Following the unsealing of the Biden administration’s indictment against 2024 GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, Special Counsel Jack Smith, who headed the investigation, held a press conference announcing the charges.
"Today the indictment was unsealed, charging Donald J Trump with felony violations of our national security laws, as well as participating in a conspiracy to obstruct justice. This indictment was voted by a grand jury of citizens in the Southern District of Florida," Smith said.
Smith invited everyone to read it in full to understand the scope and the gravity of the crimes charged," adding that the laws that protect national defense information "are critical to the safety and security of the United States, and they must be enforced.
"Violations of those laws put our country at risk. Adherence to the rule of law is a bedrock principle of the Department of Justice, and our nation’s commitment to the rule of law sets an example for the world."
Smith added that "we have one set of laws in this country, and they apply to everyone."
"Applying those laws, collecting facts, that’s what determines the outcome of an investigation. Nothing more, nothing less."
The indictment was unsealed on Thursday afternoon, revealing that Trump has been charged with 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information, one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, one count of withholding a document or record, one count of corruptly concealing a document or record, one count of concealing a document in a federal investigation, one count of scheme to conceal, and one count of false statements and representations.
The indictment alleges that Trump has unauthorized possession of national defense documents, and "willfully retain[ed] the documents and fail[ed] to deliver them to the officer and employee of the United States entitled to receive them." Each of the 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information pertains to a different document of different dates and classification levels.
In regard to the count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, Trump and his former White House valet and personal aide Waltine Nauta were alleged to combine, conspire, confederate, and agree "with each other and with others known and unknown to the grand jury, to engage in mislead conduct toward another person and corruptly persuade another person to withhold a record."
"The purpose of the conspiracy was for Trump to keep classified documents he had taken with him from the White House and to hide and conceal them from a federal grand jury."
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