A 37-count criminal indictment against Donald Trump was unsealed Friday, revealing allegations that the former president willfully retained hundreds of classified government records and conspired to prevent their return to U.S. officials.
The charging document, which alleges Trump kept records containing national defense information at his Florida home after leaving the White House, was made public a day after a grand jury in U.S. District Court in Miami voted to indict him.
Among other allegations, the indictment says that Trump showed classified documents to other people in the summer of 2021, after leaving office in January of that year.
Follow our live coverage of Donald Trump’s indictment in the classified documents case.
One of those documents was a “plan of attack” that he told a publisher and writer at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club was prepared by the Pentagon.
“As president I could have declassified it,” Trump told them, according to an audio recording of that July 2021 comment which is quoted in the indictment.
“Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret,” he added.
A month or so later at Bedminster, Trump showed a representative of a political action committed “a classified map related to a military operation” and told the other man “he should not be showing it to the representative and that the representative should not get to close,” the indictment alleges.
Also charged in the indictment was Trump’s valet, Walter Nauta, who faces several of the same charges as his boss, with whom he allegedly conspired to keep classified records and hide them from a federal grand jury.
The indictment said that Trump was personally involved in packing up boxes of documents as he prepared to vacate the White House to his home at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.
The FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago last August discovered hundreds of classified documents, which Trump had failed to turn over to U.S. officials after they spent a year or so trying to recover them.
Some 31 of the 37 charges are under the Espionage Act. Trump is going to prison if our system holds.
In what is becoming a now all-too-familiar trend, former President Donald Trump’s far-right supporters have threatened civil war after news broke Thursday that the former president was indicted for allegedly taking classified documents from the White House without permission.
“We need to start killing these traitorous fuckstains,” wrote one Trump supporter on The Donald, a rabidly pro-Trump message board that played a key role in planning the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Another user added: “It's not gonna stop until bodies start stacking up. We are not civilly represented anymore and they'll come for us next. Some of us, they already have.”
Trump has been indicted on seven counts following an investigation by special counsel Jack Smith into classified documents taken by Trump from the White House in 2021. The indictments have not been released, but Trump’s attorney Jim Trusty told CNN that his client is facing a charge under the Espionage Act, as well as “charges of obstruction of justice, destruction or falsification of records, conspiracy and false statements.”
Trump announced the news himself on Truth Social, writing that he had been indicted in the “Boxes Hoax” case, as he put it, and said he would be arraigned on Tuesday at Florida Southern District Courthouse in Miami. Within minutes, his supporters lit up social media platforms with violent threats and calls for civil war, according to research from VICE News and Advance Democracy, a nonpartisan think tank that tracks online extremism.
Trump supporters are making specific threats too. In one post on The Donald titled, “A little bit about Merrick Garland, his wife, his daughters,” a user shared a link to an article about the attorney general’s children.
Under the post, another user replied: “His children are fair game as far as I’m concerned.”
In a post about the special counsel conducting the probe, one user on The Donald wrote: “Jack Smith should be arrested the minute he steps foot in the red state of Florida.”
In addition to threats of violence against lawmakers and politicians, many were also calling for a civil war.
“Perhaps it’s time for that Civil War that the damn DemoKKKrats have been trying to start for years now,” a member of The Donald wrote. Another, referencing former President Barack Obama and former secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said: “FACT: OUR FOREFATHERS WOULD HAVE HUNG THESE TWO FOR TREASON…”
Others on similar social media platforms made general calls for an armed uprising. “The entire Republican Party should flood the courthouse and demand real justice here,” one supporter wrote on Truth Social. It wasn’t just anonymous users saying this, however: Right-wing talk show host Charlie Kirk called on all Trump supporters to descend on Miami on Tuesday to protest the indictment.
“This is the JFK assassinaton all over again,” right-wing personality and Pizzagate promoter Michael Cernovich wrote, claiming that the “deep state” had killed JFK and were now using the Justice Department to take down Trump.
The calls for terrorism against the US government are not stochastic or implied anymore.
They are overt and direct.
Most likely, they will be answered. Trump himself, at whatever event he's at next, will make that clear.
Here there be dragons, folks.