Crime & Justice

Special counsel unseals indictment of Trump in documents case

Miami, Jun 9 (EFE).- The special counsel investigating the discovery of classified documents at the Florida home of former United States President Donald Trump unsealed on Friday a 37-count indictment that accuses the real estate mogul and 2024 Republican presidential hopeful of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

“Our nation’s commitment to the rule of law sets an example for the world. We have one set of laws in this country, and they apply to everyone,” special counsel Jack Smith told a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington.

“It’s very important for me to note that the defendants in this case must be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. To that end, my office will seek a speedy trial in this matter, consistent with the public interest and the rights of the accused,” the prosecutor said.

Trump and his aide Walt Nauta will be arraigned next Tuesday at a US federal court in Miami.

Nauta, a US Navy veteran, was Trump’s valet in the White House and left the government to work for the former president.

“As he departed the White House, Trump caused scores of boxes, many of which contained classified documents, to be transported to The Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, where he maintained his residence,” the indictment reads. “Trump was not authorized to possess or retain those classified documents.”

If convicted on the most serious charges, Trump – who turns 77 next week – and Nauta could each face up to 20 years in prison.

Smith, who is also overseeing a probe of Trump’s attempts to overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, convened grand juries in both Washington and Miami to review evidence and testimony.

Presiding over the case in Miami will be US District Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by Trump.

In his first public reaction to the unsealing of the indictment, the former president called Smith “deranged” and a “Trump Hater.”

Regarding the charges against Nauta, Trump said, “They are trying to destroy his life, like the lives of so many others, hoping that he will say bad things about ‘Trump.’ He is strong, brave, and a Great Patriot. The FBI and DOJ are CORRUPT!”

Trump learned of the indictment on Thursday and quickly denounced Smith’s investigation as “another witch hunt.”

In a video posted Thursday night, the former president accused Smith of acting at the behest of President Biden and called the indictment “election interference.”

“I’m an innocent person,” Trump said. “I did nothing wrong. And we will fight this out just like we’ve been fighting for seven years.”

Republican political analyst Alfonso Aguilar told EFE that he expected the federal indictment to benefit Trump’s campaign, pointing to the increase in contributions that followed the former president’s indictment in New York on state charges over a hush-money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Several of those vying with Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, also condemned the federal indictment. EFE ar/dr

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