Former US President Donald Trump has been charged with his alleged illegal retention of national security documents. This is the first time a sitting or former US president has ever faced federal charges.
The charges include willful retention of national security material, obstruction and conspiracy and came more than a year after federal prosecutors began investigating him for knowingly retaining the classified materials at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida after he left the White House, the Guardian reported.
In a post on Truth Social, Trump said he was innocent and that he had been summoned to appear at a federal court in Miami on Tuesday afternoon. “I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former President of the United States,” he wrote, adding, “This is indeed a dark day for the United States of America. We are a country in serious and rapid decline, but together we will Make America Great Again!”
The former President, who is huddled with his advisers in his Bedminster home in New Jersey, will appear on Tuesday afternoon at the federal courthouse in Miami. The indictment will be unsealed then, detailing the charges.
US media is reporting that Trump has been indicted with seven criminal charges, including conspiracy to obstruct justice and willful retention of documents.
The former President has sought to portray the indictment as a political move by President Joe Bien, who beat Trump in the race for the White House in 2020. Trump is running again and is likely to win the Republican nomination to go up against Biden in 2024; he is the frontrunner.
Trump is already the first American President to face criminal charges when he was accused of 37 counts in a case in New York, where he was born and lived most of his life, in connection with paying off an adult film star to keep quiet about an affair that he has denied publicly.
Trump is facing a growing list of legal troubles. He has already lost a civil case of defamation against a columnist who has alleged he raped her in the 1990s. He is also under federal investigation for his role in an assault on the US Congress on January 6, 2021, and state investigation in Georgia for trying to overturn the outcome of the voting in the state in the 2020 presidential election.