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Trump indicted by Justice Department, faces charges in classified documents case

The charges signify a watershed moment in American history, marking the first time the United States government has prosecuted one of its former leaders

Former President Donald Trump speaking at a rally at a Wisconsin airport, Sept. 17th, 2020
Former President Donald Trump speaking at a rally at a Wisconsin airport, Sept. 17th, 2020 | Shutterstock

June 8, 2023 10:41pm

Updated: June 8, 2023 11:38pm

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday said he was indicted him by the U.S. that the Dept. of Justice, and that he must appear at the U.S. District Courthouse for the Southern District of Florida in Miami on Tuesday.

"The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been Indicted, seemingly over the Boxes Hoax, even though Joe Biden has 1850 Boxes at the University of Delaware, additional Boxes in Chinatown, D.C., with even more Boxes at the University of Pennsylvania, and documents strewn all over his garage floor where he parks his Corvette, and which is 'secured' by only a garage door that is paper thin, and open much of the time," Trump posted on his platform, Truth Social.

ABC News reported that Trump was indicted on seven counts, but so far the U.S. Justice Dept. has not confirmed those reports as of press time. Just the News reported the case will be heard by Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, who previously approved his request to appoint a special master to review the documents at issue, which the FBI seized at Mar-a-Lago in August, and are now the center of the Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation.

“We’re learning from our sources that there appears to be at least seven counts here. This ranges from everything from the willful retention of national defense information to conspiracy to a scheme to conceal to false statements and representations," ABC News' Katherine Faulders said during a special report on the network.

Attorney General Merrick Garland Smith to conduct the investigation in November. Prior to the August raid, Trump complied with a grand jury subpoena and surrendered documents to the FBI. He has called the investigation a hoax and witch hunt driven by politics.

“I have been summoned to appear at the Federal Courthouse in Miami on Tuesday, at 3 PM," he wrote. "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!"

Some of Trump’s supporters have expressed suspicion the Biden administration is driving the investigation as part of a grander plan to hurt his political chances to run for president in the upcoming 2024 election.

The former president has also argued that he believes he is being treated unfairly since Biden faces similar potential charges for his alleged mishandling of classified materials after a lawyer cleared out his former office in the Penn Biden Center in Washington, and discovered classified materials.

Other searches revealed classified documents at Biden's private residence, including some stored in his garage where he often parks his hunter green Stingray Corvette.

Biden potentially faces similar charges although he may not have some of the same defenses Trump does since Biden was not president when he purportedly came into possession with sensitive materials related to Britain, Iran and Ukraine.

If true, that would mean Biden was not shielded by any of the executive privileges or unilateral declassification powers that may have been available to Trump.

Trump has repeatedly argued that, as president he had the power to unilaterally declassify documents and he is therefore innocent of any criminal charges.  

ABC News recognized the case as one that could transform the future of American politics.

“Experts say that a current U.S. government criminally prosecuting its former leader and current leading opposition party candidate upends long-held norms and could test the nation's democratic system in a manner that stretches far beyond the merits of the case itself,” the network reported.