Former President Donald J. Trump on Thursday was indicted by the Justice Department on seven criminal counts including willfully retaining national defense secrets in violation of the Espionage Act, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and making false statements, according to US media reports and a tweet by the former president.
The former president announced:
The NY Times surmised, citing a USA Today/Suffolk poll from April 25, that the indictment will not hurt Trump’s election prospects. According to the survey, “Trump’s criminal indictment on financial charges in New York and the prospect that he may face additional indictments elsewhere on various charges doesn’t shake his core supporters. Two-thirds of his voters say his unprecedented legal peril doesn’t make a difference to them.”
Trump’s lawyer Jim Trusty told CNN that although he hadn’t yet seen the indictments, he could estimate what the charges are: violations of the Espionage Act, multiple charges on false statements, and, as he put it, “several obstruction-based type charges.”
Trusty mentioned violations of Section 1519 on obstructing an official effort, and Section 1512, which criminalizes witness tampering or other obstructions of an official investigation.
“This is not biblically accurate, because I’m not looking at a charging document. I’m looking at a summary sheet. There’s language in there that might actually be reflecting a single count instead of two, but I think there was a conspiracy count as well,” Trump’s lawyer explained.
Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who is trailing nearest Trump in the GOP field of presidential candidates, said that “the weaponization of federal law enforcement represents a mortal threat to a free society.” But he did not promise to pardon Trump if he is elected and the former president is convicted.