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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsPoliticsTrump Becomes First Former American President Indicted on Federal Charges

Trump Becomes First Former American President Indicted on Federal Charges

Trump indicted
Former US President Donald Trump Credit: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.0

Donald Trump has been indicted over his handling of classified documents after he left the White House and becomes the first former President to be charged on Federal charges.

Trump, 76, faces seven charges including unauthorized retention of classified files, US media reported.

The indictment stems from a months-long investigation into whether Trump broke the law by holding onto classified documents at his Palm Beach property, Mar-a-Lago, and obstructing the government’s efforts to recover them.

Last year 11,000 documents were seized, including around 100 marked as classified. Some of these were labeled top secret.

There were reports last week that prosecutors had obtained an audio recording of the former President in which he acknowledged keeping a classified document after leaving the White House in January 2021.

It is against US law for federal officials – including a president – to remove or keep classified documents at an unauthorized location.

Trump’s attorney Jim Trusty told CNN the former president had received details of the charges in a summons document.

He said they include conspiracy, false statements, obstruction of justice, and illegally retaining classified documents under the Espionage Act.

Trump defiant after being indicted

In a post on Truth Social on Thursday, Trump, who is campaigning to make a return to the White House in 2024, said he was innocent and had been summoned to appear at a federal court in Miami, Florida, on Tuesday afternoon, where he will be arrested and hear the charges against him.

“I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former president of the United States,” he wrote.

He added: “This is indeed a dark day for the United States of America. We are a country in serious and rapid decline, but together we will Make America Great Again!”

As Trump issued a fundraising email with the subject line “BREAKING: INDICTED”, several leading Republicans voiced their support for him.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, said it was “unconscionable for a president to indict the leading candidate opposing him”.

“House Republicans will hold this brazen weaponization of power accountable,” he wrote on Twitter.

Trump’s rival for the 2024 nomination, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said: “We have for years witnessed an uneven application of the law depending upon political affiliation.

“The DeSantis administration will bring accountability to the DOJ, excise political bias and end weaponization once and for all,” he added.

The indictment cannot stop Trump from running for President

Legal experts told the BBC that Trump will still be able to enter the White House race.

“He can be indicted any number of times and it won’t stop his ability to stand for office,” says David Super, a professor at Georgetown University Law Centre.

Super noted that Trump could continue to run for office even if convicted in the case of the documents.

As CNN notes, criminal probes of former presidents and current presidential candidates might be business as usual in tottering developing world states.

However this is no parallel to an ex-commander-in-chief facing federal charges in the US, much less one who has already incited violence in order to advance his political ends and is currently running to recapture the White House, CNN says.

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