Trump accused of endangering US national security

Donald Trump endangered the “national security” of the United States by taking confidential documents, some of them containing nuclear secrets, after leaving the White House, according to court documents released Friday.

The former Republican president, who is running for a second term next year, faces 37 charges, including “unlawful withholding of national security information” and “obstruction of justice,” according to the indictment.

He is also accused of false testimony and collusion with his personal assistant Walt Nauta -also prosecuted- to hide documents requested by the FBI.

Trump announced Thursday that he had been charged by federal justice for the way in which he managed the White House files, something unprecedented for a former president. He is subpoenaed to appear in court in Miami on Tuesday.

“I am innocent,” he cried and said he was the victim of a maneuver by his Democratic opponents.

Democratic President Joe Biden, also in the race for the 2024 elections, assured this Friday that he did not discuss the matter with the attorney general, Merrick Garland.

“I have not spoken to him nor will I speak,” he told a journalist who asked him about it.

Presidents are required by US law to send all their emails, letters and other working documents to the National Archives after their terms are over. It also prohibits storing state secrets in unauthorized and insecure places.

“We have a set of laws in this country and they apply to everyone,” said special counsel Jack Smith, after it became public that Trump is accused of appropriating top secret documents.

When he left the House in January 2021, Trump moved into his Mar-a-Lago, Florida residence, taking with him dozens of boxes full of secret files from the Pentagon, the CIA, the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies. .

A year later, and after several court orders, he agreed to return 15 boxes containing almost 200 documents.

But the FBI considered that he had not handed over everything and that he continued to keep documents at his Palm Beach club. FBI agents carried out a search there on August 8 and seized another thirty boxes with 11,000 documents.

According to the accusation, they found classified documents “in a ballroom”, but also “in a bathroom, in the shower”, in “an office” and in “a bedroom”.

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The material found included “information on the defense capabilities of the United States and other countries,” “on US nuclear programs,” and “on potential vulnerabilities in the event of an attack on the United States and its allies.”

Its potential disclosure “would have endangered the national security of the United States and its international relations,” said Smith, appointed in November to independently oversee the investigation.

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At the same time, another special prosecutor is investigating the case of classified documents found at the beginning of the year in Biden’s old office and home.

These findings, along with others from former Vice President Mike Pence, allowed Trump to downplay the seriousness of the allegation.

Unlike Trump, Biden cooperated with justice by voluntarily handing over all the documents, which were far fewer than those of his predecessor.

For now, Republicans are closing ranks around Trump, including his rivals for the party’s presidential nomination whom he vastly leads.

Prosecutors will try to hurry so that the trial is held before the presidential elections.

Even if he were sentenced to prison before the elections, he could still be a candidate. Politically this is unlikely to discourage his supporters, who defend him and see him as the victim of a political ruse.

The election result would be crucial since a victory would protect him from jail.

The former president’s problems are not limited to this case.

A Georgia prosecutor is scheduled to release in September the result of an investigation into alleged pressure from Trump to challenge the result of the 2020 presidential election in this state.

In April, the New York state court accused Trump of accounting fraud, in connection with a payment made in 2016 to a porn actress to keep quiet about an alleged affair.

In addition, prosecutor Smith, a seasoned lawyer on corruption issues and the persecution of war criminals in Kosovo, continues to investigate whether Trump played a role in the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

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