UPDATED: 3:15 p.m. ET
The latest criminal indictment against former President Donald Trump is filled with more allegations than previously believed that are far more severe in scope than previously suggested.
According to the 49-page federal indictment, Trump is being charged with more than three dozen counts of various felony-level offenses that have serious penal implications if he is convicted.
NBC News reported on the fine print details in the sweeping indictment:
The documents originated with all of the top national security and law enforcement agencies of the U.S. government, including the CIA, the Department of Defense, the NSA, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, the Department of Energy and the Department of State and Bureau of Intelligence Research, according to the indictment.
It also says, “On two occasions in 2021, Trump showed classified documents to others.”
In one instance, Trump showed a writer, a publisher and two members of his staff who lacked security clearance a copy of a “plan of attack” that, according to a recording of Trump, he described as “highly confidential,” the indictment states.
It quotes him as saying “as president I could have declassified it,” and “now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret.”
In the second instance, Trump showed two members of his political action committee, neither of whom had a security clearance, a “classified map related to a military operation,” the indictment alleges.
Both of those incidents occurred at Trump’s New Jersey golf club, which means the documents would have been transported there from Florida.
The indictment alleges in part that Trump’s actions put at risk the country’s national security since some of the classified documents at the center of the charges contained information about nuclear programs and potential domestic vulnerabilities.
Trump’s aide Walt Nauta has been charged in the indictment, as well.
The case is expected to be tried in the southern district of Florida.
This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.
If history is any indication, former President Donald Trump has a fairly good chance of being locked up if he is found guilty of the felony charges stemming from his latest criminal indictment.
It’s been confirmed that a grand jury indicted Trump on at least seven charges alleging he mishandled classified documents following his departure from the White House. But that’s putting it mildly, especially since it’s the first time in history a former president has ever been federally indicted.
Trump indicted again
The indictment reportedly accuses Trump, the current front-running Republican presidential candidate, of seven crimes. While all of the charges were not immediately clear, some of them include “willfully retaining national defense secrets in violation of the Espionage Act, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and making false statements,” according to the New York Times, citing confidential sources.
The indictment was handed down Thursday night in Florida, and Trump said he was expected to surrender in Miami on Tuesday to formally face the charges.
The indictment came more months after Trump, apparently in violation of the Presidential Records Act, initially refused repeated requests to turn over classified documents he took with him from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, where the FBI was compelled to raid in order to finally recover the government property.
A special counsel was subsequently appointed by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, culminating in Thursday night’s indictment.
There is a legal precedent for mishandling classified documents
Two notable cases, in particular, show how past prosecutions for similar cases resulted in defendants being sentenced to prison time.
Just last week, an Air Force intelligence officer was sentenced to prison for willfully retaining top-secret national defense information. In that case, which was also in Florida, Robert L. Birchum was sentenced to three years in federal prison and ordered to pay a $25,000 fine for crimes that nearly mirror Trump’s allegations.
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Birchum “knowingly removed more than 300 classified files or documents, including more than 30 items marked Top Secret, from authorized locations” and kept them “in his home, his overseas officer’s quarters, and a storage pod in his driveway.”
In Trump’s case, the FBI recovered 15 boxes of classified information from his residence at the Mar-a-Lago resort he calls home. Fourteen of those boxes contained classified documents, including his infamous written correspondence — described as “love” letters that Trump stole — with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. It’s not clear what other classified information was contained in the boxes.
Separately, last year, a former Department of Defense employee was also sent to prison for removing and keeping classified information from a U.S. embassy in the Philippines. After being fired for her offenses, federal investigators raided Asia Janay Lavarello’s home in Hawaii and found “handwritten notes” that “contained facts and information classified at the CONFIDENTIAL and SECRET levels,” the DOJ said in a press release.
More from the DOJ:
Investigators determined that Lavarello did not send the classified notebook via secure diplomatic pouch from the U.S. Embassy Manila to Hawaii, as required. Instead, she personally transported the documents to Hawaii, unsecured, and kept the classified notebook at an unsecure location until at least April 13, 2020. Subsequently, Lavarello made false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in response to questioning about her handling of the classified material.
Lavarello was sentenced to just three months, but the message from the U.S. government is clear and consistent: If someone, anyone, knowingly and illegally removes and stores classified documents, they will be held accountable and likely get locked up for their crimes.
There are certainly others who have been locked up for mishandling classified documents. Could Trump end up being added to that unfortunate list?
Not Trump’s first indictment rodeo
It was barely two months ago when a New York City grand jury indicted Trump on more than two dozen felony counts centered on alleged hush money he’s accused of paying to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to prevent her from speaking publicly about their relationship during his 2016 presidential campaign.
In that case, Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felonies.
And it is widely anticipated that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis will prosecute Trump for his repeated attempts to overturn and invalidate the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia. A grand jury in March recommended criminal charges against Trump over possible perjury. The grand jury found that at least one witness lied under oath. However, it was neither immediately apparent who was accused of committing perjury nor what the lie was.
Before that revelation, Willis suggested that a decision on whether to seek indictments was “imminent.”
Aside from indictments, last year in New York, the state’s attorney general, Letitia James, sued Trump, his children and his company for $250 million in a suit alleging “intentional and deliberate fraud” as “part of his efforts to generate profits for himself, his family and his company” for 10 years from 2011 to 2021.
James claims that as a result, Trump violated multiple state and federal laws. She said she would refer evidence of bank fraud to the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service, something that seemingly increases the likelihood of criminal charges.
Trump’s presidential campaign
Thursday’s indictment against Trump creates an unrivaled scenario in which the Republican presidential candidate will be prosecuted by a DOJ that is led by a person appointed by President Joe Biden, the very person Trump hopes to beat in the 2024 election.
Those unique circumstances have already prompted unfounded accusations from Trump loyalists and other conservatives that Biden initiated the criminal probes to discredit his political rival.
What those Trump supporters are not acknowledging in those accusations is not just how Trump admitted to taking and keeping classified documents but also how a secret, independent grand jury of U.S. citizens was empaneled without Biden and returned an indictment of their own volition.
Even Trump’s own attorney general, Bill Barr, said Trump was in the wrong with the classified documents.
Trump spent the greater part of his campaign in the 2016 election disparaging former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for using a private server for her government emails. He repeatedly claimed Clinton was violating the law over the emails and urged law enforcement officials to “lock her up.”
Nearly two dozen of those emails were characterized as “top secret.” However, after a lengthy review, the State Department concluded that Clinton’s emailed “documents were not marked classified at the time they were sent.”
Fast-forward seven years and now it’s Trump being accused of mishandling classified documents. Only in this case, it has been proven that Trump took and was in illegal possession of those classified materials that he tried to keep from being recovered, facts that have likely invited a wry smile from Clinton as the proverbial shoe has been firmly put on the other foot.
This is America.
LaTosha Brown Is A Black Joy Blazer Who Has Dedicated Her Life To The Cause
702 Member Irish Grinstead Dies At 43, Sister Says
Video Shows White People Violently Attack Rhode Island Cops As Police Don't Reach For Their Guns Once
5 Lessons You Must Learn From Shirley Strawberry’s Unfortunate Crisis
Suspected White Supremacist Mad He’s Getting Death Threats After Allegedly Vowing To 'Kill Me A N*gger'
Lawsuit Will ‘Absolutely’ Be Filed After Denny’s Waitress Refused Serving Black Truckers In Viral Video: Lawyers
Video Shows Racist University Of Alabama Football Fans Tell Black Texas Players To 'Go Back To The Projects'
'Karen' Arrested After Holding Black Woman Delivering Newspapers At Gunpoint In South Carolina