Former President Donald Trump has been indicted by a federal grand jury on seven criminal charges, carrying a maximum sentence of 75 years in prison if convicted on all counts. The charges stem from allegations of mishandling classified White House documents that were discovered at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, as well as accusations of obstructing the government’s efforts to retrieve those documents.
The charges against former President Donald Trump carry individual maximum sentences as follows:
- Retaining classified documents: Maximum sentence of 10 years and/or a fine.
- Conspiring to obstruct justice: Maximum sentence of 10 years and/or a fine.
- Withholding a document or record: Maximum sentence of 5 years and/or a fine.
- Corruptly concealing a document or record: Maximum sentence of 20 years and/or a fine.
- Concealing a document in a federal investigation: Maximum sentence of 20 years and/or a fine.
- Scheme to conceal: Maximum sentence of 5 years and/or a fine.
- False statements and representations: Maximum sentence of 5 years and/or a fine.
According to ABC News, the charges against Trump include willfully retaining national defense documents, conspiring to obstruct justice, withholding documents, corruptly concealing records, concealing a document in a federal investigation, scheming to conceal, and making false statements. Trump’s lawyer, Jim Trusty, confirmed that all seven charges are related to an Espionage Act charge and each carries the potential for a prison sentence.
The first charge accuses Trump of retaining classified documents, as investigators allege that he hoarded hundreds of such materials inside his Palm Beach resort, which were seized during two FBI raids in the past year. Trump has claimed that he declassified everything from the White House, asserting that a president has the authority to declassify material even through thought alone. This charge, based on a section of the Espionage Act, carries a maximum sentence of 10 years and/or a fine.
The second charge pertains to Trump’s alleged conspiracy to obstruct justice by instructing others to mislead government officials during their efforts to gather the classified documents in his possession. Federal law prohibits individuals from making threats or using force to influence, intimidate, or impede US officials in carrying out their duties. This charge also carries a maximum sentence of 10 years and/or a fine.
Trump faces another charge for withholding a document or record, which alleges that he purposefully reviewed some of the boxes containing top-secret government documents with the intent to retain certain materials. This unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents charge carries a maximum sentence of 5 years and/or a fine.
Furthermore, Trump is accused of corruptly concealing a document or record, which combines elements of threatening others to mislead a federal investigation and illegally retaining classified documents. The charge encompasses altering, destroying, mutilating, or concealing records or documents with the intent to impair their integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding. Trump could face a 20-year punishment and/or a fine for this offense.
The indictment also includes a charge of concealing a document in a federal investigation, alleging that Trump purposely hid the classified documents while federal investigators were conducting searches at his private residences. Tampering with evidence by altering, destroying, or concealing records or documents with the intent to obstruct or impede a court proceeding is punishable under this charge, carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years and/or a fine.
Another charge relates to a scheme to conceal, asserting that Trump knowingly hid the classified documents while serving in a governmental branch. This charge carries a maximum sentence of 5 years and/or a fine.
Lastly, Trump could face charges for making false statements and representations regarding the possession of top-secret government papers in his private residence. This charge carries a maximum sentence of 5 years and/or a fine.
If convicted on all seven charges, the former president could potentially be sentenced to a total of 75 years in prison.