Trump indictment unsealed in documents case

June 9, 2023  -MIAMI (AP) — Follow along for live updates on former President Donald Trump, who has been indicted on charges of mishandling classified documents at his Florida estate. The indictment marks the first time in U.S. history that a former president faces criminal charges by the federal government he once oversaw. Trump faces the possibility of prison if convicted.

TRUMP KEPT CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS IN BATHROOM, SHOWER OF CLUB, INDICTMENT SAYS

The indictment alleges Trump kept classified documents in the bathroom and shower at his Florida estate, as well as various other locations that included a ballroom, storeroom, office and bedroom.

Prosecutors noted that “tens of thousands of members and guests” visited the “active social club” of Mar-a-Lago between the end of Trump’s presidency in January 2021 through the August 2022 search. They argued that “nonetheless” Trump stored documents “in a ballroom, a bathroom and shower, and office space, his bedroom, and a storage room.”

The indictment claims that, for a two-month period, some of Trump’s boxes were stored in one of Mar-a-Lago’s gilded ballroom. A picture included in the indictment shows boxes stacked in rows on the ballroom’s stage.

The indictment also shows photographs of boxes that spilled over in the storage room, including a document marked SECRET/REL TO USA, FVEY” which means information releasable only to members of the intelligence alliance of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. In the photo the classified document is redacted.

LAWYER SAID TRUMP SUGGESTED HE REMOVE DAMAGING DOCUMENTS

The indictment unsealed Friday also says that, unaware of any records being moved, Trump’s attorney on June 2, 2022, identified 38 documents with “classified” markings and placed them in a folder, which he sealed with clear duct tape handed to him by Trump valet Walt Nauta. The valet then took the attorney to see the former president.

“Did you find anything? Is it bad? … Is it good?” Trump asked his lawyer.

The attorney told federal authorities that he discussed the folder of classified material with Trump and how the material should be handled. The attorney told authorities that as they discussed the attorney taking the materials with him, Trump gestured in a way that suggested he wanted the attorney to identify “anything really bad” and “you know, pluck it out.” The lawyer clarified that Trump did not articulate such instructions beyond making that “plucking motion.”

The attorney told authorities that he did not take anything out of the folder and that he instead immediately contacted the FBI and another Trump attorney. On June 3, according to the indictment, the second Trump attorney acted as the official custodian of records on Trump’s behalf and turned the material to the FBI.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *