JUST IN: Trump Criminally Charged

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Former President Donald Trump has been charged with seven federal criminal offenses related to the retention of classified government documents following his departure from the White House. The indictment was disclosed by Trump himself through his Truth Social media platform, where he also mentioned being summoned to appear in a Miami court next week.

NBC News subsequently verified the indictment, which marks the second instance of criminal charges against Trump in recent months. The specifics of the indictment remain sealed, according to an undisclosed source.

In March, Trump was initially indicted by a grand jury in New York on charges of falsifying business records in connection with a payment made to a porn star in 2016. This recent indictment adds to the legal challenges Trump faces.

Trump, who is currently vying for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, holds the distinction of being the first U.S. president, past or present, to face criminal charges. Following news of the latest indictment, a Trump political action committee promptly initiated fundraising efforts.

Expressing his reaction on Truth Social, Trump wrote, “I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former President of the United States. I AM AN INNOCENT MAN! This is indeed a DARK DAY for the United States of America.”

For some time now, Trump has been under investigation for impeding requests to return government records, including classified documents, after his presidency ended. Federal law mandates the return of such records upon a president’s departure from office.

Last August, FBI agents conducted a search at Trump’s residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, in pursuit of the records they believed might be located there. During the search, agents discovered numerous classified documents.

Special Counsel Jack Smith, who leads the Department of Justice investigation, did not provide any comments to NBC News through his spokesperson.

In his social media posts, Trump claimed, “The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been indicted, seemingly over the Boxes Hoax, even though Joe Biden has 1850 Boxes at the University of Delaware, additional Boxes in Chinatown, D.C., with even more Boxes at the University of Pennsylvania, and documents strewn all over his garage floor where he parks his Corvette, and which is ‘secured’ by only a garage door that is paper thin, and open much of the time.”

Trump concluded his message by stating that he has been summoned to appear at the Federal Courthouse in Miami on Tuesday at 3 PM, and expressed concern about the state of the country, while invoking his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again!”

The White House declined to comment on the matter, redirecting inquiries to the Department of Justice, emphasizing its independent role in conducting criminal investigations.