AceShowbiz - Donald Trump is battling 37 felony charges over the alleged mishandling of classified documents. The 76-year-old billionaire - who became the 45th president of the US between 2017 and 2021 - could face a lengthy prison sentence if he's ultimately convicted.
Becoming the first former president to face criminal charges on a federal level, Trump is accused of sharing details of a highly confidential military "plan of attack" during a meeting with a writer, publisher, and two members of staff back in July 2021. Held at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey, the meeting took place after Trump had left the White House. "As president I could have declassified it ... Now I can't, but this is still a secret," the businessman allegedly said.
In the indictment - which has been unsealed by the US Department of Justice - Trump is accused of sharing a classified map with a representative of his political action committee who didn't have security clearance. It's also been alleged that classified files were stored in a shower, bathroom, ballroom and in Trump's bedroom.
The former president has been charged under the Espionage Act, with Trump being accused of conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements. Trump in now due to appear in court in Miami next week.
However, James Trusty, Trump's lawyer, has already insisted that he's "not shrinking from the fight." Speaking to CNN, the lawyer added, "You're not going to see him hide in Scotland. He's going to be ready to handle this case and help his attorneys fight it."
Meanwhile, Trump has lashed out at Jack Smith, the lead investigator, describing him as a "Trump Hater" and "a deranged 'psycho.' " The outspoken businessman also asked to know why President Joe Biden isn't facing prosecution over the classified documents found at one of his offices last year. He wrote on his Truth Social account, "Biden moved his Boxes all over the place. Why isn't deranged Jack Smith looking at that? (sic)"