Donald Trump faces new charges over classified document handling

Former US President Donald Trump is facing seven new charges, including conspiracy, obstruction of justice and over his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House in 2021

Former US President Donald Trump charged again
Former US President Donald Trump charged again

Donald Trump is facing new charges, this time over his handling of classified documents after leaving his post as United States President.

Trump, who is also running for the 2024 Presidential Election, is facing seven charges in total, his lawyer said on Friday morning.

The charges include conspiracy, false statements, obstruction of justice, and illegally retaining classified documents under the Espionage Act.

Some of the federal crimes he was charged with, can carry a prison sentence on conviction.

These charges do not prevent him from running for the presidency, which he announced in Florida a few days after the indictment.

"I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former president of the United States," Trump wrote on Truth Social on Thursday.

The former president was summoned to appear at a federal court in Miami, Florida, on Tuesday afternoon. That’s when he will be arrested at court and will hear the charges against him.

"This is indeed a dark day for the United States of America. We are a country in serious and rapid decline, but together we will Make America Great Again," he added.

Special prosecutor Jack Smith has been overseeing the investigation into Trump's handling of classified documents since his appointment by Attorney General Merrick Garland in November. 

Last year, the FBI searched Trump's Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, seizing around 11,000 documents, including approximately 100 marked as classified and some labelled as top secret. 

Recent reports also suggest that prosecutors possess an audio recording in which Trump acknowledges retaining a classified document after leaving the White House in January 2021. 

According to US law, federal officials, including the president, are prohibited from removing or storing classified documents in unauthorized locations.

Smith is also overseeing a separate probe into Trump's role in the storming of the US Capitol.

Trump became the first former president to be charged with a crime in April after he pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records over a hush-money payment to a porn star.

He faces a trial in that case in New York next year.