Special Counsel Jack Smith on Friday gave a statement after the indictment against former US President Donald Trump in the classified documents probe was unsealed.
In his remarks, Smith urged Americans to read the indictment to understand the "gravity of the crimes", and also stated that US laws "apply to everyone".
"Good afternoon. Today, an indictment was unsealed, charging Donald J. Trump with felony violations of our national security laws as well as participating in a conspiracy to obstruct justice. This indictment was voted by a grand jury of citizens in the Southern District of Florida, and I invite everyone to read it in full to understand the scope and the gravity of the crimes charged," he said.
"The men and women of the United States Intelligence Community and our Armed Forces dedicate their lives to protecting our nation and its people. Our laws that protect National Defense Information are critical to the safety and security of the United States, and they must be enforced."
"Violations of those laws put our country at risk. Adherence to the rule of law is a bedrock principle of the Department of Justice, and our nation’s commitment to the rule of law sets an example for the world," the special counsel continued.
"We have one set of laws in this country, and they apply to everyone. Applying those laws, collecting facts, that’s what determines the outcome of an investigation. Nothing more and nothing less. The prosecutors in my office are among the most talented and experienced in the Department of Justice. They have investigated this case, hewing to the highest ethical standards, and they will continue to do so as this case proceeds," he stated.
"It’s very important for me to note that the defendants in this case must be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. To that end, my office will seek a speedy trial on this matter, consistent with the public interest and the rights of the accused. We very much look forward to presenting our case to a jury of citizens in the Southern District of Florida," said Smith.
"In conclusion, I would like to thank the dedicated public servants of the Federal Bureau of Investigation with whom my office is conducting this investigation and who work tirelessly every day, upholding the rule of law in our country. I’m deeply proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them. Thank you very much," he concluded.
Minutes before Smith spoke at the Justice Department, Trump attacked him in a post on his social media platform Truth Social.
"He went after Evangelicals and Great Americans of Faith. The United States had to apologize, and pay major damages for what this deranged lunatic did," Trump wrote.
The former President attacked Smith as "deranged" and a "Trump Hater" who shouldn’t be involved in any case "having to do with 'Justice.'"
Trump faces 37 counts in the case, including 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information, according to the indictment.
Walt Nauta, an aide to Trump, was also indicted in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into the mishandling of classified documents.
Trump and Nauta both face a count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, according to the federal indictment. Trump is also accused of showing classified documents on two occasions to others, according to the indictment.
The indictment was unsealed a day after Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform that he has been indicted in the case of the classified documents that were found in his Florida estate.
Trump later released a four-minute video in which he repeatedly asserted his innocence and called the charges “warfare.”
“I am innocent, and we will prove that very, very soundly and hopefully very quickly,” said the former President, who said the saga is nothing more than an attempt to snatch away his bid to return to the White House.
“It's election interference at the highest level,” he said. “They come after me, because now we're leading in the polls again by a lot—against Biden and against the Republicans, by a lot... they figured they way they're going to stop us is by using what's called ‘warfare.’ And that's what it is. This is warfare for the law. And we can’t let it happen. Our country is going to hell, and they come after Donald Trump, weaponizing the Justice Department.”
Last August, the US government recovered more than 300 documents with classified markings from Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in Florida.
In November of 2022, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Smith to oversee Justice Department investigations against the former President.
Trump insists that he declassified the documents in question before leaving office. The former President and his lawyers have publicly insinuated on multiple occasions that the agents who carried out the raid planted evidence during the search.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)