Former President Donald Trump claims that he has been indicted by a federal grand jury for mishandling classified information.
This is his second indictment since leaving office and the first on federal charges. The previous indictment was related to hush money payments made to Stormy Daniels, which he pleaded not guilty to.
The investigation by the Justice Department began in February of last year when over 100 classified documents were found in boxes returned from Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. Subsequently, more documents were handed over to authorities following a grand jury subpoena.
Trump's lawyers claimed that all sensitive government documents had been returned, but a later FBI raid in August 2022 discovered over 100 additional items with classified markings.
In November, former war crimes prosecutor Jack Smith was appointed as a special counsel to oversee the investigation into the classified documents and Trump's involvement in the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot. Testimonies were taken from Mar-a-Lago staff, Trump aides, and members of his legal team.
Evidence examined by investigators included surveillance footage and an audio recording of Trump admitting to possessing a classified document about a potential military strike against Iran. Trump has argued that he declassified everything he took from the White House, stating that a president has the authority to do so.
Trump accused the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI of being "weaponized" and claimed that he has been targeted by them for years. He listed various incidents including the Russia investigation, the Mueller Report, and impeachment proceedings as examples of what he perceives as unjust scrutiny and interference in elections.
In his statement, Trump demanded that Republicans in Congress prioritize this issue. He maintains that he has done nothing wrong and questions the legitimacy of the investigation against him.
Taking to Truth Social, Trump said, "The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been Indicted, seemingly over the Boxes Hoax, even though Joe Biden has 1850 Boxes at the University of Delaware, additional Boxes in Chinatown, D.C., with even more Boxes at the University of Pennsylvania, and documents strewn all over his garage floor where he parks his Corvette, and which is “secured” by only a garage door that is paper thin, and open much of the time.
I have been summoned to appear at the Federal Courthouse in Miami on Tuesday, at 3 PM. 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. I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!
This is indeed a DARK DAY for the United States of America. We are a Country in serious and rapid Decline, but together we will Make America Great Again!"