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These are the charges Trump was indicted on and what they mean

Former President Donald Trump is pictured during a round of golf on May 2 in Turnberry, Scotland. On Friday, the Justice Department special counsel announced that Trump has been indicted related to the handling of classified documents.
Updated June 9, 2023 at 3:28 PM ET

The federal indictment of former President Donald Trump in the classified documents probe has been unsealed.

The indictment lays out 37 federal charges against Trump, including obstruction and unlawful retention of defense information for storing dozens of classified documents at his Florida resort and refusing to return them to the FBI and the National Archives.

Also named in the indictment is Walt Nauta, a former presidential aide to Trump who remained in his employ after Trump left office. Nauta faces six charges.

Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith defended his team’s work and emphasized the seriousness of the charges.

“Our laws that protect national defense information are critical to the safety and security of the United States, and they must be enforced,” he said.

Smith also noted that the defendants “must be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law,” adding that the special counsel’s office will seek “a speedy trial on this matter consistent with the public interest and the rights of the accused.”

Here is a summary of the counts, which are listed starting on page 28 of the document embedded below:

  • Willful retention of national defense information: This charge, covering counts 1-31, only applies to Trump and is for allegedly storing 31 such documents at Mar-a-Lago.
  • Conspiracy to obstruct justice: Trump and Nauta, along with others, are charged with conspiring to keep those documents from the grand jury.
  • Withholding a document or a record: Trump and Nauta are accused of misleading one of their attorneys by moving boxes of classified documents so the attorney could not find or introduce them to the grand jury.
  • Corruptly concealing a document or record: This pertains to the Trump and Nauta’s alleged attempts to hide the boxes of classified documents from the attorney.
  • Concealing a document in a federal investigation: They are accused of hiding Trump’s continued possession of those documents at Mar-a-Lago from the FBI and causing a false certificate to be submitted to the FBI.
  • Scheme to conceal: This is for the allegation that Trump and Nauta hid Trump’s continued possession of those materials from the FBI and the grand jury.
  • False statements and representations: This count concerns statements that Trump allegedly caused another one of his attorneys to make to the FBI and grand jury in early June regarding the results of the search at Mar-a-Lago.
  • False statements and representations: This final count accuses Nauta of giving false answers during a voluntary interview with the FBI in late May.


According to the indictment, each one of those charges carries a maximum fine of $250,000, with maximum prison sentences between five and 20 years.

Follow live updates on the indictment of former President Donald Trump here.

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