Highlights From Trump's Unsealed Indictment

He allegedly shared a military 'plan of attack' against Iran, as well as a classified map
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 9, 2023 2:21 PM CDT
Highlights From Trump's Unsealed Indictment
This image, contained in the indictment against former President Donald Trump, shows boxes of records on Dec. 7, 2021, in a storage room at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., that had fallen over with contents spilling onto the floor.   (Justice Department via AP)

Donald Trump faces 37 counts related to the mishandling of classified documents, according to the indictment unsealed Friday. The charges include counts of retaining classified information, obstructing justice, and making false statements, among other crimes, per the AP. Some early highlights:

  • The indictment says Trump illegally kept documents regarding “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," per the New York Times.
  • It also says Trump shared a secret "plan of attack" against Iran to visitors at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and was heard on tape saying the material was "highly confidential" and, crucially, not declassified, per the Times.
  • Trump also allegedly shared a classified military map with a staffer on his political action committee, according to the indictment.
  • The indictment alleges Trump kept classified documents in the bathroom and shower at his Florida estate of Mar-a-Lago, as well as various other locations that included a ballroom, storeroom, office, and bedroom.
  • The indictment claims that, for a two-month period between January and March 15, some of Trump’s boxes were stored in one of Mar-a-Lago’s gilded ballrooms. A picture included in the indictment shows boxes stacked in rows on the ballroom’s stage. Prosecutors noted that “tens of thousands of members and guests” visited the “active social club” of Mar-a-Lago between the end of Trump’s presidency in January 2021 through the August 2022 search.

  • The indictment shows photographs of boxes that spilled over in the storage room, including a document marked SECRET/REL TO USA, FVEY” which means information releasable only to members of the intelligence alliance of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In the photo, the classified document is redacted.
  • The indictment says Trump’s attorney on June 2, 2022, identified 38 documents with “classified” markings and placed them in a folder, which he sealed with clear duct tape handed to him by Trump valet Walt Nauta. The valet then took the attorney to see the former president. “Did you find anything? Is it bad? ... Is it good?” Trump asked his lawyer. The attorney told authorities that as they discussed the attorney taking the materials with him, Trump gestured in a way that suggested he wanted the attorney to identify “anything really bad” and “you know, pluck it out.” The lawyer clarified that Trump did not articulate such instructions beyond making that “plucking motion.” The attorney told authorities that he did not take anything out of the folder.
  • The indictment alleges that Nauta acted “at Trump’s direction” to move “approximately 64 boxes” of documents from the Mar-a-Lago storage room to the former president’s residence. Nauta’s actions occurred between May 23, 2022, and June 2, 2022, according to the indictment. That total includes “approximately 30 boxes” Nauta allegedly moved on June 2, the same day Trump’s legal team was expected to examine the cache. Nauta’s actions that day came hours after he talked briefly via phone with Trump, prosecutors allege. (Nauta also has been indicted.)

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