Former United States President, Donald Trump, has been indicted for a second time, this time on federal charges in relation to his handling of sensitive information while out of office.
According to ABC News, the former president faces at least seven charges, which include willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, scheme to conceal, and false statements and representations.
Maximum sentences for the respective charges, per their statutes, range from five up to 20 years, although any eventual sentence should Trump be convicted would likely be much lower.
Trump is set to be arraigned in federal court in Miami on Tuesday, June 13, at 3 p.m. ET.
In a statement on social media, Trump wrote Thursday he had been told of the indictment and insisted the case was a “hoax.” He has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
Trump wrote he is “INNOCENT” and it was a “DARK DAY” for the U.S.
In a video on Truth Social, Trump also claimed innocence, he said, “I am innocent. We will prove that very, very soundly and hopefully very quickly. Thank you very much.”
Spokespeople for the Justice Department and special counsel Jack Smith’s office declined to comment on Trump’s statement.
The unprecedented federal indictment of a former president — who already faces a criminal case in New York City that he denies and who is the current front-runner for the Republican Party’s nomination for the White House in 2024 — further underlines what are potentially the most consequential prosecutions in U.S. history, with both global and domestic implications.
Prosecutors in the special counsel’s office have presented compelling preliminary evidence that Trump knowingly and deliberately misled his own attorneys about his retention of classified material after leaving office in early 2021, according to sources who described the contents of a sealed filing from a top federal judge.
In early 2022, sources told ABC News, National Archives officials asked the Justice Department to investigate Trump’s handling of White House records after the National Archives in January retrieved 15 boxes of records from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida that had been improperly taken in violation of the Presidential Records Act.
The DOJ probe hit a critical point on Aug. 8, 2022, when Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida was searched by FBI agents.
Federal investigators seized more than 100 documents with classified markings during the search, according to an unsealed detailed inventory list. From Trump’s office alone, there were 43 empty folders seized with classified banners.
The property inventory list also showed that agents gathered more than 11,000 documents or photographs without classification markings, all of which were described as property of the U.S. government.
Since the August search, Trump and his legal team have found additional classified documents and have received additional subpoenas for information the government believes could still be in Trump’s possession.
The former president, who in April pleaded not guilty to unrelated criminal charges that he falsified business records in connection with a hush money payment made in the days before the 2016 election, has said he will stay in the 2024 presidential race despite any indictments.
In addition to Smith’s probes, Trump is also under investigation in Georgia over his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in that state.