Donald Trump facing potential 100 year prison sentence as charges mount
The polarising politician is the first ever US President to be charged with a crime.
In the latest twist surrounding former US President Donald Trump, federal prosecutors in the States have charged the outspoken 76-year-old over his retention of national security documents and obstructing the government’s efforts to retrieve them.
The exact nature of the indictment, which was filed in federal district court in Miami, remains unclear as it is under seal and the US justice department had no immediate comment.
The 2024 Republican Presidential hopeful confirmed the news himself on his social media platform Truth Social on Thursday, with his lawyers receiving an email from prosecutors outlining the charges and also summoning Mr. Trump to the Miami court next Tuesday.
Included in the spate of charges were the wilful retention of national defence information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document, corruptly concealing a document, concealing a document in a federal investigation and engaging in a scheme to conceal false statements.
According to US news outlet ABC, four of the charges being faced by Mr. Trump hold a maximum sentence of 20 years each, with one count carrying a 10 year sentence and two additional charges holding a five year prison sentence each.
Appearing on CNN, the former President's lawyer Jim Trusty confirmed that Mr. Trump had received seven charges on his summons sheet, but that his legal team had yet to view the indictment itself.
Reacting to the charges in typical Trump fashion on Truth Social, he labelled them as falsehoods, decreeing;
"I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former President of the United States, I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!"
Despite Mr. Trump’s lawyers being told last week that the Republican politician had been labelled a "target" in the criminal investigation, a clear indicator that charges were following suit, the news still appears to have come as a surprise to Mr. Trump himself.
According to reports, Mr. Trump reacted to the news by spending the afternoon calling allies on Capitol Hill and watching cable news channels to see who leapt to his defence, before heading to dinner at his New Jersey golf club at which he was seen DJing.
A pre-recorded short form video was also released by his team, in which his innocence against all charges was predictably proclaimed.
In Washington, the House speaker Kevin McCarthy labelled the charges a "dark day" in a post on Twitter that suggested the Biden administration, rather than a grand jury, had returned the indictment.
"House Republicans will hold this brazen weaponization of power accountable", he added.
In addition to these seven charges, Mr. Trump also remains under criminal investigation for his attempts to overturn the events of the 2020 US Presidential election, which saw large-scale riots break out in the nation's capital.
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