Former President Donald Trump has been indicted by federal prosecutors in the United States, as revealed in a recently unsealed indictment. The sweeping document accuses Trump of hoarding and concealing classified documents containing sensitive national security information.
The indictment spans 49 pages and outlines a total of 37 federal charges against Trump. The majority of the charges, specifically 31 of them, are related to violations of the Espionage Act. This act criminalizes the unauthorized possession of national defense information, and each charge carries a maximum sentence of ten years..
In addition to the Espionage Act charges, six other counts are connected to Trump’s alleged scheme to hide the documents while federal authorities were launching an investigation.
Two charges also accuse the former president of making false statements to investigators. Alongside Trump, his aide Waltine “Walt” Nauta is also facing six felony charges for hiding documents and making false statements.
Special Counsel Jack Smith, appointed by the US Department of Justice to oversee the investigation in November, emphasized the importance of enforcing laws that protect National Defense Information. Smith declared during a brief news conference that violations of these laws pose a risk to the safety and security of the United States, affirming that the laws apply to everyone.
Trump, on the other hand, maintains his innocence and denies any wrongdoing. He has publicly criticized prosecutor Jack Smith, referring to him as a “deranged lunatic.” Trump claims that he cooperated fully with investigators, providing them with the materials they requested. On his Truth Social platform, the former president stated that he openly supplied security tapes from Mar-a-Lago and had nothing to hide.
However, the unsealed indictment from the Department of Justice presents a contrasting narrative. It alleges that Trump kept boxes containing classified information related to defense and weapons capabilities, US nuclear programs, vulnerabilities to military attack, and plans for possible retaliation. If released, the contents of these documents could have had severe consequences for national security, foreign relations, the US military’s safety, and intelligence collection methods.
Prosecutors revealed that these documents were stored haphazardly throughout Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, including in unsecured locations like a bathroom, ballroom, and a shower. One photo released by the prosecutors shows documents scattered on the floor of a storage room accessible through multiple outside entrances, including one that was often kept open from the Mar-a-Lago Club pool patio.
Additionally, some of the documents had classified markings indicating that they were intended solely for the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, consisting of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.