According to his own words, former US President Donald Trump has again been indicted by the US judiciary. His lawyers had been informed about the process, which apparently had something to do with the investigation into the affair of secret government documents, Trump wrote on the "Truth Social" portal he co-founded.
Trump had already been charged in New York in connection with hush money payments to a porn star and was brought before the judge in early April.
Secret documents in private home
The federal police FBI had searched Trump's private home Mar-a-Lago in Florida in August and confiscated various classified information, some with the highest classification level. The fact that the Republican kept the documents in his private home long after he left office could have made him liable to prosecution. For months, the National Archives tried to get papers from Trump's administration. Trump's lawyers eventually turned over documents - but by no means all of them, as the FBI search of the Mar-a-Lago property revealed. "The corrupt Biden administration has informed my lawyers that charges have been brought against me, apparently because of of the swindle (of alleged secret documents) in boxes (...)" wrote Trump, without making it clear who exactly had contacted his team. He had been subpoenaed and was due to appear in court in Miami on Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. (local time). "I never thought it would happen to a former President of the United States (...)", he continued. He added, "I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!" It is "a dark day" for the United States.
On Wednesday, US media had already reported that another indictment against Trump could be closer because the team of special counsel Jack Smith had informed the Trump camp that the 76-year-old was a target of the investigation.
Trump described the actions of the US judiciary as "election interference at the highest level". In a video also published by Truth Social, he once again accused US President Joe Biden and his Democrats of conducting a politically motivated witch hunt against him. "They are trying to destroy our reputation so they can win an election," he told his supporters.
Also investigations to January 6th
The US Department of Justice appointed the independent special counsel Smith in November to outsource the politically sensitive investigation into Trump. On the one hand, Smith takes care of the investigations in connection with secret government documents. Second, it addresses Trump's role in the storming of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 and his efforts to influence the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
A committee of inquiry had recommended criminal investigations to the Ministry of Justice. Among other things, he accuses Trump of rioting, obstructing a public process and conspiring against the US government. However, the Committee's recommendation is not binding.
Trump has long railed that his opponents are merely trying to prevent him from returning to the White House in 2024. He officially announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in November. So far, he's ahead in polls among party supporters - but a lot can still happen before the final decision is made.
Other cases in New York and Georgia
Further investigations are ongoing against Trump. All eyes were on the New York case that led to the first criminal indictment in US history of an ex-president, in which he pleaded not guilty. In the state of Georgia, the public prosecutor's office is also investigating Trump for possible election manipulation. In another case, Trump has already been prosecuted - at least indirectly. His real estate group was fined in New York for tax fraud, among other things. The ex-president was not personally accused.
Government documents classified as secret from his time as Vice President under Barack Obama were also found on US President Biden in premises where they should not have been kept. Here, too, an independent special investigator is active. In Biden's case, however, there are significantly fewer documents. According to the White House, Biden has also not refused to hand over documents.