STORY: Former U.S. President Donald Trump was told to show up at federal court next Tuesday in Miami, as he faces a second indictment, this time over his handling of classified materials after he left the White House.
And this marks the first time in American history a former president has been indicted on federal charges, adding to his legal troubles as he runs for president again.
The indictment remains under seal. Sources say Trump faces at least seven criminal counts in the federal case.
It’s illegal for the government to comment on grand jury matters that haven’t been made public.
However, Trump’s legal team would have been told what those seven charges were, as part of his summons.
Reuters could not immediately learn what specific charges Trump was facing, and his attorneys did not immediately respond for a comment.
Trump, who leads the GOP in the polls, targeted the Biden administration in a video posted on Thursday on his social media platform.
“I am an innocent man, I am an innocent person.”
“Our country is going to hell. They come after Donald Trump, weaponizing the Justice Department, weaponizing the FBI….”
Around 100 documents bearing “classified” markings were recovered from Trump’s Palm Beach home last August.
The Justice Department was looking into whether Trump unlawfully removed them when he left office in 2021, and whether he or others tried to block the government’s investigation.
On Thursday reporters challenged Joe Biden about the Justice Department’s independence in relation to the case.
“I have never once, not one single time, suggested to the Justice Department what they should do, or not do in terms of bringing a charge or not bringing a charge. I'm honest.
Following news of the indictment, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, other Republicans such as Ron DeSantis, and billionaire Elon Musk tweeted messages to support Trump.
Hofstra University Constitutional Law professor James Sample, says it's likely federal prosecutors will bring charges that are “serious” and “easy to prove” but he also said that doesn't mean Trump’s poll numbers will suffer.
“And, in fact, it was striking to witness that when he was indicted in New York on the charges arising out of the Stormy Daniels affair and the classification of those expenditures, his poll numbers actually improved. Now, is that causation or is it merely correlation? It's very, very difficult to say. But one thing that we have learned over the last couple of years in particular is that the normal rules, the normal political assumptions that apply, seemingly don't apply in the same way to Donald Trump.”
Trump is the first former president in U.S. history to face criminal charges.
That’s after he pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records linked to hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.
He also faces a much more serious criminal investigation by a county prosecutor in Georgia relating to his efforts to undo his 2020 election loss in that state.