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Trump facing federal indictment – report

Former President Donald J. Trump allegedly faces federal indictment over his alleged mishandling of an Iran battle plan document.

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Trump facing federal indictment - report

Former President Donald J. Trump might face a federal indictment over his handling of classified material, according to multiple reports.

Trump and his latest troubles

Several sources close to the case told John Solomon at Just the News that federal prosecutors have already told lawyers for President Trump that he is the target of their investigation. A federal grand jury will meet next week and, the sources say, Trump could face an indictment then.

Special Counsel Jack Smith would seek the indictment, arising out of his handling of classified documents after he left office. He would bring charges under 18 U.S.C. Chapter 37 Section 793, which deals with the “gathering, transmitting, or losing” of national defense information. The penalties for violating this section include:

  • Fine, imprisonment for ten years or less, or both, and
  • Forfeiture of anything the offender might have gained from his violation.

No sitting or former President has ever been indicted in the federal courts. The grand jury investigating the Watergate case listed President Richard M. Nixon as an “unindicted co-conspirator.” The House Judiciary Committee sent Articles of Impeachment to the full House, but Nixon resigned before those proceedings went any further. President Gerald R. Ford then granted him a “full, free and absolute pardon.”

The Constitution says that anyone removed from office on impeachment could still face indictment or trial.


Defense ready

Again according to the sources, Trump’s lawyers already have prepared a defense, knowing that something like this might come. Their defense will be that, as President, Trump can declassify anything, without a word, and what he says, goes. An apparent precedent exists, arising out of Bill Clinton’s own handling of classified information.

Prosecutors plan to distinguish the usual classified documents from national defense related information, which is at issue in this case. They plan to introduce recordings of a telephonic conversation between Trump and persons writing a biography of former chief of staff Mark Meadows. A voice prosecutors will identify as Trump’s, speaks of a “confidential” and “secret” document outlining an American war plan against Iran. According to the allegation, General Mark Milley, former Joint Chiefs Chairman, wrote that plan.

But prosecutors do not have any document exactly matching that description. They have another document with “classified markings” but listing someone other than General Milley as author. Trump returned that document to the National Archives more than a year ago – hence before the Mar-A-Lago raid. Furthermore, Trump’s lawyers will contend that information from that particular document is already public. Apparently a “senior military officer” leaked that to an unnamed, but widely circulated, magazine.

Prosecutors offering in-kind bribes

Separately, the Trump team alleges that, in a secret proceeding before Judge James E. Boasberg, a prosecutor tried to influence a witness by “discussing,” with the attorney for that witness, an offer of a federal judicial appointment. (Actually that lawyer is already in line for such a nomination, but the prosecutor saw fit to mention it during negotiations with the witness.) Judge Boasberg is Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. As such he supervises all grand juries that meet in the same courthouse.

The Justice Department declined to delay its 18 U.S.C. 793 case to allow time to investigate the in-kind bribery allegation. Apparently the witness did not change any testimony he has given.


Separately, Twitter influencer DC Draino shared a letter showing that Trump declassified several documents relating to the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

A report from Station KTVZ-TV (Channel 21, NBC, Bend, Ore.) quotes former Vice-President Mike Pence as opposing any such indictment of Trump. He said it would further divide the country and “send a terrible message to the wider world.”

Pence had faced an inquiry of his own, relating to his handling of classified documents. But the Justice Department closed that case.

Former FBI Director James Comey, on Sunday morning (before the breaking story), snidely suggested that Trump could find himself accepting the Presidential nomination while “wearing an ankle bracelet.” He could have been thinking of the possible prison penalty – but how would he know that Trump risked that?

Trump replies

Trump himself replied in four separate posts, or Truths, on Truth Social. The Trump War Room account on Twitter reposted his statements there. See here, here, here, and here.


Trump accuses the federal government of election interference, and also addresses the attempted influence of a witness. He further suggests Republicans should make the “witch hunt” against him “their number-one campaign issue.”

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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