National Security
Donald Trump

Donald Trump

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UPDATE: Friday, Jun 9, 2023 · 8:54:30 AM BST

ABC now has what seems to be a full list of reported charges against former president Donald Trump and their potential penalties.

  • Willful retention of national defense information (maximum penalty if convicted: 10 years)
  • Conspiracy to obstruct justice (maximum penalty: 20 years)
  • Withholding a document or record (maximum penalty: 20 years)
  • Corruptly concealing a document or record (maximum penalty: 20 years)
  • Concealing a document in a federal investigation (maximum penalty: 20 years)
  • Scheme to conceal (maximum penalty: Five years)
  • False statements and representations (maximum penalty: Five years)

UPDATE: Friday, Jun 9, 2023 · 8:26:27 AM BST ·

NBC News confirms:

Donald Trump has been charged under 18 US Code 793, “Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information”, otherwise known as the “Espionage Act.” This is one of 7 charges.

UPDATE: Friday, Jun 9, 2023 · 8:11:50 AM BST ·

Trump attorney Jim Trusty in interview with CNN discusses the charges against Trump.

  • An Espionage Act charge
  • Several obstruction-based charges
  • False statement charges
  • Is there a conspiracy charge in here? “I believe so, I don't have it in front of me right now.”

UPDATE: Friday, Jun 9, 2023 · 7:04:08 AM BST ·

Because The New York Times didn’t want you to go to bed happy:

"Bringing a case in Florida also would also raise the possibility that it could be randomly assigned—or transferred—to Judge Aileen Cannon."

UPDATE: Friday, Jun 9, 2023 · 6:34:52 AM BST ·

ABC News indicating more about the nature of the charges:

"We're learning from our sources that there appear to be at least seven counts here. This ranges from everything from the willful retention of national defense information to conspiracy to a scheme to conceal, to false statements and representations."

The last case featuring willful retention of national defense information appears to be the 2017 case of federal contractor Harold Thomas Martin III, who was sentenced to nine years in federal prison for taking home copies of defense information and keeping them in his house and car.

UPDATE: Friday, Jun 9, 2023 · 6:22:42 AM BST ·

From the Associated Press:

“Within 20 minutes of his announcement, Trump, who said he was due in court Tuesday afternoon in Miami, had begun fundraising off it for his 2024 presidential campaign.”


The federal grand jury empaneled by special counsel Jack Smith has handed down indictments to Donald Trump over his mishandling of classified documents which the FBI recovered from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. Trump is reporting the indictments on his failing Truth Social media platform, and the claim has been confirmed by multiple news sources. Reports indicate that Trump is facing seven charges, including illegal retention of classified documents, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice.

Trump repeatedly lied to both the National Archives and the FBI about the documents he was holding. He instructed his attorneys to say that all documents had been returned, when he knew this was untrue. He claimed that he had declassified the documents, when he knew this was untrue. He repeatedly obstructed the progress of the case including the long delaying tactic of insisting on a “special master” to evaluate the documents.

These indictments come from the newly seated grand jury in Miami, Florida, one of three grand juries that Smith has created to cover both the investigations into Trump’s document theft and his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. That investigation has also expanded into looking at how Trump has used both false claims around the election and claims about the investigations to scam his supporters out of millions.

Trump was the first to break the news of the indictment, once again making ludicrous claims about President Joe Biden and putting the whole thing off as a “hoax.”

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

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Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump

Following former President Donald Trump's indictment by a grand jury Thursday, legal experts say the 2024 hopeful should have kept his "mouth shut," The Daily Beast reports.

Trump was "charged with seven counts in the indictment" in the classified documents probe by Department of Justice special counsel Jack Smith.

Michigan criminal defense lawyer Jamie White told The Daily Beast, "I suspect his attorneys run into this ethical dilemma of their client doing the unthinkable and their advice not being taken, and then they become witnesses—most famously Mr. [Michael] Cohen, who arguably took instructions from Mr. Trump that was corroborated by the Mueller investigation, and he found himself in prison."

The Daily Beast reports:

Trump has been all over the place while discussing classified documents—sometimes denying he had any, and other times claiming he was legally allowed to possess some. He bizarrely claimed last year—wholly incorrectly—that the president can declassify material 'even by thinking about it,' later adding that a president is free to declassify anything they want.

Still, White suggests "America's political climate is so fractured, he doesn’t expect Trump's indictment to have the same ramifications it would to a president in the 20th century," worrying "the repercussions if Trump is able to skirt justice despite a 'stunning' amount of evidence against him."

He emphasized, "You're going to have to close down an entire prison to incarcerate this man," adding, "At the same time, nobody is above the law. As soon as we agree that somebody is above the law, the entire system breaks down."

However, former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani said Trump's "lawyers are going to argue that the documents were declassified, and that he did so before he left office and that he was authorized to do so, adding, "But I don't think that argument's going to hold water, because there's a very specific procedure that you're supposed to follow."

On the other hand, former Los Angeles County prosecutor Joshua Ritter told The Daily Beast "he believes Trump's statements likely aren't the "linchpin to the prosecution's case," but they aren't doing the former president any favors, either."

He added, "In any case where a defendant is very vocal and giving lots of statements about an ongoing investigation, it never seems to help them, and always seems to come back to haunt them."

Referring to Trump's choice to publicly defend himself, Daniel P. Meyer, a national security partner at Tully Rinckey PLLC's Washington, D.C., said, "The short answer is, no—it's not a good idea."

He continued, "In a criminal case, you want to keep your mouth shut, for a very simple reason: the government bears the burden of proving you're a criminal, insisting, "Donald Trump should have stayed quiet. And that's what he has not done."

Furthermore, The Daily Beast reports "Rahmani isn't sure Trump, a firebrand uncontainable by even the most well-respected lawyers in the country, is through with the incriminating statements just yet."

The former federal prosecutor said, "This guy will not follow Lawyering 101—just keep your mouth shut," adding, "Look, I know he's doing it for PR and political reasons, but he's really screwing himself when it comes to these criminal cases…I'm sure his lawyers are incredibly frustrated having to clean up his messes."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.