment

The U.S. Department of Justice has been investigating Donald Trump’s willful removal of government documents, including documents with national defense information, from the White House.


In June 2022, federal agents discovered classified documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. After finding those documents, federal agents searched the property again in August of 2022, and found an additional 11,000 documents. The content of the documents remains unknown. Over 300 classified documents in total, some of which were labeled top secret, have been recovered from the property.


A recently obtained recording from 2021 reveals Donald Trump stating he kept sensitive military documents. In this recording Trump states that he understood he both retained the documents and that those documents were still classified. His attorneys have not been able to locate or confirm the current whereabouts of the specific documents he discusses in this recording.


After gathering evidence, the Special Counsel convened a federal grand jury to investigate the matter and determine whether charges should be brought. The investigation focuses on what documents were kept, what security classifications are associated with those documents, how they were stored, who could access them, and why Trump’s lawyers attested that all documents had been returned when they hadn’t.


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