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Trump faces 2nd indictment on seven charges

2023-06-09 HKT 11:04
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  • Donald Trump announces his third bid for the US presidency in November at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. File photo: AP
    Donald Trump announces his third bid for the US presidency in November at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. File photo: AP
Former US President Donald Trump has been indicted by a federal grand jury for retaining classified government documents and obstruction of justice, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The criminal case, brought by the US Department of Justice, amounts to another legal setback for Trump as he seeks to regain the US presidency next year. He already faces a criminal case in New York that is due to go to trial in March.

Trump said on social media that he had been summoned to appear at the federal courthouse in Miami on Tuesday. "I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!" he wrote on his Truth Social platform.

A spokesperson for Special Counsel Jack Smith, the Justice Department official who is handling the investigation, declined to comment. It is illegal for the government to comment publicly on any sealed grand jury matter.

Trump faces seven criminal counts in the federal case, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The indictment remains under seal, and even Trump himself has not yet seen what it says. His legal team was notified about the seven charges as part of a summons ordering Trump to appear in court, the source said.

Reuters could not immediately learn what specific charges Trump is facing. In a sworn statement to a federal court last year, an FBI agent said there was probable cause to believe several crimes were committed, including obstruction and the illegal retention of sensitive defense records.

The Justice Department has been investigating whether Trump mishandled classified documents he retained after leaving the White House in 2021.

Investigators seized roughly 13,000 documents from Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, nearly a year ago. One hundred were marked as classified, even though one of Trump's lawyers had previously said all records with classified markings had been returned to the government.

Trump has previously defended his retention of documents, suggesting he declassified them while president. However, he has not provided evidence of this and his attorneys have declined to make that argument in court filings.

It's the second time that Trump, the first former president in US history to face criminal charges, has been indicted.

In April, he pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records relating to hush money paid to a porn star before the 2016 election.

President from 2017 to 2021, Trump is the front-runner in the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

His lead has grown over his rivals in the Republican nominating contest since he was indicted in the New York case, Reuters/Ipsos polling shows. (Reuters)

Trump faces 2nd indictment on seven charges