Trump’s indictment charges
Former President Donald Trump has been indicted on charges of mishandling classified documents at his Florida estate, igniting a federal prosecution that is arguably the most perilous of multiple legal threats as he seeks to reclaim the White House.
The U.S. Justice Department did not immediately publicly confirm the indictment. Trump is due in court Tuesday afternoon in Miami. Former U.S. Attorney Roy Herrera gave an overview of the case. Trump is the first former president in history to face criminal federal charges.
“We’ve never seen anything like this. We’ve never had a former president indicted federally,” Herrera said.
Trump faces 37 counts against him with a bulk of the charges due to violations of the Espionage Act accusing him of unlawfully and willfully retaining National Defense information, Herrera said. Other charges include obstruction of a federal investigation and lying about it.
Herrera said one of the issues that stood out to him in the indictment was Trump’s knowledge of how classified the documents were that he had within his possession. Herrera said a focus that Trump’s defense team could use is that he was unaware of how classified the information was, but when reading through the indictment, it is likely Trump knew the importance of the documents.
According to the indictment, there are recordings of Trump showing the classified documents to various individuals who did not have clearance or authority to view them. The documents were purportedly strewn through his Mar-a-Lago residence.
Trump has faced legal battles before, but Herrera said the charges against Trump are the most serious yet.
“This is much, much more difficult. This is the greatest legal peril I think President Trump has been in,” Herrera said.
If found guilty, Trump could face decades in prison, Herrera said.