1 of 2 | Former President Donald Trump is expected to appear in federal court in Miami on Tuesday after an indictment charging him with mishandling classified material was unsealed on Friday. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo
June 9 (UPI) -- Prosecutors unsealed a 38-count federal indictment against Donald Trump and an aide Friday, detailing the criminal case against the former president and his handling of classified documents.
Trump faces 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information, according to the indictment, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida in Miami.
A Trump aide, Waltine Nauta, is also charged in the 49-page indictment, which details how secret U.S. government papers were stored at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.
Counts 1-31 allege willful retention of national defense information. Prosecutors say Trump had unlawful possession and control of documents on national defense, willfully retained them and failed to deliver them to the U.S. government as required by law.
The indictment lists general descriptions of the documents pertaining to each count. They include intelligence briefings related to various foreign countries, documents related to military capabilities of a foreign country and the United States, documents concerning nuclear capabilities of a foreign country, communications with a leader of a foreign country and documents related to military attacks by a foreign country.
It does not name the country.
Other counts refer to documents concerning military contingency planning of the United States, projected regional military capabilities of a foreign country and the United States, and documents about military options of a foreign country and potential effects on U.S. interests.
Other documents that prosecutors allege were illegally in Trump's possession after he left the White House include ones concerning foreign country support of terrorist acts against the United States and documents concerning U.S. nuclear weaponry.
Count 32 is a conspiracy to obstruct justice charge alleging that Trump and his "body man" Waltine Nauta conspired to "corruptly conceal a record, document and other object from an official proceeding."
Prosecutors said in the indictment that the purpose of the conspiracy was "for Trump to keep classified documents he had taken with him from the White House and to hide and conceal them from a federal grand jury."
Count 33 charges Trump and Nauta with withholding a document or record. Count 34 charges they corruptly concealed a document or record.
Count 35 charges the two with concealing a document in a federal investigation. Count 36 is for a scheme to conceal the documents.
Count 37 charges Trump only for false statements and representations about the documents. Count 38 charges Nauta for false statements and representations.
The former president is expected to appear in court in person on Tuesday but will have a new legal team with him.
Earlier Friday, lawyers who had been representing Trump in the case resigned.
"I want to thank Jim Trusty and John Rowley for their work, but they were up against a very dishonest, corrupt, evil and 'sick' group of people, the likes of which has not been seen before," Trump wrote in a post on his Truth Social account.
"We will be announcing additional lawyers in the coming days. When will Joe Biden be Indicted for his many crimes against our Nation? MAGA!"
The two lawyers issued their own joint statement Friday.
"This morning we tendered our resignations as counsel to President Trump, and we will no longer represent him on either the indicted case or the January 6 investigation," Trusty and Rowley wrote.
"Now that the case has been filed in Miami, this is a logical moment for us to step aside and let others carry the cases through to completion. We have no plans to hold media appearances that address our withdrawals or any other confidential communications we've had with the president or his legal team."
Shortly after the indictment was announced, Special Counsel Jack Smith made his first public appearance since taking on the case, urging people to read the indictment.
"The men and women of the United States intelligence community and our Armed Forces dedicate their lives to protecting our nation and its people," Smith said. "Our laws that protect national defense information are critical to the safety and security of the United States, and they must be enforced. Violations of those laws put our country at risk."
Afterward, in one of a multitude of angry posts on his Truth Social platform, Trump called Smith "deranged" and said his wife is "the biggest Hater of them all. There is no way they can treat me fairly ...."
In another post, the former president and current Republican candidate for the presidency posted an image of Fox News reporting on the indictment, saying, "ELECTION INTERFERENCE!"
The case reportedly is being assigned to U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon.
Cannon, 42, was appointed by Trump and has previously handled motions related to the Mar-a-Lago case.
In September, she granted Trump's request for a "special master" to review the seized documents. At the time, the former president contended the FBI may have planted evidence among the hundreds of papers.
Cannon's directive was opposed by the Justice Department, which argued she overstepped her bounds.
It was overturned in December in a unanimous ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Weeks before, the same three-judge panel was heavily critical of Trump's legal team, and the request to appoint a "special master" in the case.