Trump charged over classified documents, faces 10-year jail term

Former United States President Donald Trump, aged 76, is facing charges over his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House. The charges, which are not yet public, include unauthorized retention of classified files. This marks the second indictment against Trump, with a potential maximum sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted. Despite this, legal experts believe that the indictment will not hinder Trump’s ability to run for the presidency in 2024.

In a post on Truth Social, Trump claimed his innocence, stating that he had been summoned to appear at a federal court in Miami, Florida. He expressed disbelief that such a thing could happen to a former president and called it “a dark day for the United States of America.” Trump’s attorney, Jim Trusty, revealed that the charges include conspiracy, false statements, obstruction of justice, and illegally retaining classified documents under the Espionage Act. The Department of Justice has declined to comment, and the indictment has not been publicly released.

Special prosecutor Jack Smith has been examining evidence in the documents case since his appointment by Attorney General Merrick Garland in November. Last year, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida was searched, resulting in the seizure of 11,000 documents, with around 100 marked as classified. Reports suggest that prosecutors have obtained an audio recording of Trump acknowledging that he kept a classified document after leaving the White House in January 2021. It is illegal for federal officials, including presidents, to remove or keep classified documents at unauthorized locations.

David Super, a professor at Georgetown University Law Centre, stated that Trump can still run for office even if convicted in the documents case. Currently, Trump is the frontrunner among Republican candidates for the presidency, according to opinion polls.

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As the news broke, several leading Republicans voiced their support for Trump. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, called it “unconscionable for a president to indict the leading candidate opposing him.” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis criticized the uneven application of the law based on political affiliation. However, another candidate, Asa Hutchinson, argued that Trump’s alleged actions “should not define our nation or the Republican Party.”

A separate investigation into Trump’s role in the storming of the US Capitol is also being overseen by Jack Smith, a former war crimes attorney known for his tenacity. In April, Trump became the first former president to be charged with a crime after pleading not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records related to a hush-money payment to an adult film actress. He faces a trial in that case in New York next year.

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Lilly Larkin

Lilly is a writer with a diverse international background, having lived in various countries including Thailand. Her unique experiences provide valuable insights and culturally sensitive perspectives in her news reporting. When not writing, Lilly enjoys exploring local art scenes, volunteering for community projects, and connecting with people from different cultures.

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