Having been impeached twice during his presidency, Donald Trump has now been indicted twice in its aftermath … with additional charges in other cases likely to follow.
According to a federal indictment unsealed on Friday, Trump has been charged with 38 counts of seven different federal crimes: Willful retention of national defense information, the corrupt concealment of documents, conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, scheming to conceal documents and making false statements and representations.
He faces up to 100 years behind bars if convicted on all of those charges.
Trump’s indictment marked the first time in American history a former president has been charged with a federal crime. It also marked the first time a sitting president’s Department of Justice (DOJ) has indicted his top political rival in an upcoming election.
Trump will appear in federal court in Miami, Florida at 3:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday to be arraigned on these charges. Ironically, he will appear before judge Aileen M. Cannon, whom he appointed to the bench in 2020.
The federal indictments (.pdf) against Trump come just over two months after he was indicted by New York district attorney Alvin Bragg on charges related to payouts to multiple mistresses during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump is also facing a criminal investigation in Georgia over allegations related to the 2020 election – as well as an ongoing DOJ inquiry into the January 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
As he did the last time he was indicted, Trump broke the news on his own terms – on his social media platform, Truth Social. Throughout the day on Friday, he used his account to push back at the allegations.
The investigation into Trump is being led by special prosecutor Jack Smith. Separate federal investigations into the handling of classified documents are underway involving current U.S. president Joe Biden and former U.S. vice president Mike Pence.
Trump made it a point to highlight the investigation into Biden.
“Biden moved his boxes all over the place, including to Chinatown and up to his lawyer’s office in Boston,” Trump wrote in one post. “Why isn’t deranged Jack Smith looking at that? Also, I supplied them openly, and without question, security tape from Mar-a-Lago. I had nothing to hide, nor do I now. Nobody said I wasn’t allowed to look at the personal records that I brought with me from the White House.”
In another post, Trump specifically went after Smith – accusing him of being an integral cog in the 2013 scandal at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) involving Lois Lerner.
(Click to view)
Lerner admitted in May 2013 that her agency had inappropriately targeted limited government groups for additional scrutiny in the years leading up to the 2012 election. She claimed this “error in judgment” was confined to low-level employees in Cincinnati – a statement which later turned out to be false. Eventually (and infamously) Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment when called to testify about the mushrooming scandal before the U.S. Congress – which had previously been assured by the agency that no such discrimination had taken place.
Smith was head of DOJ’s public integrity unit at the time, and emails released in the aftermath of that scandal showed him attempting to launch investigations into the alleged “misuse of nonprofits for indirectly funding campaigns.”
“This is the man who caused the Lois Lerner catastrophe with the IRS,” Trump wrote, referring to Smith. “He went after evangelicals and great Americans of faith. The United States had to apologize, and pay major damages for what this deranged lunatic did. He had a unanimous loss in the Supreme Court. His wife is a Trump hater, just as he is a Trump hater — a deranged ‘psycho’ that shouldn’t be involved in any case having to do with ‘Justice,’ other than to look at Biden as a criminal, which he is!”
As news of the indictment broke, Trump remained the runaway frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination – with 53.2 percent of likely GOP primary voters supporting his candidacy. Florida governor Ron DeSantis was second with 22.4 percent support.
No other candidate was drawing more than five percent of the vote.
DeSantis has been relentlessly criticized by Trump throughout the course of this campaign, but he came to his rival’s defense in the aftermath of his federal indictment.
“The weaponization of federal law enforcement represents a mortal threat to a free society,” DeSantis tweeted. “We have for years witnessed an uneven application of the law depending upon political affiliation. Why so zealous in pursuing Trump yet so passive about Hillary or Hunter? The DeSantis administration will bring accountability to the DOJ, excise political bias and end weaponization once and for all.”
THE INDICTMENTS …
(Via: U.S. Department of Justice)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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