Sunday, October 1

Trump, charged for the second time, now for the theft of secret White House documents


The US Department of Justice notified Trump that he was being investigated for keeping classified documents after leaving the White House

Former US President Donald Trump in a file image.MANDEL NGANAFP

Donald Trump has been charged again. Barely two months after the Southern Manhattan Prosecutor’s Office accused him of 34 counts of document falsification and attempted crime, the federal State – the equivalent of the central State in Spain, although with many differences – has accused him of crimes related to the theft of state secrets – including documents relating to the nuclear defense of at least one allied country and to the private life of French President Emmanuel Macron – which he took with him when he left the White House after his 2020 election defeat.

In all, Trump grabbed a hundred secret documents at least, which he then refused to hand over to the National Archives and other competent bodies for more than half a year, despite their insistent demands. Finally, the FBI – the equivalent of the national police in the US, a country where public order depends on the local Administrations – entered his residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, on August 8 of last year, and recovered eleven boxes with secret documents, although rumors persist about whether Trump does not hold more in his power. The investigation, therefore, has lasted ten months.

Trump has been the one who has said that his lawyers have informed him of the accusation, and that he has an appointment at a Miami court on Thursday at 3 local time (9 at night in Spain), in which presumably the charges against him will be read. Because, for the moment, it is not known what the former president is accused of, although, according to sources close to him, the charges include false witness and obstruction of justice. These same sources indicate that there are a total of seven charges against the former president and main Republican candidate for the 2024 elections.

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They are much less than in the case of New York – essentially motivated by his alleged decision to offer money to the porn actress stormy daniels already the erotic coin Karen McDougal to keep their sexual relations with him quiet when he was competing against Hillary Clinton by the presidency – , but, in principle, of much more weight. The reason is that on this occasion the regulation of the elections is not affected, as in the other case, but the judicial system and, perhaps, even the Espionage Law, since Trump could have shared the documents with other people.

Added to this is the fact that now it is not a state (New York), but the federal State, whose ultimate responsibility is the attorney general (position equivalent to that of Minister of Justice in Spain). Merrick Garland, named by Joe Biden and ratified by the Senate. That has given the ex-president and his supporters wings to accuse the entire investigation of being politically motivated, given that as of today Donald Trump is by far the most likely Republican candidate to face Joe Biden in the November election. of 2024. In any case, Trump – or any American citizen – can campaign while charged, being put on trial and in jail. What’s more: if necessary, according to the law of that country, Donald Trump can exercise the presidency from jail. For now, the new accusation does not have to have a negative impact on his electoral prospects. Before the contrary. After being indicted in Manhattan, his popularity and his supporters’ donations to his campaign skyrocketed.

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The case of the secret documents that Trump took from the White House has been politically complicated. In the period from October to January lastbetween 25 and 30 also secret documents were found in Joe Biden’s residence in the state of Delaware in addition to one of the offices he held after leaving the Banking House in 2017. As in the Trump case, Garland opened an investigation, for which he appointed a special prosecutor, Robert K. Hur.

Hur’s investigations continue. Not so those of the Department of Justice against the former vice president of the United States with Donald Trump, Mike Pence, in whose possession several confidential documents were also found. Just a week ago, the Justice Department closed the investigation on the grounds that there had been no negligence or intent to commit a crime on the part of Pence, who just six days later launched his campaign for the 2024 election for the Republican Party, in which he competes against Trump. In the history of the United States, never had a vice president and a president who had served in the same Administration faced each other in an election until now. According to Trump, the decision to dismiss the case against Pence was due to the interest of some political groups in letting his rival stand in the elections, despite the fact that the former vice president has no chance of winning.

The big difference between Biden and Pence, on the one hand, and Trump, on the other, is that the first two they informed the Department of Justice of the appearance of the documents – despite the fact that some of the current president’s case had been in his possession for more than thirteen years – while Trump not only did not do it, but delivered a part – 256 documents – but kept another – 84 reports – when the Department of Justice I demanded it. The former Republican president could also have shown some of those reports to his friends, and even tried to negotiate its delivery to the US State in exchange for compensation that have not been specified. This is where the virtually certain charges for obstruction of justice and false testimony come from. Another thing is how the special prosecutor appointed by Garland to investigate the case has decided, John Smith, focus on the fact that the former president, already as a private citizen, took the documents. Trump’s main thesis is that he l, in his capacity as former president, he has, only with the power of his mind, and without it being necessary to write it or even say it, the power to decide what is secret and what is not.

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Smith also heads the investigation into Trump for the storming the capitol perpetrated by his followers on January 6, 2021, in an attempt to prevent the ratification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory. Finally, Trump is also being investigated by Georgia state court for attempted electoral fraud, to steal the victory in that state from Democrat Joe Biden.

Last night (early today in Spain) Trump accused the Department of Justice of carrying out “election interference” since he is, by far, the main candidate to obtain the Republican nomination in the 2024 elections and, therefore, to become Joe Biden’s rival. The fact that this investigation is carried out by the federal State, under a Democratic government, gives rhetorical ammunition to the former president when it comes to seeing political motivation. The New York trial is taking place in a traditionally Democratic state, while the Georgia investigation is in Republican territory.

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