Donald Trump Charged With Espionage and Obstruction and Could Face Up to 75 YEARS in Jail

Charges brought against Former President Donald Trump for Espionage and Obstruction. Maximum sentencing could reach up to 75 years if charged. 

The Story Unfolding

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The charges relate to his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House.

There is the potential for dire consequences for Trump and any co-conspirators if convicted. Despite the severity of the charge they do not legally inhibit Trump from campaigning for political office.

Trump Faces Criminal Charges Over Classified Documents Handling

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In a significant development, former US President Donald Trump is facing criminal charges pertaining to his handling of classified documents post-presidency.

The details of these charges trace back to an event that occurred in August 2022.

Classified files were discovered at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, and the details surrounding these charges have yet to be fully disclosed to the public.

Lawyer’s Confirmation and Upcoming Court Hearing

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Trump’s legal representative, Jim Trusty, confirmed the existence of these charges.

The list includes seven counts in total, incorporating an espionage charge and multiple counts of obstruction and false statements.

The details of these charges will be elaborated on in a forthcoming Miami court hearing, in which Mr. Trump is expected to make an appearance.

Espionage Act and Its Interpretation

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One of the key charges that Mr. Trump faces is under the Espionage Act.

His lawyer indicated this pertains specifically to the willful retention of national defense information. While espionage is often associated with spying, it’s worth noting that the act is not confined to such activities.

It has been used in the past to prosecute individuals accused of being negligent with important government documents.

Declassification Claims and Their Legal Ramifications

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Trump has maintained that he “declassified” the documents before taking them into his personal possession. However, national security lawyer Bradley Moss stated that such an argument might not hold up against the Espionage Act.

To convict under the Espionage Act, the government isn’t concerned with the “Top Secret” classification level but rather that the information pertains to national defense.

Historically, the government has managed to establish this in similar cases.

Prosecution’s Burden: Proving Trump’s Willful Violation of Law

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The primary challenge for the prosecution is to prove that Trump knowingly and willfully violated the law.

Georgetown University Law Center Professor David Super suggested that Trump’s defense team is likely to argue that the former President was negligent or careless, rather than willful.

A report that prosecutors have obtained an audio recording in which Trump acknowledged the possession of a classified document may play a significant role in this matter.

Additional Charges Including Obstruction of Justice

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Apart from the initial Espionage Act count, Trump’s lawyer confirmed that they received a summons from federal prosecutors that included several other charges.

These are primarily obstruction-based charges and false statement charges.

These may revolve around the allegation that Trump didn’t fully cooperate with a federal subpoena that instructed him to surrender all classified material he had in his possession.

Discovery of More Classified Documents and Potential Video Evidence

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After Trump’s team turned over 222 classified documents to the government, the FBI unearthed an additional 103 classified documents during a subsequent search of Mar-a-Lago.

There are ongoing reports that prosecutors have sought surveillance tapes from Trump’s Florida home, which could potentially provide video evidence of document handling.

Conspiracy Charge Suggests Involvement of Others

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Trusty confirmed that the multiple counts brought by prosecutors included a conspiracy charge.

The special counsel investigation has placed focus on Trump’s lawyers, some of whom signed off on documents asserting that Trump had provided all the subpoenaed classified material.

Their statements could serve as evidence in the case.

Potential Consequences for Conviction

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Should Trump be convicted, the penalties would depend on the exact nature of the charges.

According to the Statute of Obstruction for Justice, these could range from fines to a sentence of “not more than 20 years” for an obstruction of justice charge and up to 10 years in prison for Espionage Act violations.

If convicted of all charges, he could face up to 75 years in prison. 

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