The federal indictment of Donald Trump in a classified documents probe has been unsealed, a day after the former president was charged in the case.
Trump — currently the front-runner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination — faces 37 criminal counts including charges of unauthorized retention of classified documents and obstructing justice.
Earlier Friday, Trump shook up his legal team in the wake of the indictment.
In a video on Truth Social Thursday night, Trump called the new probe a “hoax” and said he’s an “innocent man.” And in a fundraising pitch, Trump showed no signs of slowing his campaign, saying: “I only grow that much more confident that we WILL win back the White House and SAVE our country in 2024!” There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution to prevent Trump from running for president.
Trump’s valet, Walt Nauta, was also charged in the indictment. Nauta went to work at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida after leaving the White House.
The 49-page document accuses the former president of ignoring Justice Department demands to return documents he had taken from the White House to Mar-a-Lago and even directing aides to help him hide the records sought by the government. Nauta was seen on surveillance camera removing boxes at Mar-a-Lago.
Jack Smith, the special counsel leading the investigation, said in a rare public appearance on Friday that he was seeking a “speedy trial.”
“It is very important for me to note that the defendants in this case must be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law,” Smith said. He also invited the public to read the full indictment “to understand the scope and the gravity of the crimes charged.”
Trump has already been indicted in a separate case in New York and faces other investigations in Georgia and in Washington that could lead to criminal charges.
Trump’s rivals for the Republican nomination include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Analysts are predicting that the indictment could help Trump in the GOP primary, but not in the November 2024 election vs. President Joe Biden. Biden, asked about the indictment on Friday, said he had no comment.
“We continue to think that indictments are a neutral to positive factor for Trump in a primary setting, while being a serious vulnerability when the general election rolls around,” Tobin Marcus, an Evercore ISI analyst, wrote in a note on Friday.
Meanwhile, shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp.
the special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) looking to take Trump’s Truth Social platform public, were down fractionally after climbing in morning trading Friday.
Victor Reklaitis and the Associated Press contributed.
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