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Trump Indicted in Mar-a-Lago Probe

Washington Post – Here are the charges against Trump and what they mean

LawFare: “A grand jury in South Florida has reportedly indicted former President Donald Trump in connection with the Mar-a-Lago documents investigation. The indictment is under seal, but it apparently includes seven counts involving improper retention of classified material and conspiracy to obstruct the special counsel investigation. The indictment is no surprise. Only yesterday evening, multiple press organizations reported that Trump had received a target letter from the Office of Special Counsel, and on Monday, Trump’s attorneys met with the special counsel to try to talk him out of bringing the case. These were sure signs that an indictment was imminent. In terms of substance, all we know about the indictment is that it is believed to consist of seven charges, all relating to the classified documents investigation arising out of Mar-a-Lago, not the Jan. 6 investigation or any other matters within the Special Counsel’s purview. They’re reported to include “willful retention of national defense information, corruptly concealing doc[ument]s, conspiracy to obstruct justice, [and] false statements.” Nor is it hard to imagine how the Justice Department could arrive at seven counts, given the recent reporting on the investigation and the underlying conduct. The original search warrant filed by the FBI identified three criminal provisions that had potentially been violated, all of which still seem to be in play: 18 U.S.C. § 793, a part of the Espionage Act that covers the unlawful retention of “national defense information”; 18 U.S.C. § 1519, which makes it a crime to “knowingly…conceal[]” any record with the intent to obstruct or impede a federal investigation; and 18 U.S.C. § 2071, which covers the willful and unlawful concealment of federal records. One or more counts of conspiracy (18 U.S.C. § 371) relating to these offenses and for making false statements to federal law enforcement (18 U.S.C. § 1001) would bring the count to seven handily…”

  • See also Washington Post – Trump criminal indictment unsealed in federal documents case
  • See also The New York Times – Justice Department Charges Trump in Documents Case. The indictment, handed up by a grand jury in Miami, is the first time a former U.S. president has faced federal charges.
  • See also the Washington Post – Trump charged in secret documents case. The former president is the first ever to face federal criminal charges. The charges include willful retention of national defense secrets, obstruction of justice, false statements and conspiracy, which carry the potential of years in prison if he is found guilty. Trump will appear in federal court in Miami for an arraignment on Tuesday.
  • See also The New York Times Opinion, Norman Eisen, Andrew Weissmann and Joyce Vance: “Mr. Trump took about 13,000 government documents, among them over 300 documents with classified markings, with some of our nation’s most sensitive secrets, reportedly containing secrets about Iran’s missile program, foreign nuclear issues, China and the leadership of France. By doing so, Mr. Trump put our national security at risk. When we consider these documents, we see not only paper but also the U.S. and allied human assets who gather our secrets and do so to keep America and the world safe. By putting this sensitive information in highly insecure circumstances, Mr. Trump put our nation, our allies and all of us as individuals in jeopardy. The indictment reportedly includes seven charges, related to willfully retaining national defense secrets in violation of the Espionage Act, making false statements and conspiracy to obstruct justice…”

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