Only a few options left for Trump. Run to Russia and live like a king or face years of indictments and potential prison sentences while he passes the 80 years old mark. One thing Garland and Jack Smith have done is give Trump a pass by indicting in Florida where Trump has corrupt Judges to serve at his beckon call. Anyone else would be in cuffs by now, but with Trump they treat him special, and allow him to surrender in a week, and won’t even ask for detention in his case, even though he is a major flight risk.
As for flight risks, yes, Trump is a major flight risk, has access to unlimited funds and can freely travel and has global connections, and could escape. But that plays into the wet dream liberal fantasy whereby Trump takes himself out of the running for 2024. He might live like a King elsewhere, but he’d be branded as a coward for running, while his base will cover him running away by saying Russia is the only free country left on earth etc. etc. yada, yada.
The other option is to stay and face it and get a Trump appointed Judge like he had before in Florida and get out with zero bail requirements and get anything he wants, which is delay after delay after delay. This choice in Florida was an odd one. It’s like saying that Garland gave him a wonderful place to be federally indicted, which will allow him to get a nice Trumpy Judge and get off scot-free eventually.
Twice-impeached ex-president is being prosecuted for violating Espionage Act and obstruction over documents held at Mar-a-Lago
Federal prosecutors have charged Donald Trump with violating the Espionage Act and conspiring to obstruct the criminal investigation among other counts, according to a person familiar with the matter, a historic development marking the most significant legal peril yet for the former president.
The exact nature of the seven-count indictment is unclear because it remains under seal.
At least some of the counts filed in federal district court in Miami by the office of special counsel Jack Smith include the willful retention of national defense information, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct, false statements and concealment under title 18 of the US criminal code, the person said.
Trump, now based at his Bedminster golf club in New Jersey for the summer, learned of the indictment Thursday afternoon when the justice department provided his lawyers with a summons for him to surrender to authorities in Miami on Tuesday at 3pm, the person said.
The news came after the Guardian reported on Wednesday that Trump’s lawyers were told last week the former president had formally been designated a “target” in the criminal investigation, the clearest indication that prosecutors intended to charge him with crimes.
For more than a year, prosecutors have examined whether Trump knowingly retained classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida after he left office and took steps to conceal the materials after the justice department issued a subpoena for their return.
Criminal charges against Trump in the Mar-a-Lago documents investigation means the former president is now a defendant in a second case after he was indicted on state charges in New York by the Manhattan district attorney over his role in hush-money payments to an adult film star in 2016.
The indictment by Smith, appointed by the US attorney general, Merrick Garland, to lead the documents investigation, also means the country must grapple with the unprecedented situation of a twice-impeached, twice-charged former president running for re-election.
The news comes after activity in the investigation recently shifted to the Wilkie Ferguson US courthouse in Miami, after prosecutors subpoenaed multiple witnesses to appear before a previously unknown grand jury taking evidence in the case in Florida, the Guardian has reported.
Most of the grand jury activity until May had focused on the grand jury hearing evidence in the case in Washington. But that grand jury went quiet at the start of the month, around the same time that the Florida grand jury was impaneled, a person familiar with the situation said.
The investigation has broadly been focused on three statutes under title 18 of the US code, according to the FBI’s search warrant affidavit for Mar-a-Lago: willful retention of national defense information, obstruction of justice and the retention of government documents.
The espionage investigation has been focused on whether Trump showed off national security materials in his office at Mar-a-Lago, and has questioned multiple witnesses about whether Trump waved around classified documents he had kept when no longer authorized to after he left office.
Prosecutors have also asked witnesses about documents concerning potential US military action against Iran, after Trump referenced such a document in a meeting at Bedminster in July 2021 where he said he could not show a certain document because he did not declassify it when president.
To that end, prosecutors have shown an Iran document to some witnesses who appeared before the Washington grand jury and asked whether they had ever been shown the material by Trump or anyone else. It was not clear whether any witness confirmed seeing the document, one of the people said.
The investigation into the obstruction, meanwhile, has focused on whether the failure by Trump to fully comply with the subpoena last year was a deliberate act of obstruction because he wanted to retain the classified documents even after he had left office, the people said.
Last June, the since-recused Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran found 38 classified documents in the storage room at Mar-a-Lago and told the justice department that no further materials remained there – which came into question when the FBI seized 101 more classified documents months later.
Corcoran later told associates he felt misled because he had asked whether he should search elsewhere at Mar-a-Lago, such as Trump’s office, but was waved off, the Guardian first reported. Corcoran’s notes also showed he told Trump he had to return all classified documents in his possession.