• Trump scandal, charged for second time as Republicans close ranks with him
  • Investigation A recording of Trump suggests he knew he was breaking the law by taking secret White House documents

Donald Trump has been indicted by the US Department of Justice on 37 criminal charges related to withholding of classified information, obstruction of justice and false testimony for classified documents he illegally took from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago mansion in Florida. Some documents that he kept, according to the indictment, in the showers, the toilets, his bedroom, an office, the basement, and even on the stage of the marching band of the Mar-a-Lago ballroom. Trump's country club that, as the document states, was the scene of more than 150 events, many of them in that ballroom, "in which tens of thousands of people participated."

Trump also traveled with them to his other country club, Bedminster, New Jersey, near New York, where he usually spends the summer to escape the humid heat of Florida, and showed them to his relatives. His valet, Waltine Nauta, who was in charge of moving the dozens of boxes in which the hundreds of secret documents were kept, has also been prosecuted, in his case for lying to the authorities.

According to the indictment, what was in the "hundreds of classified documents" were not exactly White House cooking recipes. Trump took away, without any authorization, "information regarding the defense and military capabilities of the United States and its allies; the U.S. nuclear program; potential U.S. vulnerabilities to military attack; and plans for possible retaliatory actions against an attack [on the United States]," according to the document on its second page.

The former president showed at least two of those documents to third parties in Bedminster. The first time was in July 2021, when he taught "a plan of attack that had been drawn up for him by the Department of Defense and high command of the Armed Forces" when he was president. A month or two later he showed another person another map of a military operation "considered top secret."

Audio recording

The first of those meetings was recorded on audio, with Trump's knowledge, since one of those present was preparing a book about his participation in the former president's government. On both occasions, Trump boasted that the documents were "top secret" and even said that "now I can't declassify them" [i.e., make them public], which explicitly contradicts his line of defense that he, as a former president, can decide what is secret and what is not on the spot, without having to ask anyone for authorization or even have to say it out loud. Their will, according to Trump, is enough.

The prosecution document borders on astracanada when it describes how Trump ordered the documents to be kept in a room in the basement of Mar-a-Lago that is connected to the pool and located next to the laundry, the cellar, and the room where the sheets are stored. Reading that, one might think that, if the whole case is a failure of the US security services, it is also a failure of its rivals, because countries like China, Russia or Iran never, apparently, learned that next to the Mar-a-Lago laundry, in cardboard boxes, were hundreds of documents classified as top secret. to which non-U.S. citizens could not have access, and which sometimes contained "information the disclosure of which would cause exceptionally serious harm to the national security" of the United States.

At certain points, the prosecution seems to be describing a cartoon of Mortadelo and Filemón, with the employees of Mar-a-Lago exchanging SMS desperate because they could not find room for the dozens of boxes that were opened and left the documents scattered, as when one took a photo of a paper whose access is only allowed to members of the five eyes. , that is, the espionage alliance formed by the five great Anglo-Saxon powers of the world, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. There is also SMS from a member of Trump's family — who appears to be his wife, Melania — to Nauta telling him that even if the former president wanted to put the boxes on his private plane — presumably to take them to Bedminster — "there is NO room on the plane."

Donald Trump knows that justice goes one way and politics the other. Sometimes the two intersect. But at other times they follow divergent paths. He is a specialist in achieving the latter. And, as his legal troubles escalate, his popularity among his party's voters rises.

The former president and Republican candidate is summoned before a Miami court on Tuesday at 3 pm, local time (9 pm in Spain), when presumably the charges against him will be read to him.

  • United States
  • Donald Trump

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