Trump indictment is ‘very, very damning,’ his former attorney general says


Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump applauds as he attends the North Carolina Republican Party convention in Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S. June 10, 2023. 

Megan Varner | Reuters

Follow our live coverage of Donald Trump’s indictment in the classified documents case.

After a 37-count criminal indictment against Donald Trump was unsealed Friday, Trump’s former Attorney General Bill Barr said there is trouble ahead for the 2024 Republican presidential hopeful.

“If even half of it is true, then he’s toast,” Barr told “Fox News Sunday.” “It’s a very detailed indictment, and it’s very, very damning. And this idea of presenting Trump as a victim here, a victim of a witch hunt, is ridiculous.”

The indictment revealed allegations that the former president willfully retained hundreds of classified government records at his Florida home and conspired to prevent their return to U.S. officials.

The charging document, which was made public a day after a grand jury in U.S. District Court in Miami voted to indict Trump, said that the records contained information about defense and weapons capabilities of the U.S. and foreign countries, U.S. nuclear programs, and “potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack.”

Trump stored these classified materials in cardboard boxes in a ballroom, a bathroom, a shower, and office space, along with his bedroom and a storage room at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida., according to the indictment.

Barr said the way Trump stored the documents at Mar-a-Lago would be enough to make anyone who cares about national security stomachs’ churn.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks next to U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr during a discussion with state attorneys general on social media abuses in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 23, 2020.

Tom Brenner | Reuters

“He is not a victim here,” Barr said. “He was totally wrong that he had the right to have those documents. Those documents are among the most sensitive secrets the country has.”

Many Republicans, including presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, have rallied around Trump in the wake of the indictment.

Ramaswamy said he would pardon Trump if elected, even before the details of the indictment were released. He told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that after reading the indictment, he is “even more convinced that a pardon is the right answer.”

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan said Sunday that the indictment is “as political as it gets.” The Ohio Republican claimed Trump had declassified the materials and could handle them as he pleased. CNN’s Dana Bash repeatedly tried to press Jordan for evidence that Trump had declassified the documents.

“I go on the president’s word, and he said he did,” Jordan said.

But Democratic officials have been less forgiving, and Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware said Sunday that “no man is above the law.”

“Former President Trump has no one to blame but himself for being federally, criminally indicted,” he told ABC’s “This Week.”

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