Jack Smith, the special prosecutor who indicted former President Donald Trump, on Friday. Jose Luis Magana (AP)
The laws that protect information on National Defense "are fundamental to the security of the United States, and must be respected," Jack Smith, the special prosecutor who has indicted former President Donald Trump on 37 charges related to the boxes of classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago, said in an appearance this Friday in Washington. your private residence in Florida. "Violations of those laws put our country in danger," he said.
The prosecutor has not taken questions in a long-awaited and concise statement: he has barely spoken two and a half minutes at the Justice Department before retiring. "We have only one version of the laws in this country, and these laws apply to everyone. Applying those laws, collecting data, that's what determines the outcome of an investigation. Nothing more and nothing less," he said.
With his statement, Smith wanted to respond to the criticism that Trump launched when, last night, he announced on social networks that he had been charged. With the capital letters, exclamations and outbursts that are usual to him, he had accused the officials who investigated him of corruption and partiality. "There is no equality before justice, there is no equal application of laws. There are a number of rules for Democrats, another set for Donald Trump and conservatives, and anyone especially in their orbit. Our JUSTICE SYSTEM has been WEAPONIZED," THE FORMER PRESIDENT wrote in Truth Social, the network he created after being expelled from Twitter after leaving the White House.
Smith has defended the rigor with which the investigation commissioned last year by the head of the Department of Justice, Merrick Garland, has been carried out. "The prosecutors in my office are among the most capable and experienced in the Department," he said. "They have investigated this case using the highest standards, and will continue to do so."
He also recalled that the accused – he has not mentioned the former president by name at any time – must benefit from the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in the process that will begin next Tuesday in a Miami court at 15:00 p.m. local time (21:00 p.m. Spanish peninsular time). His office, he said, will try to ensure that the trial is speedy, "consistent with the public interest and the rights of the accused."
Shortly before his appearance, the Justice Department had released the 49-page indictment facing the former president. In total, 37 indictments, related to seven federal crimes. Most have to do with the deliberate withholding of information affecting national defense, which is a violation of the Espionage Act. The rest include conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding documents, concealment of a document, concealment of a document in an investigation, and false statements.
All of the charges relate to boxes of classified documents that had been stored without official authorization at Mar-a-Lago from Trump's departure from the White House in January 2021 until FBI agents searched the mansion in August 2022. The photos attached to the statement of objections show that the boxes were kept in the most arbitrary places: in a ballroom, in a bedroom and even in a bathroom, next to a shower.
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