On March 30, 2022 the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opened a criminal investigation into the unlawful retention of classified documents at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida. On Thursday, June 8, that investigation resulted in the former U.S. President Donald J. Trump making history as the first former president to face a federal indictment.
Trump faces 37 counts in Florida related to mishandling classified documents. The charges range from obstructing justice, to mishandling of classified documents and include making false statements among other charges.
According to the indictment included among the classified and sensitive information secreted away by Trump was “nuclear weaponry in the United States” and the “nuclear capabilities of a foreign country,” in addition to other sensitive records from intelligence briefings at the White House along with details about the military capacity of other countries.
The indictment notes that over the course of his presidency, Trump gathered and collected “newspapers, presss clippings,, letters,notes, cards, photographs, official documents, and other materials in cardboard boxes that he kept at the White House.” It appears when Trump left the presidency on January 20, 2021 and made his way to Mar-a-lago, he apparently took many of these boxes with him.
The charges are a product of the investigative efforts of the special counsel’s lengthy investigation.
Not only did Trump allegedly keep the documents despite laws that govern against such hubris, it is reported he also shared the documents with individuals not classified to review them.
The penalty associated with the largest of these crimes total 20 years.
Less than three months ago the former president was charged with 34 felonies for falsifying business records in relation to hush money payments on the eve of the 2020 presidential election.