UPDATE 1000 GMT:
Boxes of Government documents in the bathroom of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and home:
And their initial location in the ballroom:
UPDATE, JUNE 10:
Mick Mulroy, a senior Pentagon official in the Trump Administration, says:
The classified documents described in the indictment are some of the most sensitive information we possess.
This type of information should never be removed from a secured facility and once discovered should have been immediately returned.
Mulroy believes an intelligence and security review will be conducted alongside the criminal proceedings to discover “any potential damage that may have been done to our national security”.
UPDATE 1954 GMT:
The 37-count felony indictment against Donald Trump over his theft of classified documents has been unsealed.
Thirty-one of the counts against Trump are for each of the 31 Top Secret documents that were found in his Mar-a-Lago resort and home in Florida. Each of the counts carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Six counts are connected with making false statements and obstructing the Government investigation. Some of the counts can lead to a prison sentence of up to 20 years; others up to five.
Trump’s valet, Waltine Nauta, is named as a co-conspirator in the obstruction of the investigation. He is the sole defendant on a 38th felony count.
The classified material taken away by Trump included memoranda on “defense and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign countries; United States nuclear programs; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack; and plans for possible retaliation in response to a foreign attack”.
The unauthorized disclosure of these classified documents could put at risk the national security of the United States, foreign relations, the safety of the United States military, and human sources, and the continued viability of sensitive intelligence collection methods.
The indictment cited two specific cases where Trump showed Top Secret documents to friends, staff, a writer, and reporters.
In July 2021, trying to undermine Joints Chief of Staff Chair Gen. Mark Milley, Trump shared a plan of attack against Iran. He boasted that the document was “highly confidential” and “secret”, admitting it had not been declassified.
In September 2021, he shared a military map with a staffer at his political action committee.
Dozens of boxes were stacked atop each other, initially in the Mar-a-Lago ballroom and then in other unsecured locations — including a bathroom — in the resort. Photos showed the boxes sagging and spilling documents — one of them with the highest-level security clearance for the Five Eyes (US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada) intelligence community — on the floor.
The indictment makes clear that the documents were not accidentally moved out of the White House. Instead, Trump ordered and oversaw their packing.
When Government officials arrived at Mar-a-Lago in spring 2022 to retrieve boxes, having threatened to go to the Justice Department if Trump did not comply, he only handed over about 1/3 of the boxes.
The rest had been moved on Trump’s orders to another location. However, he lied that all material had been produced.
In August 2022, having been tipped off that documents remained at Mar-a-Lago, the FBI executed a search warrant to seize the remaining boxes.
The prosecution’s case was buttressed by witnesses inside the Trump camp. They included at least one of his lawyers, after a judge ruled that crime-fraud exception to attorney-client privilege applied.
One attorney described how Trump urged them to conceal documents with a “plucking motion” that implied, “Why don’t you take them with you to your hotel room, and if there’s anything really bad in there, like, you know, pluck it out.”
Special Counsel Jack Smith emphasized the “scope and gravity” of the charges: “We have one set of laws in this country and they apply to everyone.”
He said the investigation is being conducted with utmost integrity and promised to seek a speedy trial.
👀 WATCH: Special Counsel Jack Smith’s complete statement is incredibly damming. pic.twitter.com/HGWHAUFuy6
— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) June 9, 2023
Trumpists in the House of Representatives verged on calls for conflict. Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona tweeted, “We have now reached a war phase. Eye for an eye.” Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana referred to military maps as summoned people to Trump’s arraignment in Miami on Tuesday: “Buckle up. 1/50K know your bridges. Rock steady calm. That is all.”
But lawyers James Trusty and John Rowley left Trump’s legal team.
ORIGINAL ENTRY, JUNE 9: Donald John Trump, the first former US President to be indicted on criminal charges, is now the first President to be indicted twice on criminal charges.
On Thursday, a federal grand jury in Miami accused Trump of wilfully retaining national defense secrets in violation of the Espionage Act, making false statements, and a conspiracy to obstruct justice.
The charges stem from Trump’s mishandling of classified documents that he took from the White House and kept at his Mar-a-Lago resort and home in Florida. He then obstructed the US Government’s efforts to retrieve them in 2021 and 2022.
The 37-count indictment, the outcome of an investigation by Special Counsel Jack Smith, is the first against Trump in a federal case. On March 30, he was indicted on 34 felony counts by a Manhattan grand jury, in a New York State case, over his payment to porn star Stormy Daniels for her silence just before the 2016 US Presidential election.
Trump confirmed on his Truth Social platform that he will be arraigned in federal court in Miami at 3 p.m. on Tuesday. He protested, “I’m an innocent man. I’m an innocent person.”
Trump is still under investigation by Special Counsel Smith over his attempts to overturn the 2020 US Presidential election, including his incitement of the Capitol Attack on January 6, 2021.
He also may be indicted by a grand jury in Georgia this summer over his attempt to put in “fake electors” to prevent President-elect Joe Biden from taking office.
The Trump Organization was convicted in autumn 2022 on multiple counts of business malpractice, and its Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg was given a prison term. A New York State civil investigation of the Organization on fraud and tax charges is ongoing.
Trump took more than 300 classified documents from the White House to Mar-a-Lago, keeping them in unsecured areas. Dozens of the documents were marked Top Secret. Some reportedly were about the nuclear programs of foreign countries.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, continued to carry water for Trump. He repeated the defendant’s assault on the judicial system in a tweet about a “dark day” for the US: “House Republicans will hold this brazen weaponization of power accountable.”