Home Illinois What you need to know about Trump’s latest impeachment and what’s next

What you need to know about Trump’s latest impeachment and what’s next


Indictment of Donald Trump on charges of mishandling classified documents at his Florida estate has once again drawn attention to one of the most high-profile cases in Justice Department history.

The federal charges represent Trump’s biggest legal threat yet, coming less than three months after he Indicted in New York on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

Here’s a look at the allegations, the special counsel’s investigation and how Trump’s case differs from that of other politicians known to possess classified documents:


Trump is charged with seven counts of mishandling classified documents, according to two people familiar with the indictment but not authorized to speak publicly.

Trump’s attorney, James Trusty, told CNN on Thursday that the indictment includes charges of willful withholding of national defense information, obstruction of justice, false statements and conspiracy.

Trump called it a “DARK DAY for the United States of America” ​​on his Truth Social app. In the video, he said: “I am innocent and we will prove it very, very reasonably and hopefully very quickly.” Within 20 minutes of the news, his 2024 presidential campaign sent out a fundraising email telling followers he had been indicted and asking for financial support.


The Justice Department did not immediately publicly confirm the indictment, and no charges have been publicly filed.

Trump said he was subpoenaed Tuesday afternoon in Miami. It was not immediately clear whether Trump plans to appear or what the procedure will look like.

When the Manhattan district attorney indicted him in the New York case, Trump surrendered to authorities, where he was held behind closed doors and appeared in the courtroom, sitting with his lawyers at the defense table.


Officials from the National Archives and Records Administration reached out to Trump officials in the spring of 2021 when they realized their collection was missing important materials from his time in office.

Under the Presidential Records Act, White House documents are considered the property of the US government and must be preserved.

A Trump spokesman told the National Archives in December 2021 that the president’s documents had been found at Mar-a-Lago. In January 2022. National Archives got 15 boxes documents from Trump’s Florida home, later telling Justice Department officials that they contained “a lot” of classified material.

In May of that year, the FBI and the Department of Justice issued a subpoena regarding the remaining classified documents in Trump’s possession. Investigators who visited the property several weeks later to collect the records received about three dozen documents and an affidavit from Trump’s lawyers confirming that the requested information had been returned.

But this statement turned out to be wrong. With a search warrant, federal officials returned to Mar-a-Lago in August 2022 and seized more than 33 boxes and containers a total of 11,000 documents from the vault and cabinet, including 100 classified documents.

In all, since he left office in January 2021, about 300 classified documents have been seized from Trump — including some at the top-secret level.


Last year, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland selected Jack Smith, a veteran war crimes prosecutor with experience in public corruption investigations, to lead an investigation into the classified documents at Trump’s Florida estate, as well as key aspects of a separate investigation into the January 6, 2021 uprising and attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

Smith’s appointment was Garland’s acknowledgment of the politics involved in the investigation of the former president and current White House candidate. Garland himself was elected by Democratic President Joe Biden, whom Trump is seeking to challenge for the White House in 2024.

Special counsels are appointed in cases where the Justice Department feels conflicted or where it is believed to be in the public interest for someone outside of government to come in and take charge of the case.

According to the Code of Federal Regulations, a special prosecutor must have “a reputation as a conscientious and impartial decision-maker” and “an informed understanding of criminal law and Department of Justice policy.”


Yes, but the circumstances of their cases are very different from Trump’s situation.

After classified documents were found at Biden’s think tank and Pence’s home in Indiana, their lawyers notified authorities and quickly arranged for their handover. They also authorized other searches by federal authorities to find additional documents.

There is no indication that he knew of the tapes’ existence before they were discovered, and no evidence has yet emerged that Biden or Pence sought to cover up the revelations. This is important because the Justice Department has historically looked for willfulness when deciding whether to prosecute.

Special adviser was appointed earlier this year to find out how secret materials ended up at Biden’s Delaware House and former office. But even if the Justice Department finds Biden’s case to be criminally prosecuted based on the evidence, his general counsel’s office has concluded that the president is not subject to prosecution while in office.

As for Pence, the Justice Department told his legal team earlier this month that it would not pursue criminal charges against him over the handling of the documents.


No. Neither the indictment nor the conviction will prevent Trump from running for or winning the presidency in 2024.

And as the New York case showed, criminal charges have historically helped his fundraising. The company said it raised more than $4 million in the 24 hours after the indictment was made public, far surpassing its previous record after the FBI raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club.


Many of Trump’s contenders for the GOP nomination jumped to his defense Thursday night after news of the indictment broke.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump’s main rival for the 2024 nomination, accused the Justice Department of political bias in charging the former president.

“Armed federal law enforcement is a deadly threat to a free society,” DeSantis tweeted. “For years, we’ve seen uneven application of the law based on political affiliation.”

He questioned why the Justice Department was “so diligent” in bringing charges against Trump and “so passive” about former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton or Biden’s son Hunter.

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina said he felt the justice system was “weighed” based on politics. “In America, every single person is presumed innocent, not guilty,” Scott said on Fox News, condemning the “arming of the Justice Department against the former president.”

Biotech entrepreneur and “anti-awakening” activist Vivek Ramaswamy said the federal case was part of “an insult to every citizen.” Reiterating his comments that he pardoned Trump, Ramaswamy called it “hypocritical to selectively prosecute Trump, but not” Biden by the Justice Department in his own classified documents case.

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who called on Trump to drop out of the race after being indicted in New York, said the federal indictment marked a “sad day for our country” and “reaffirms the need for Donald Trump to respect the office and finish his campaign “.

Earlier Thursday, former Vice President Mike Pence said that if Trump were to be indicted, he hoped the Justice Department would have strong evidence — a change in tone from the night before, when he said he hoped Trump would not charged even though the evidence is clear that he committed the crime.


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