The Justice Department took the legally and politically momentous step of lodging federal criminal charges against former President Donald J. Trump, multiple people familiar with the matter said on Thursday, following a lengthy investigation of his handling of classified documents that he took with him upon leaving office and then obstructing the government’s efforts to reclaim them.
The indictment, filed in Federal District Court in Miami, is the first time in American history a former president has faced federal charges. It puts the nation in an extraordinary position, given Mr. Trump’s status not only as a onetime chief executive but also as the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination to face President Biden, whose administration will now be seeking to convict his potential rival.
It was not immediately known what specific charges Mr. Trump is facing. One person briefed on the matter said there were seven counts.
Mr. Trump is expected to surrender himself to authorities in Miami on Tuesday, according to a person close to him and his own post on Truth Social.
The indictment, filed by the office of the special counsel Jack Smith, came about two months after local prosecutors in New York filed more than 30 felony charges against Mr. Trump in a case connected to a hush money payment to a porn star in advance of the 2016 election.
The game is now fully afoot.
Merrick Garland and Jack Smith have come to play to win, it seems.
Here we go.