The full federal indictment against former President Donald Trump was unsealed Friday, charging the former president with 37 felony counts related to his alleged mishandling of classified documents.
The indictment is a scathing accusation of national security breaches and lapses in the handling of classified information. It alleges that Trump brought a massive collection of boxes containing classified information to his private Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago, upon leaving the White House on Jan. 20, 2021.
Trump ceased to be president on this date, and "was not authorized to possess or retain those classified documents," the indictment says, also noting that "the Mar-a-Lago Club was not an authorized location for the storage, possession, review, display or discussion of classified documents."
"Nevertheless, Trump stored his boxes containing classified documents in various locations at the Mar-a-Lago Club — including in a ballroom, a bathroom and shower, an office space, his bedroom and a storage room," the indictment alleges. The indictment also includes photographic evidence, including a picture of a bathroom where boxes can be seen stacked halfway to the ceiling.
The indictment adds that "Trump showed classified documents to others" on at least two separate occasions, and the included transcript of an audio-recorded conversation suggests he showed an secret attack plan to members of his staff and others who didn't have security clearances. "As president I could have declassified it," Trump reportedly says of the document. "Now I can't, you know, but this is still a secret."
The majority of the indictment, counts one through 31, charges the former president with "willful retention of national defense information," which carries a maximum of 10 years in prison. Other counts include conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements.
Trump has said he is innocent and claims the indictment is politically motivated. He says he will plead not guilty at his arraignment on Tuesday.