Indictment reveals Trump kept docs on nukes, national defense.
Suspect in Natalee Holloway disappearance extradited to US, pleads not guilty.
Indictment reveals Trump kept docs on nukes, national defense
Following Trump’s announcement yesterday that he was going to be indicted in the Mar-a-Lago documents case, the Justice Department has unsealed the 44-page indictment (which you can read in full by clicking here). There are 37 counts in the indictment:
- 31 counts of willful retention of classified documents
- 1 count of conspiracy to obstruct justice
- 1 count of withholding a document or record
- 1 count of corruptly concealing a document or record
- 1 count of concealing a document in a federal investigation
- 1 count of scheme to conceal
- 1 count of making false statements and representations.
At least four of these charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison while others carry 10 years. Trump is due to appear in a federal courtroom in Florida next Tuesday.
What is Trump accused of?
Jack Smith, the DOJ special counsel overseeing this investigation and the Jan. 6 probe, says he will seek a “speedy” trial for Trump in this matter. One of Trump’s aides, Walt Nauta, is named in the indictment as a co-conspirator for helping Trump move and hide boxes of classified documents around Mar-a-Lago.
Smith also encouraged Americans to read the full indictment for themselves to see how Trump’s actions forced the DOJ’s hand in this case.
Firstly, Trump deeply compromised national security. The documents Trump retained had potential to do incalculable damage to national defense in the wrong hands. There was no effort to secure these documents properly at his Mar-a-Lago resort. Pictures in the indictment show piles of document boxes in a ballroom and a shower. Furthermore, on at least two occasions, Trump showed top secret defense documents to people who had no security clearance. One of these was a potential plan to attack Iran. Other documents in Trump’s possession related to military vulnerabilities of the US and its allies.
Secondly, Trump went to great lengths to illegally retain the documents and to obstruct the FBI’s investigation. According to the indictment, Trump personally directed the effort to conceal his possession and the location of a large number of highly-sensitive documents. He also attempted to recruit his own attorneys in this scheme. In an audio recording from summer 2021, Trump acknowledged to others present that he could have declassified the documents while he was President but that he had not done so, and no longer had that power. From the DOJ’s perspective, this is Trump admitting he knew that he had no right to keep the documents and that their contents were highly-sensitive.
Suspect in Natalee Holloway disappearance extradited to US, pleads not guilty
Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba, has been extradited from Peru to the US to face charges of attempting to extort Holloway’s parents. Years after Holloway disappeared while on vacation, van der Sloot was convicted in Peru of murdering Stephany Flores Ramírez, a 21-year-old Peruvian business student. He is serving a 28-year sentence there for her murder. He will return to Peru to serve his sentence regardless of the outcome of the trial in Alabama.
Holloway was last seen leaving a bar with van der Sloot and has not been heard from since. In 2012, an Alabama judge declared her legally dead.
The Alabama charges against van der Sloot pertain to his attempt to extract thousands of dollars from Holloway’s grieving parents in exchange for revealing where the teen’s body was. Holloway’s remains have never been found.