Trump Blasts Jack Smith As ‘Deranged Lunatic’ In Social Media Tirade—But Plays Cool On Golf Course After Mar-A-Lago Indictment
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Former President Donald Trump tore into Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith and declared his innocence on Friday, moments after a federal indictment Smith’s office filed was unsealed, detailing 37 felony charges against Trump alleging he illegally took top-secret military documents to Mar-A-Lago and schemed to hide the records from federal investigators.

Key Facts

Trump launched a string of insults at Smith, calling him a “deranged lunatic,” a “Trump Hater” and a “psycho that shouldn’t be involved in any case having to do with ‘Justice,’” in a series of Truth Social posts.

Trump also wrongly claimed that “under the Presidential Records Act, I’m allowed to do all this,” contradicting previous statements he made acknowledging that he did not have the authority to declassify documents after leaving office, according to the indictment.

Referencing a photo of what the Justice Department described in the indictment as classified documents spilled on the floor of a storage room at Mar-A-Lago, Trump said the image “clearly shows there was no ‘documents’ but rather newspapers, personal pictures, etc.,” he wrote, adding his hallmark criticism of the investigation: “WITCH HUNT!”

The image was among several the Justice Department included in the filing that showed boxes of records stored next to a toilet in a bathroom at Mar-A-Lago, on a stage in the ballroom and in a storage facility.

The former president also ranted about the agency’s investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents, claiming Biden “moved his boxes all over the place,” referring to the classified records found in Biden’s possession at his home in Delaware and former office in Washington.

There are wide disparities between the two instances, however: Biden had roughly two dozen classified documents in his possession and voluntarily complied with a Justice Department search of his Delaware home—Trump, meanwhile, allegedly took efforts to hide the more than 300 classified documents prosecutors say he took with him to Mar-A-Lago and failed to fully comply with a Justice Department subpoena for the records, prompting the FBI to raid the property in August.

Surprising Fact

Trump played in New Jersey on Friday with Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.) as the indictment was unsealed, according to a photo Gimenez posted to Twitter.

Key Background

Trump was indicted on 37 federal felony accounts Thursday for allegedly taking classified documents to Mar-A-Lago and coordinating a cover-up of his conduct, which federal prosecutors said put national security at risk. The charges include 31 counts of violating an Espionage Act statute that prohibits willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements, among others. Trump, who announced he had been indicted on Truth Social Thursday, was widely expected to be charged after his lawyers met with Justice Department investigators Monday, indicating their probe that began in March last year was nearing its conclusion. Prosecutors also indicted his aide, Walt Nauta, whom Trump allegedly instructed to move documents in an effort to hide them from investigators. Trump was summoned to appear in court in Miami on Tuesday and is expected to enter a plea in the case.


Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Smith, a veteran federal prosecutor, in November to oversee the investigation to avoid allegations of political interference after Trump launched his third run for the White House. Smith, delivering public remarks on the investigation shortly after the indictment was made public Friday, spoke about the importance of “laws to protect national defense information” and stressed that Trump will be treated like any other federal defendant in the case.

Chief Critics

Trump’s allies focused their ire on President Joe Biden in the wake of the indictment, suggesting the president directed the DOJ to indict Trump. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) vowed the House would “hold this brazen weaponization of power accountable,” and House Majority Leader Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) accused Biden of “weaponizing” the DOJ “against his own political rival.”

Further Reading

Trump Indictment Unsealed: 37 Felony Counts Allege He Could Have Put National Security At Risk (Forbes)

Trump Stored Documents By Toilet, In Ballroom And Bedroom, Photos Show (Forbes)

Special Counsel Smith On Trump Indictment: ‘We Have One Set Of Laws In This Country And They Apply To Everyone’ (Forbes)

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