Former President Donald Trump is facing prosecution for alleged obstruction of justice and violations of the Espionage Act in relation to national security documents held at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

Multiple sources familiar with the matter have disclosed that federal prosecutors have charged Trump, signifying a historic development and carrying significant legal implications for the former president.

The indictment, currently under seal, was filed in federal district court in Miami. The exact nature of the charges remains undisclosed, and the Justice Department has refrained from commenting on the matter at this juncture.

Sources familiar with the situation have revealed that the charges in the indictment include willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document, corruptly concealing a document, concealing a document in a federal investigation, engaging in a scheme to conceal, and making false statements.

Jim Trusty, Trump’s lawyer, confirmed the existence of the charges during an appearance on CNN. Although Trusty had not personally reviewed the indictment, he expressed optimism that it would be unsealed before Trump’s initial court appearance.


The Espionage Act was initially enacted in 1917 during World War I with the aim of suppressing opposition to the war and counterintelligence activities. It imposed restrictions on divulging classified information that could jeopardize the United States’ national defense. For a brief period between 1918 and 1921, the Act was amended to include provisions that prohibited the expression of “disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive” language against the country.

In the ongoing investigation involving former President Trump, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has invoked a specific section of the Espionage Act, namely 18 U.S.C. §§ 793. This provision criminalizes actions such as the removal, duplication, or sharing of national defense information. It also includes the offense of willfully retaining national defense information and failing to deliver it to the authorized government personnel—an accusation that is expected to be leveled against Trump.

Trump: I am an innocent man

Trump himself acknowledged the indictment shortly after his legal team received an email from special counsel Jack Smith’s office. The email outlined the charges against Trump and instructed him to surrender to authorities in Miami on the following Tuesday.

“I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former President of the United States, who received far more votes than any sitting President in the History of our Country, and is currently leading, by far, all Candidates, both Democrat and Republican, in Polls of the 2024 Presidential Election. I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!” Trump asserted.

The criminal investigation was initiated in February after the National Archives referred the case to the Justice Department. The investigation was sparked by the discovery of over 100 classified documents intermingled with presidential records in 15 boxes that were returned by Trump.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who is facing challenges within his party after making a debt ceiling deal, described the charges against Trump as a “dark day” for the country.

“House Republicans will hold this brazen weaponization of power accountable,” he added.

This unprecedented development marks the first time that the Justice Department has filed charges against Trump as he continues his pursuit of reclaiming the presidency.


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