Trump indicted by federal justice for his management of White House archives

Donald Trump announced Thursday that he had been indicted by the federal justice for his management of the archives of the White House, a new pitfall for the Republican who wants to regain the US presidency in 2024.

Donald Trump surrounded by his lawyers and advisers in a Manhattan courthouse, April 4, 2023 (illustration image) AP — Seth Wenig

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The corrupt Biden administration informed my lawyers that I have been indicted, presumably in the fake box affair. " he wrote on his Truth Social network. The Republican billionaire said he was summoned Tuesday in federal court in Miami. This is the first time in U.S. history that a former president has faced a federal indictment.

He is accused of keeping entire boxes of documents, including some classified as "defense secrets", after his departure from Washington in 2021 and refusing to return them, in violation of federal laws. According to several US media, he faces seven charges, not yet made public.

Donald Trump, who is currently well ahead of the other candidates for the Republican nomination, has always defended himself from any wrongdoing and presents himself as a victim of "political persecution". "I never imagined that it would be possible for such a thing to happen to a former president of the United States," he lashed out Thursday, denouncing "a dark day" for the country.


How could the Department of Justice charge me when I did nothing ", he wrote again Monday on Truth Social, at the time when his lawyers were received by officials of this ministry. The meeting was seen as a signal that an indictment was imminent after months of investigation, culminating in the spectacular search of his Florida home in August 2022.

11,000 documents

In the United States, a 1978 law requires all American presidents to transmit all emails, letters and other working documents to the National Archives. Another law, on espionage, prohibits anyone from keeping classified documents in unauthorized and unsecured locations.

By leaving the presidency to settle in his luxurious Mar-a-Lago residence, Donald Trump has nevertheless taken away entire boxes of files. In January 2022, after several reminders, he agreed to return 15 boxes, containing more than 200 classified documents. In a letter, his lawyers had then assured that there were no others.

After examination, however, the federal police considered that he had not returned everything and that he still kept many in his club in Palm Beach. FBI agents went there on August 8, and seized about thirty other boxes, containing 11,000 documents, some of them very sensitive, on Iran or China.

(with AFP)

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