I couldn’t believe it when I heard this news last night, but all signs were that it was impending. Here’s the headline from the NYT. If you click on it, I’ve linked it to the news story that someone archived:
The Justice Department on Thursday took the legally and politically momentous step of lodging federal criminal charges against former President Donald J. Trump, accusing him of mishandling classified documents he kept upon leaving office and then obstructing the government’s efforts to reclaim them.
Mr. Trump confirmed on his social media platform that he had been indicted. The charges against him include willfully retaining national defense secrets in violation of the Espionage Act, making false statements and a conspiracy to obstruct justice, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The Justice Department made no comment on the indictment Thursday and did not immediately make the document public.
The indictment, handed up by a grand jury in Federal District Court in Miami, is the first time a former president has faced federal charges. It puts the nation in an extraordinary position, given Mr. Trump’s status not only as a onetime commander in chief but also as the current front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination to face President Biden, whose administration will now be seeking to convict his potential rival of multiple felonies.
Mr. Trump is expected to surrender to the authorities on Tuesday, according to a person close to him and his own post on his social media platform, Truth Social.
“The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been indicted,” Mr. Trump wrote, in one of several posts around 7 p.m. after he was notified of the charges.
The former president added that he was scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in Miami at 3 p.m. on Tuesday. In a video he released later on Truth Social, Mr. Trump declared: “I’m an innocent man. I’m an innocent person.”
The Washington Post gives the charges: seven of them:
Trump, who is again seeking the Republican presidential nomination, has been indicted on seven charges, people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post, including willful retention of national defense secrets, obstruction of justice and conspiracy. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
Well, I haven’t had coffee yet, but I have to say that I’m pleased as punch. Not necessarily pleased that he’ll be punished—for that’s up to judges and juries—but chuffed that he’s going to have to publicly face the music, do a PERP WALK, and perhaps appear on the stand (that would be his downfall).
I haven’t read the news analysis, but surely this will affect next year’s Presidential election. It’s hard to believe that being an accused felon can win him votes, but you know the Republicans: they may see him as more of a martyr. Will they still run a candidate who’s under indictment? I bet so, since it’s legal and they won’t care if he may have to leave office if elected. Nothing can deter the GOP’s ardor for this narcissistic primate.
But if he’s convicted, he’s done for—an ex-President, singing with the choir primeval, longing for the pools of Mar-A-Lago. And, perhaps, there may be jail time. No ex-President has ever been indicted of a federal crime (Nixon was pardoned before he was ever charged), so we have an interesting political and legal season coming up.
Given Trump’s penchant for stalling, I doubt he’ll be tried before the November elections next year.
But I think most readers here will have a spring in their step today. I know I do!