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What the charges mean in classified documents case : NPR

What the charges mean in classified documents case : NPR

Former President Donald Trump is pictured during a round of golf on May 2 in Turnberry, Scotland. On Friday, the Justice Department special counsel announced that Trump has been indicted related to the handling of classified documents.

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Former President Donald Trump is pictured during a round of golf on May 2 in Turnberry, Scotland. On Friday, the Justice Department special counsel announced that Trump has been indicted related to the handling of classified documents.

Robert Perry/Getty Images

The federal indictment of former President Donald Trump in the classified documents probe has been unsealed.

The 49-page indictment lays out 37 federal charges against Trump, including obstruction and unlawful retention of defense information for storing dozens of classified documents at his Florida resort and refusing to return them to the FBI and the National Archives.

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Also named in the indictment is Walt Nauta, a former presidential aide to Trump who remained in his employ after Trump left office. Nauta faces six charges.

Here is a summary of the counts, which are listed starting on page 28 of the document embedded below:

  • Willful retention of national defense information: This charge, covering counts 1-31, only applies to Trump and is for allegedly storing 31 such documents at Mar-a-Lago.
  • Conspiracy to obstruct justice: Trump and Nauta, along with others, are charged with conspiring to keep those documents from the grand jury.
  • Withholding a document or a record: Trump and Nauta are accused of misleading one of their attorneys by moving boxes of classified documents so the attorney could not find or introduce them to the grand jury.
  • Corruptly concealing a document or record: This pertains to the Trump and Nauta’s alleged attempts to hide the boxes of classified documents from the attorney.
  • Concealing a document in a federal investigation: They are accused of hiding Trump’s continued possession of those documents at Mar-a-Lago from the FBI and causing a false certificate to be submitted to the FBI.
  • Scheme to conceal: This is for the allegation that Trump and Nauta hid Trump’s continued possession of those materials from the FBI and the grand jury.
  • False statements and representations: This count concerns statements that Trump allegedly caused another one of his attorneys to make to the FBI and grand jury in early June regarding the results of the search at Mar-a-Lago.
  • False statements and representations: This final count accuses Nauta of giving false answers during a voluntary interview with the FBI in late May.

According to the indictment, each one of those charges carries a maximum fine of $250,000, with maximum prison sentences between 5 and 20 years.


Follow live updates on the indictment of former President Donald Trump here.

NPR Washington Desk

Published: 2023-06-09 17:58:02

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