Trump May Be Federally Indicted This Week in Classified Documents Case

The unprecedented legal war on the former president continues with the use of the Espionage Act, a law criticized as being overly broad.

By Hudson Crozier

The scoop: Donald Trump may face a federal grand jury indictment within the next few days over his handling of classified documents while in office, according to multiple reports citing inside sources. Trump’s lawyers met with the Department of Justice this week before the news broke. Trump continues to deny any wrongdoing.

Catch up: The former president is being investigated for the alleged mishandling of classified documents. The case intensified last week after a leak of an audio tape from 2021 in which Trump acknowledges he held onto a classified document. Joe Biden had also held onto classified documents in his home in Delaware from his years as vice president and is currently being investigated too.

The potential charges: The DOJ will reportedly charge Trump under the Espionage Act, a 1917 law that criminalizes the failure to protect any information pertaining to national defense. Many on the left and libertarians have criticized the U.S. government’s broad use of the law for the prosecution of political dissenters, mainly whistleblowers and journalists. The DOJ will also charge Trump with obstruction of justice for allegedly failing to cooperate with its investigation.

Who would the jurors be? Prosecutors, led by special counsel Jack Smith, have two grand juries investigating the document issue, one in Washington, D.C., and one in Florida, where Trump stored documents in his home. The location of any potential trial depends on whether the “scene of the crime” was the White House or Mar-a-Lago. This will be crucial to the trial’s outcome as jurors in the liberal capital city have shown considerable bias in politically charged cases, as Upward News has reported.

Big picture: The federal indictment of a former president would be even more significant than Trump’s historic indictment in Manhattan—though it likely can’t stop him from running for president. Here are the other ongoing criminal cases against Trump:

  • A federal grand jury is investigating Trump for his alleged role in the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot and alleged efforts to “overturn” the election.

  • A Georgia district attorney is targeting him for allegedly trying to thwart the certification of the 2020 election.