A new report says the long arm of the Biden administration’s Justice Department will reach back to the 1917 Espionage Act when it seeks to have former President Donald Trump indicted.
A report in the U.K. Independent said prosecutors will be asking for the indictment as soon as Thursday. The report did not name its sources.
Last August, the FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate and confiscated boxes of documents. Since then, the Justice Department has been reviewing the documents and investigating Trump, who has maintained he declassified large numbers of documents and has done nothing inappropriate.
On Wednesday, Trump fired back at the reports of a looming indictment.
“No one has told me I’m being indicted, and I shouldn’t be because I’ve done NOTHING wrong, but I have assumed for years that I am a Target of the WEAPONIZED DOJ & FBI, starting with the Russia, Russia, Russia HOAX, the “No Collusion” Mueller Report, Impeachment HOAX #1, Impeachment HOAX #2, the PERFECT Ukraine phone call, and various other SCAMS & WITCH HUNTS. A TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE & ELECTION INTERFERENCE AT A LEVEL NEVER SEEN BEFORE. REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS MUST MAKE THIS THEIR # 1 ISSUE!!!” he posted on his Truth Social platform.
The report from the Independent said prosecutors will seek to indict Trump under Section 793 of the Espionage Act of 1917, which specifically mentions losing sensitive information.
The report called the action “a strategic decision by prosecutors that has been made to short-circuit Mr. Trump’s ability to claim that he used his authority as president to declassify documents he removed from the White House and kept at his Palm Beach, Florida property long after his term expired on 20 January 2021.”
The report said the law could cover Trump’s actions “even if he was authorized to possess the information as president.”
Section 793 of the Espionage Act, subsection (f), targets anyone who is allowed to have information “relating to the national defense” and who “through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed …”
The section also targets anyone who “having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer …”
The section calls for a fine and/or a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
The Justice Department has convened grand juries in Washington and Miami and is expected to make federal court in the southern district of Florida its focal point for any prosecution that takes place, according to The Washington Post.
The report, which did not name its sources, said some charges could still be filed in Washington.
On Wednesday, former Trump aide Taylor Budowich appeared before the Miami grand jury, the Post reported.
Today, in what can only be described as a bogus and deeply troubling effort to use the power of government to “get” Trump, I fulfilled a legal obligation to testify in front a federal grand jury and I answered every question honestly.
America has become a sick and broken…
— Taylor Budowich (@TayFromCA) June 7, 2023
Today, in what can only be described as a bogus and deeply troubling effort to use the power of government to “get” Trump, I fulfilled a legal obligation to testify in front a federal grand jury and I answered every question honestly. America has become a sick and broken nation—a decline led by Joe Biden and power hungry Democrats,” he wrote on Twitter.
“I will not be intimidated by this weaponization of government. For me, the need to unite our nation and make America great again has never been more clear than it is today. That starts with re-electing President Donald J. Trump, a purpose I will not be deterred from pursuing,” he wrote.
Trump, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, has also been indicted in New York City on charges that he improperly recorded payments made to women who made accusations against him during the 2016 presidential campaign.