Trump says he’s been indicted in classified documents probe

Former President Donald Trump said Thursday that his legal team has been told he’s been indicted in an investigation into his handling of classified documents.

Trump posted on Truth Social that he has been summoned to appear in federal court in Miami on Tuesday afternoon.

“I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former President of the United States, who received far more votes than any sitting President in the History of our Country, and is currently leading, by far, all Candidates, both Democrat and Republican, in Polls of the 2024 Presidential Election. I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!” Trump wrote on the social media platform.

“This is indeed a DARK DAY for the United States of America. We are a Country in serious and rapid Decline, but together we will Make America Great Again!” he added.

Special counsel Jack Smith has been overseeing the investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents since he was appointed to the role in November.

Trump’s attorneys met earlier this week with Justice Department officials, including Smith. Experts widely viewed the meeting as a sign that Smith’s investigation was winding down.

The National Archives spent months seeking the return of presidential records after Trump left office, with Trump’s team eventually turning over a tranche that included nearly 200 classified records.

That ignited the Justice Department investigation that included a subpoena for records and eventually spurred the August 2022 search of the property, where the FBI found more than 100 more classified records. Trump’s team in June had turned over just 38 classified records when asked to hand over any remaining classified materials.

The warrant the FBI secured to search the property indicated that they expected to find evidence to support violations of the Espionage Act and obstruction of justice, as well as another statute that bars the retention of government records.

It’s not clear from Trump’s post what charges he has been indicted on.

Still, the indictment is a historic one, the first-ever federal criminal charges brought against a former president. Trump was indicted on state charges in New York in a separate matter earlier this year.

Trump has offered various defenses, including that he had the right to take the documents and that he could unilaterally declassify them without going through any formal process.

Multiple outlets reported last week that prosecutors obtained audio of Trump in 2021 discussing a classified Pentagon document he still had in his position, and that he indicated there were restrictions on who could view it — a comment that could undercut his defense.

The Espionage Act also only requires wrongfully retaining national defense information, meaning prosecution does not hang on a documents’ classification status.

Trump has compared his handling of classified documents to President Biden ever since Biden aides discovered late last year and earlier this year sensitive classified materials from Biden’s time as vice president at an old Washington, D.C., office and his Delaware home.

But Biden’s team notified Justice Department officials of the discovery and are cooperating with an ongoing special counsel review of Biden’s handling of classified materials.

The indictment is likely to loom over Trump’s 2024 campaign for the White House, but the former president and his team wasted little time on Thursday seeking to rally support.

Trump’s campaign sent out a fundraising email shortly after he announced he was charged looking to raise funds off of the news.

Updated: 7:52 p.m. ET

Comments are closed.