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Donald Trump and Aides Face 3 Additional Felony Charges

Donald Trump and Aides Face 3 Additional Felony Charges

Donald Trump
Aaron Schwartz/Shutterstock

The three new charges include one that he kept a theoretical war plan long after he ceased to be president.

Special Counsel Jack Smith Thursday announced new charges against former President Donald Trump in the case involving the former president’s retention of classified documents after he left office, and Smith added a third defendant in the case.

The three new federal felony charges against Trump include the accusation that he kept a classified document laying out a theoretical attack on Iran by the U.S. military and showed it to staffers and others at his golf club in New Jersey in July 2021, five months after he had ceased to be president, so he had no right to possess this and other classified information, according to the indictment and national media outlets. There is a recording of him noting that the document was still classified and that the people in the room did not have security clearances that would have legally allowed them to view it.

There are also new charges of obstruction against Trump, aide Walt Nauta, and Carlos de Oliveira, head of maintenance at Mar-a-Lago. Some charges had already been brought against Nauta, but de Oliveira is new in the case. De Oliveira and Nauta “requested that another Trump employee ‘delete security camera footage at the Mar-a-Lago Club to prevent the footage from being provided to a federal grand jury,’” The Washington Post reports, quoting the 60-page indictment.

“The new charging document also identifies de Oliveira as the person who helped Nauta move about 30 boxes from Trump’s residence to a storage room,” NBC News reports. De Oliveira told FBI agents he knew nothing about the documents, according to the indictment.

Trump had already been charged with 31 counts of illegally retaining national defense information, but Thursday’s action brings the number to 32. The two new counts of obstruction bring that total to eight. The obstruction charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years each, and those on illegal retention of information are punishable with up to 10 years in prison.

Trump and Nauta have pleaded not guilty to the initial charges. A judge in Florida has scheduled a trial for May.

Smith appears likely to bring charges against Trump in connection with efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, including events that preceded the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, when Congress was certifying the electoral vote. New York State prosecutors have charged Trump with falsifying business records to cover up a hush-money payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels. He has pleaded not guilty, and the trial is set for March.

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