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Tue Jun 13, 2023, 10:39 AM Jun 2023

Judd Legum: Your guide to the nonsense about Trump's federal indictment


Today, for the first time in American history, a former president of the United States will appear at a federal courthouse to be arraigned on criminal charges. The indictment against Trump alleges that he took hundreds of classified documents from the White House to his social club in Florida, where he stored them in cardboard boxes along with newspaper clippings and other miscellanea. The boxes containing classified materials ended up in storage closets, ballrooms, and bathrooms without meaningful security measures — all while thousands of people visited the club.

The charges against Trump, made public by Special Counsel Jack Smith last week, related not only to Trump's retention of the nation's national security secrets, but also his efforts to conceal the materials from law enforcement. The indictment is devastatingly detailed, incorporating audio recordings, photographs, text messages, and contemporaneous notes.

All told, Trump faces 37 charges related to violations of the Espionage Act, obstruction, and conspiracy.

Nevertheless, millions of people are convinced that Trump is being railroaded. This includes supporters "planning mass protests" at the Miami courthouse today and promising to arrive "well armed." But it also includes an assortment of TV pundits, op-ed writers, and elected officials.

Some of the arguments sound persuasive at first blush. But a closer examination reveals that none of them hold water.


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