The charges and how many years Trump faces in the federal charges against Mar-a-Lago

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The federal indictment filed against former President Donald Trump contains seven counts, each carrying a maximum sentence of 75 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

The 76-year-old former commander in chief was found Thursday by a federal grand jury on criminal charges related to alleged mishandling of classified White House documents seized at his Mar-a-Lago, Fla., estate and allegations that he tried to prevent, accused the government’s attempts to retrieve them.

Allegations against Trump include: willfully withholding national defense documents, conspiring to obstruct justice, withholding documents, corruptly concealing records, concealing a document as part of a federal investigation, subterfuge schemes and making false statements, sources told ABC News.

All seven counts “are charges under the Espionage Act,” his attorney, Jim Trusty, confirmed to CNN.

“It contains some wording that suggests the seven counts of the indictment. It’s not 100% clear that all of these charges are separate charges, but they essentially emerge from one charge under the Espionage Act,” Trusty said.


Former President Donald Trump arrives at a Make America Great Again campaign event at Des Moines International Airport on October 14, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa.
AFP via Getty Images

Any charge could result in a prison sentence.

Storage of confidential documents

Trump is accused of hoarding hundreds of classified documents at his Palm Beach resort seized in two separate FBI raids last year.

He claimed he declassified everything that came out of the White House, adding that a president has the authority to declassify material “even if he thinks about it.”

A section of the Espionage Act prohibits any person — including the President — from “deliberately” keeping[ing]” Information on national defense and “fail[ing] hand it over to the authorized officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it.”


Documents seized during the FBI search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate on August 8, 2022.
Documents seized in the FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate on August 8, 2022.
AP

The law provides for a maximum sentence of 10 years and/or a fine.

Conspiracy to obstruct justice

The former commander-in-chief is accused of advising others to mislead government officials while they were working to obtain the secret documents in his possession, a crime that would face a charge of obstruction of justice.

Federal law prohibits anyone from “using threats or violence” that “influences, intimidates, or prevents US officials from doing their jobs.”


The Mar-a-Lago Club, home of former U.S. President Donald Trump, is seen April 4, 2023 in Palm Beach, Florida.
The Mar-a-Lago Club, home of former U.S. President Donald Trump, is seen April 4, 2023 in Palm Beach, Florida.
AFP via Getty Images

The law provides for a maximum sentence of 10 years and/or a fine.

Withholding a document or record

Investigators allege that Trump deliberately thumbed through some boxes of top-secret government documents, apparently intending to keep some of the material.

Similar to the charge under the Espionage Act, the charge of unauthorized removal and storage of classified documents or materials prohibits an individual from “knowingly removing such documents or materials without authorization and with the intention of storing such documents or materials in an unauthorized location.”

The law provides for a maximum sentence of 5 years and/or a fine.


Trump hosts a Make America Great Again rally during his campaign campaign at Orlando Sanford International Airport in Sanford, Florida on October 12, 2020.
Trump hosts a Make America Great Again rally during his campaign campaign at Orlando Sanford International Airport in Sanford, Florida on October 12, 2020.
AFP via Getty Images

Unlawfully conceal a document or record

The charge of corruptly concealing a document includes both threatening others to mislead a federal investigation and illegally storing classified documents, which Trump has been accused of.

The charges are directed against “anyone who corruptly alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals, or attempts to do so, any record, document, or other object with intent to jeopardize the integrity or availability of the object for use in an official proceeding.” impair; or otherwise obstructs, influences, or obstructs, or attempts to do so, any official proceeding.”


Photo shows aid workers carrying boxes to Marine One before US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump left the White House in Washington, DC on Trump's last day in office.
Aid workers carry boxes to Marine One before Trump departs the White House on his last day in office January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC.
AFP via Getty Images

The indictment carries one of the most severe penalties – Trump could face a 20-year sentence and/or a fine.

Concealing a document as part of a federal investigation

Trump faces another two decades if found guilty of intentionally hiding the classified documents while federal investigators searched his private homes for the past year.

“Anyone who tampers with evidence, such as by altering, destroying, or concealing a file, document, or other physical object with the intention of obstructing or complicating a judicial proceeding, may be prosecuted,” the law states.

The law provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years and/or a fine.

plan to hide

Trump is accused of knowingly hiding the classified documents during and immediately after his service in the “executive, legislative or judicial branch of the United States government,” the charter says.

The law provides for a maximum sentence of 5 years and/or a fine.

If it turns out he was involved in domestic terrorism, the indictment could result in an eight-year prison sentence for Trump.

False statements and representations

Finally, Trump could face false testimony and misrepresentation charges for allegedly lying about storing top-secret government papers in his private home.

The law provides for a maximum sentence of 5 years and/or a fine.

If convicted on all seven counts, the ex-president could face 75 years in prison.



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