Report: Trump Has Been Indicted Again, This Time by DOJ for Mishandling of Classified Documents

Trump also posted on Truth Social that the Department of Justice informed his attorneys that he has been indicted for the second time.
Donald Trump
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Donald Trump is being indicted again, this time by the Department of Justice over the investigation into his mishandling of classified documents, according The New York Times. The indictment was filed in the Federal District Court in Miami, per the Times. He is the first president in US history to be criminally charged on two separate occasions after leaving office. In April, he became the first US president to be indicted, period, on 34 class E felony charges stemming from hush money payments he made in the run-up to the 2016 election. The exact charges of the second indictment are not yet known, but the Times has reported there will be seven counts against Trump including conspiracy to obstruct, making false statements, and willful retention of documents.

“I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former President of the United States, who received far more votes than any sitting President in the History of our Country, and is currently leading, by far, all Candidates, both Democrat and Republican, in Polls of the 2024 Presidential Election,” Trump wrote on Truth Social Thursday. “I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!”

Trump said he was summoned to appear at the federal courthouse in Miami on Tuesday.

Jack Smith, the special counsel running the investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents, was appointed by Garland last November, approximately a year and a half after the government began its quest to get the ex-president to hand over what was not his to keep. In April, The Washington Post reported that Smith had uncovered “significant” evidence that Trump had obstructed justice, and a month later, The Guardian reported that Trump attorney Evan Corcoran had warned the ex-president against retaining any government documents after a grand jury subpoenaed him for documents—meaning he knew he was not supposed to hold on to any more classified materials, which he of course did. In June, a CNN report revealed that the Justice Department had obtained a recording of Trump bragging about having held onto classified documents concerning a potential attack on Iran. Days later, the ex-president’s legal team reportedly met with the DOJ to argue he should not be charged.

Other key dates and moments in the documents timeline include, per The New York Times:

  • May 6, 2021: The general counsel for the National Archives and Records Administration informs Trump’s lawyers that key documents were missing, and requests help in getting them back.
  • May 18, 2021: A lawyer for Trump says Trump is willing to return letters he exchanged with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. When the archives says they should be sent via FedEx, Team Trump objects and the material is not returned. Trump later displays the letters, waving them around to people in his office.
  • Late 2021: NARA officials warn representatives of the ex-president that they may refer the matter to the DOJ or alert Congress if Trump does not comply with the Presidential Records Act. Trump personally goes through the documents, and his lawyers subsequently tell the archives that there are a dozen boxes of documents at Mar-a-Lago for them to pick up.
  • January 18, 2022: The archives retrieves 15 boxes containing, among other things, sensitive material, which the DOJ later says “appear to contain national defense information.” After reviewing the contents of the boxes, investigators come to believe that Trump hasn’t turned everything over he was supposed to.
  • Around that time: Trump reportedly asks attorney Alex Cannon to tell NARA that all materials requested by the agency had been turned over, despite the fact that he was still in possession of thousands more government documents. According to The Washington Post, Cannon, who had “facilitated the January transfer” of the 15 boxes, did not feel comfortable making such a claim. He reportedly told people he didn’t know if all the requested material had been returned, and “other Trump advisers also encouraged Cannon not to make such a definitive statement.”
  • February 9, 2022: NARA refers the matter to the DOJ.
  • Spring 2022: A grand jury is impaneled to investigate the missing documents, and the FBI starts interviewing a number of Trump’s personal aides, in addition to a trio of former White House lawyers. Trump insists to his advisers that he has turned everything over.
  • April 29, 2022: The DOJ tells Trump’s lawyers that more than 700 pages of documents in the 15 boxes the archives retrieved contain classified markings, and that the executive branch must determine “the potential damage resulting from the apparent matter in which these materials were stored and transported and take any necessary remedial steps.”
  • May 11, 2022: Trump is sent a federal grand jury subpoena demanding the return of all documents marked classified. A week later, performing its own review of the 15 boxes retrieved earlier that year, the FBI finds that some of the documents taken to Mar-a-Lago dealt with foreign intelligence surveillance.
  • June 3, 2022: Christina Bobb, reportedly at the behest of fellow Trump attorney Even Corcoran, signs a written statement claiming that, to the best of her knowledge, all remaining classified documents had been turned over.
  • June 2022: The FBI interviews aides to the former president.
  • June 22, 2022: A subpoena for Mar-a-Lago security footage is sent to the Trump Organization; the footage shows people moving boxes from the Mar-a-Lago basement were the documents were stored, around one of the times the DOJ had reached out with its concerns.
  • August 5, 2022: A federal judge grants approval for a warrant to search Mar-a-Lago; on the application, the DOJ had written: “there is probable cause to believe that additional documents that contain classified NDI [national defense information] or that are presidential records subject to record retention requirements currently remain at the premises.”
  • August 8, 2022: The FBI raids Mar-a-Lago, and finds more than 100 additional classified documents, including ones reportedly concerning a foreign government’s nuclear secrets.
  • August 10, 2022: Trump baselessly suggests that the FBI planted evidence at Mar-a-Lago, a claim he is later asked to provide actual proof of and does not.
  • September 21, 2022: Trump says he declassified the documents at Mar-a-Lago in his mind:

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  • Later that year: Additional classified documents are found in a Florida storage unit used by Trump.

This is, of course, far from the only legal matter Trump is currently facing. Smith is also running an investigation into his attempt to overturn the 2020 election, while Fani Willis, the Fulton County district attorney who’s spent more than two years probing the ex-president’s attempt to overturn the election in Georgia, is expected to announce any possible indictments in August. And on March 25, 2024, the former president is set to go to trial over the hush money payments he made before the 2016 election.