(CTN News) – In a recent development, former US President Donald Trump has been hit with fresh criminal charges, including wilful retention of defense information and obstruction, related to alleged mishandling of classified files.
The new indictment brings the total charges against him to 40. Trump has vehemently opposed the prosecutor’s actions, denying any wrongdoing, labeling them as “deranged.”
Despite the mounting legal challenges, Trump remains unwavering in his pursuit of the 2024 presidential campaign and has stated that he will not abandon it even if he faces criminal convictions.
He has pleaded not guilty to earlier charges alongside his aide, Walt Nauta, who received two additional obstruction charges recently. Carlos de Oliveira, the Mar-a-Lago property manager, has also been indicted.
The revised charge sheet details alleged efforts between Nauta and de Oliveira to obstruct the Department of Justice’s investigation. This includes an attempt to delete surveillance footage following a subpoena demanding access to confidential documents held in the area.
A court document reveals that de Oliveira communicated Trump’s desire to delete the server, and Trump assured him legal counsel at Nauta’s request.
Furthermore, the indictment accuses Trump of knowingly discussing a top-secret document with biographers at Mar-a-Lago, which involved potential plans to attack “Country A” (Iran).
Special prosecutor Jack Smith is leading the case of the document and overseeing a separate investigation into alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election results. Trump’s attorneys recently met officials in Smith’s office in Washington DC, but there is no indication of when charges may be filed.
Trump’s presidential campaign has dismissed the fresh charges as part of an “illegal witch hunt.” Republican lawmakers have come to his defense, calling the Department of Justice’s actions weaponized.
They suggest that the timing of the charges might be intended to divert attention from President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, facing difficulties with a collapsed plea deal over tax and gun offenses.
President Biden himself is under investigation for how he handled classified documents during his tenure as vice president and senator.
Despite these mounting legal troubles, Trump remains popular among Republicans. Some suggest that the continued indictments could even solidify his nomination in the Republican presidential race.
However, others, including a former Trump lawyer, believe that the evidence against him is overwhelming and that the charges will significantly impact his legal standing.
Trump faces numerous legal problems, including awaiting trial on 34 felony counts in a hush-money case in New York and civil charges in a defamation case brought by author E Jean Carroll. Additionally, Georgia prosecutors are still considering whether to press state charges over alleged efforts to overturn the election results.