What do we blame Donald Trump for in the classified documents affair?

What do we blame Donald Trump for in the classified documents affair?
What do we blame Donald Trump for in the classified documents affair?

One less trial for Donald Trump before the US presidential election in November. A federal court in Florida postponed indefinitely, Tuesday, May 7, the start of the criminal trial of the former American president in the case where he is accused of having made negligent use of classified documents.

In this criminal case, one of four in which he is targeted, a trial was to open on May 20. But the federal judge – appointed by the former president – ​​considered this date untenable due to the number of preliminary requests presented to the court. The magistrate did not set a new date.

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The decision is a setback for special prosecutor Jack Smith and makes a trial in the case before the November election highly unlikely. The affair was revealed shortly after the end of his presidential term in January 2021.

“Top secret” files

On February 9, 2021, the American National Archives (Nara), the agency responsible for collecting federal government archives, alerted the American Department of Justice to the presence of documents classified as confidential in cardboard boxes that they received on January 18 , two days before Donald Trump left the White House.

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These binders came from the Republican president’s private residence at Mar-a-Lago, located in the state of Florida. The FBI then launched a criminal investigation and confirmed that these boxes contained 184 documents classified as confidential, including 25 stamped “Top secret”. However, American law is formal: every president must transmit his emails, letters, letters and documents to the national archives at the end of his mandate.

Nara and the Justice Department suspect that other presidential records containing sensitive national defense information have not only been removed from the White House, but are still in Florida. In January 2022, the National Archives managed to recover fifteen boxes of documents from Mar-a-Lago.

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The FBI carried out a search of Donald Trump’s private residence in early August 2022 and gathered 26 boxes of archives, including around a hundred classified documents and a set of pieces classified “top secret”. The former president says he is the victim of “political persecution” aimed at weakening it, denouncing a ” witch hunt “.

37 charges brought against him

Investigators reveal that the documents kept in Florida include, among other things, military plans and information on nuclear weapons, which are state secrets which must be kept in authorized and secure places.

On June 13, 2023, Donald Trump appeared before the American federal courts, a first for a former president of the United States, in connection with this case. He is charged with 37 counts, including those of “illegal retention of information relating to national security”, “obstruction of justice” And “false testimony”. Charges to which he pleads not guilty.

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The former president is also accused of trying to destroy evidence in the classified documents case. The heaviest charges are punishable by ten years in prison. But his lawyers have increased their appeals to delay the holding of a trial in this case investigated in Florida.

If Donald Trump were elected again this year, he could – once inaugurated in January 2025 – order the abandonment of this federal procedure against him.

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