Trump indicted in classified documents case in a historic first for a former president
Donald Trump has been indicted on charges of mishandling classified documents at his Florida estate, a remarkable development that makes him the first former president in U.S. history to face criminal charges by the federal government that he once oversaw.
The Justice Department was expected to make public a seven-count indictment ahead of a historic court appearance next week in the midst of a 2024 presidential campaign punctuated by criminal prosecutions in multiple states.
The indictment carries unmistakably grave legal consequences, including the possibility of prison if Trump's convicted.
But it also has enormous political implications, potentially upending a Republican presidential primary that Trump had been dominating and testing anew the willingness of GOP voters and party leaders to stick with a now twice-indicted candidate who could face still more charges. And it sets the stage for a sensational trial centered on claims that a man once entrusted to safeguard the nation's most closely guarded secrets willfully, and illegally, hoarded sensitive national security information.
The Justice Department did not immediately confirm the indictment publicly. But two people familiar with the situation who were not authorized to discuss it publicly said that the indictment included seven criminal counts. One of those people said Trump's lawyers were contacted by prosecutors shortly before he announced Thursday on his Truth Social platform that he had been indicted.
Within minutes of his announcement, Trump, who said he was due in court Tuesday afternoon in Miami, began fundraising off it for his presidential campaign. He declared his innocence in a video and repeated his familiar refrain that the investigation is a "witch hunt."<...