New York prepares for former President Donald Trump's historic hearing (Reuters)
Two lawyers for President Donald Trump withdrew from his defense team on Friday, a day after he was indicted for illegal possession of classified documents, obstruction of an investigation and other offenses.
At the same time, Trump revealed that his former driver Walt Nauta is also on trial in the case. He moved the boxes of documents to Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, where he worked after the former president's term ended.
Trump, who is already facing another indictment, said Wednesday night that his lawyers had been notified by the Biden administration that he had been indicted. He said he will appear in federal court in Miami on Tuesday, where he will be arrested and face charges. The Justice Department has not yet officially confirmed the indictment in the case.
Reports of Trump's update on the ongoing investigation came after investigators obtained a recording in which Trump is heard admitting to keeping a classified document — about a plan for a possible attack on Iran — that he took with him after his term ended.
The indictments against him are piling up. Trump at the Manhattan courthouse, April (Photo: Reuters)
"The corrupt Biden administration has informed my lawyers that I have been indicted, apparently in connection with the boxes of documents," Trump, 76, wrote on his social network. He presented no evidence of what he said. "I never thought something like this could happen to a former president of the United States," Trump wrote. "This is indeed a black day for the United States of America. We are a country in severe and rapid decline, but together we will make America great again!"
Trump, who is running in the Republican primary ahead of next November's election, is the first former president to be indicted. Still, he has no intention of dropping out of the Republican race, in which he leads according to polls, and the trials against him are unlikely to end before the election.
During the investigation, investigators seized about 13,<> documents from his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida in a raid last August. About <> documents were classified as classified, some of them top secret. Trump's lawyers have insisted that all classified documents have been returned to the administration, while the former president has previously claimed that he declassified the documents but provided no evidence. His lawyers failed to take this line of defense in court documents.
A series of senior figures in the Republican Party were quick to side with Trump. "It doesn't make sense for a president to indict the front-runner who opposes him," House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said, though President Joe Biden insisted on Monday that he had no hand in it. McCarthy promised House Republicans would "be held accountable to those responsible for what he described as abuse of authority by the administration.
Trump's main rival in the Republican primary, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, also attacked the decision to indict him. "We have witnessed for years that the law is applied unevenly according to political affiliation," he said. He said an administration under his leadership would end it "once and for all,"
but another candidate, former Gov. Asa Hutchinson, said the actions attributed to Trump "should not define our nation or the Republican Party."
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FBI agents raiding Trump's Florida estate last August (Photo: Reuters)
Yesterday, the American media reported that Trump had received a letter updating him on the ongoing investigation against him. According to The New York Times, citing two people familiar with the matter, the letter sent to Trump came from the office of Special Counsel Jack Smith, who was appointed by the Justice Department to conduct the former president's numerous investigations.
U.S. law prohibits federal officials, including the president himself, from taking or keeping classified documents in unauthorized locations. The allegations against Trump were heard by jurors, who reportedly met in Miami and Washington to hear the evidence gathered in the case and ultimately decide whether it was enough to indict the former president.
Trump, who leads in polls ahead of the start of the Republican primary, has consistently denied breaking the law and accuses the Justice Department of conducting a "politically motivated" investigation and a "witch hunt."
Even before an indictment in this case, Trump was the first person to serve as president of the United States and be indicted. Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business documents for hush money he paid actress Stormy Daniel before the 2016 election. His trial in New York will take place next year.
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- Donald Trump
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