Donald Trump was hit with a whopping 37-count indictment from the special counsel’s office on Thursday.
Alleging that Trump willfully retained documents containing the nation’s sensitive secrets, including nuclear programs, after he left office, showed some of them on at least two occasions, and then tried to obstruct the investigation into their whereabouts.
Federal prosecutors unsealed the indictment Friday against the former president and his aide Walt Nauta in connection with his handling of government documents.
Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith defended his team’s work and emphasized the seriousness of the charges.
“Our laws that protect national defense information are critical to the safety and security of the United States, and they must be enforced,” he said.
Smith also stated that the defendants “must be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law,” adding that the special counsel’s office will seek “a speedy trial on this matter consistent with the public interest and the rights of the accused.”
Here is a summary of the counts, which are listed starting on page 28 of the document embedded below:
Willful retention of national defense information: This charge, covering counts 1-31, only applies to Trump and is for allegedly storing 31 such documents at Mar-a-Lago.
Conspiracy to obstruct justice: Trump and Nauta, along with others, are charged with conspiring to keep those documents from the grand jury.
Withholding a document or a record: Trump and Nauta are accused of misleading one of their attorneys by moving boxes of classified documents so the attorney could not find or introduce them to the grand jury.
Corruptly concealing a document or record: This pertains to the Trump and Nauta’s alleged attempts to hide the boxes of classified documents from the attorney.
Concealing a document in a federal investigation: They are accused of hiding Trump’s continued possession of those documents at Mar-a-Lago from the FBI and causing a false certificate to be submitted to the FBI.
Scheme to conceal: This is for the allegation that Trump and Nauta hid Trump’s continued possession of those materials from the FBI and the grand jury.
False statements and representations: This count concerns statements that Trump allegedly caused another one of his attorneys to make to the FBI and grand jury in early June regarding the results of the search at Mar-a-Lago.
False statements and representations: This final count accuses Nauta of giving false answers during a voluntary interview with the FBI in late May.
According to the indictment, each one of those charges carries a maximum fine of $250,000, with maximum prison sentences between five and 20 years.
Trump proclaimed his innocence of criminal charges in a video, statements, and on social media.
“The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been Indicted,” Trump said in a statement Thursday. “I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!”
Credit: USA Today, NPR, ABC News, Fox News