Special Counsel Unseals Federal Indictment Against Trump

Special Counsel Jack Smith announced a 38-count indictment on Friday, June 9, regarding former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents.

The unsealed indictment alleges that Trump kept “hundreds” of classified documents in his bathroom, shower, ballroom, storeroom, office, and bedroom. These documents included information regarding defense and weapons capabilities of both US and foreign countries, US nuclear programs, the potential vulnerabilities of the US and its allies’ military attack, and plans for possible retaliation in response to an attack, according to the 49-page document.

Trump was indicted on 37 felony counts, and his aide, Walt Nauta, was indicted on 38 counts. One part of the indictment includes messages from a “Trump family member” directing which boxes of documents they wanted Nauta to bring to Trump’s New Jersey property in an effort to hide them from investigators looking for them at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s resort and residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

In a press conference on Friday afternoon, Smith said that the indictment was voted on by a grand jury of citizens in Florida. He urged everyone to read it to understand “the gravity of the crimes charged.” Credit: US Dept of Justice via Storyful

Video transcript

- Today, an indictment was unsealed charging Donald J. Trump with felony violations of our national security laws, as well as participating in a conspiracy to obstruct justice. This indictment was voted by a grand jury of citizens in the Southern District of Florida. And I invite everyone to read it in full to understand the scope and the gravity of the crimes charged.

The men and women of the United States intelligence community and our armed forces dedicate their lives to protecting our nation and its people. Our laws that protect national defense information are critical to the safety and security of the United States, and they must be enforced. Violations of those laws put our country at risk.

Adherence to the rule of law is a bedrock principle of the Department of Justice. And 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.

Applying those laws, collecting facts, that's what determines the outcome of an investigation, nothing more and nothing less. The prosecutors in my office are among the most talented and experienced in the Department of Justice. They have investigated this case, hewing to the highest ethical standards, and they will continue to do so as this case proceeds.

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. We very much look forward to presenting our case to a jury of citizens in the Southern District of Florida.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the dedicated public servants of the Federal Bureau of Investigation with whom my office is conducting this investigation and who worked tirelessly every day, upholding the rule of law in our country. I'm deeply proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with them. Thank you very much.

- Why Florida, sir? Why did you decide to--