Donald Trump likes to brag about himself. Well, today he got another #1 to add to his list of pseudo-accomplishments. Trump is the first former president to face federal charges.
A New York Times story describes the well-deserved indictment.
The Justice Department on Thursday took the legally and politically momentous step of lodging federal criminal charges against former President Donald J. Trump, accusing him of mishandling classified documents he kept upon leaving office and then obstructing the government’s efforts to reclaim them.
Mr. Trump confirmed on his social media platform that he had been indicted. The charges against him include willfully retaining national defense secrets in violation of the Espionage Act, making false statements and a conspiracy to obstruct justice, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The Justice Department made no comment and did not immediately make the indictment public.
The indictment, handed up by a grand jury in Federal District Court in Miami, is the first time a former president has faced federal charges. It puts the nation in an extraordinary position, given Mr. Trump’s status not only as a one-time commander-in-chief but also as the current front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination to face President Biden, whose administration will now be seeking to convict his potential rival of multiple felonies.
Mr. Trump is expected to surrender to the authorities on Tuesday, according to a person close to him and his own post on his social media platform, Truth Social.
How anyone can still support Trump is baffling.
He's a habitual liar. He was impeached twice. He had an affair with a porn star while his wife was pregnant, then tried to cover it up with hush money before the 2016 election, an illegal act that led to a state indictment against him in New York. He's facing another indictment in Georgia for trying to overturn election results there. And there's a possibility of another federal indictment for his role in the January 6, 2021 insurrection aimed at keeping Trump in power.
What's laughable is the absurd devotion of Republican politicians to their Criminal-in-Chief. Even those who are running against him for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
Ron DeSantis is already defending Trump even before the federal indictment has been unsealed. How can he expect to defeat Trump for the nomination when he's acting like Trump's PR person instead of his opponent? He’s only been a presidential candidate for two weeks, but Ron DeSantis is already finding himself defending his chief rival.
Several hours after news broke that former President Donald Trump was indicted over his handling of classified documents, DeSantis lambasted the Department of Justice.
“The weaponization of federal law enforcement represents a mortal threat to a free society. We have for years witnessed an uneven application of the law depending upon political affiliation. Why so zealous in pursuing Trump yet so passive about Hillary or Hunter?” DeSantis tweeted about two hours after the news.
What an idiot. The Justice Department investigated Hillary Clinton's private email server in the runup to the 2016 election and didn't find any wrongdoing worthy of an indictment. The Justice Department also has been investigating Hunter Biden for several years and hasn't found any serious malfeasance.
Progressives like me are delighting in the fact that Trump made chants of "Lock her up!" a feature of his campaign rallies, and now he's facing the prospect of prison time himself. Ever heard of bad karma, Donald?
There was a time, not that long ago really, when Donald J. Trump said he cared about the sanctity of classified information. That, of course, was when his opponent was accused of jeopardizing it and it was a useful political weapon for Mr. Trump.
Throughout 2016, he castigated Hillary Clinton for using a private email server instead of a secure government one. “I’m going to enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information,” he declared. “No one will be above the law.” Mrs. Clinton’s cavalier handling of the sensitive information, he said, “disqualifies her from the presidency.”
Seven years later, Mr. Trump faces criminal charges for endangering national security by taking classified documents when he left the White House and refusing to return all of them even after being subpoenaed. Even in the what-goes-around-comes-around department of American politics, it is rather remarkable that the issue that helped propel Mr. Trump to the White House in the first place now threatens to ruin his chances of getting back there.
The indictment handed up by a federal grand jury at the request of the special counsel Jack Smith effectively brings the Trump story full circle. “Lock her up,” the crowds at his campaign rallies chanted with his encouragement. Now he may be the one locked up if convicted on any of the seven reported counts that include conspiracy to obstruct justice and willful retention of documents.