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What are the Charges Against Former President Trump?

June 9, 2023

NEW YORK – Former President Donald J. Trump and a former executive assistant, Walt Nauta, have been charged in the United States District Court Southern District of Florida for unlawfully possessing and disclosing classified documents. The charges are related to Trump’s alleged retention and transportation of hundreds of classified documents after leaving office and his unauthorized disclosure of those documents to third parties.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began investigating the unlawful retention of classified documents at The Mar-a-Lago Club, which was owned by Trump, on March 30, 2022. Trump was issued a grand jury subpoena requiring him to turn over all documents with classification markings, but allegedly obstructed justice by suggesting his attorney falsely represent to the FBI and grand jury that he did not have the documents called for by the subpoena.

Trump was not authorized to possess or retain those classified documents, and the unauthorized disclosure of these documents could put at risk the national security of the United States, foreign relations, the safety the United States military, and human sources and the continued viability of sensitive intelligence collection methods.

Between May 23 and June 2, approximately 64 boxes were removed from storage at Trump’s direction. Trump also allegedly directed Nauta to move boxes from the storage room to his residence after the May 11 subpoena was issued. After Trump Attorney 1 finished sealing the Redweld folder containing the classified documents that he had found inside Trump’s boxes, Nauta took Trump Attorney 1 to a dining room in The Mar-a-Lago Club to meet with Trump. During the conversation, Trump made a plucking motion.

Trump’s alleged unlawful retention and transportation of classified documents in such a manner, according to the charges, violated the national security interests of the nation that he was elected to serve, and the safety and security of the country that he bound himself to defend. The charges also suggested that Trump’s former executive assistant, Nauta, made false and misleading statements when interviewed by the FBI regarding the location and movement of boxes before the production to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

Trump attended a review of his boxes before the disclosure of classified documents was made, and prior to the review, he allegedly expressed reluctance to have his boxes searched. For his part in the incident, Trump faces charges of unauthorized possession of classified documents, unauthorized disclosure of classified documents, and obstruction of justice. Nauta was charged for making false statements to the FBI in connection with the investigation.

The Department of Justice warned that these charges represent a great threat to the national security of the country and the continued viability of sensitive intelligence collection methods. Trump and Nauta have yet to release a statement regarding the charges against them.


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