Former US President Donald Trump faced new charges Thursday in a case accusing him of illegally possessing classified documents, with prosecutors alleging that he asked a staffer to delete camera footage at his Florida estate in an effort to block a federal investigation into the records.
The new charges include extra charges of obstruction and willful retention of national defense information, adding fresh detail to a criminal case issued last month against Trump and a close aide.
The Florida charges came as a surprise at a time of increasing anticipation of a possible additional indictment in Washington over his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. The latest allegations also make clear the vast, and still not fully known, scope of legal exposure faced by Trump as he seeks to reclaim the White House in 2024 while fending off criminal cases in various cities.
The updated indictment from special counsel Jack Smith centers on surveillance footage at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, evidence that has long been vital to the case. Trump is alleged to have asked for the footage to be deleted after FBI and Justice Department investigators visited in June 2022 to collect classified documents he took with him after leaving the White House. The new indictment also charges him with illegally holding onto a document he’s alleged to have shown off to visitors in New Jersey.