Donald Trump yesterday said he had been indicted on federal charges in connection with classified documents found at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida last year and that he has been summoned to appear in a federal court in Miami on Tuesday.
“This is indeed a DARK DAY for the United States of America,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social social media platform last night.
A lawyer for Trump said that a legal summons from the Department of Justice indicated there were seven charges, including obstruction of justice, false statements and violations of the Espionage Act. Jim Trusty told CNN the charges were “ludicrous”.
Trump is the favourite to win the 2024 presidential nomination for the Republican party and a criminal conviction would not disqualify him from running for the White House.
But the DoJ’s decision to press charges adds to Trump’s mounting legal woes. He has already become the first former president to be charged in a criminal case in state court, after the Manhattan district attorney hit him with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. He has pleaded not guilty.
He could also face charges in the state of Georgia, related to the 2020 presidential election where Trump maintains he did nothing wrong. And New York attorney-general Letitia James has also filed a civil lawsuit against Trump and three of his adult children, alleging a sweeping fraud in connection with the Trump Organization.
Last month Trump was ordered to pay $5mn to journalist E Jean Carroll after being found liable in a civil lawsuit accusing him of sexual abuse and defamation. Trump’s lawyers yesterday asked for a retrial in that case, arguing the financial reward was “excessive”.
Analysis: A defiant Trump faces a much bigger political test in an unprecedented second indictment, this time with national security implications.
Here’s what else I’m keeping tabs on today and over the weekend:
Economic data: Canada releases its May unemployment rate.
World affairs: Honduran president Xiomara Castro pays a state visit to China.
Sport: Game four of the NBA finals takes place tonight with the Denver Nuggets leading Miami Heat 2-1 in the series. The finals of the French Open take place in Paris over the weekend and football’s Champions League final in Istanbul tomorrow night will pit Premier League champions Manchester City against Inter Milan of Italy.
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Five more top stories
1. FT investigation: London hedge fund Odey Asset Management confirmed today it was in “active discussions” with all of its service providers. The news comes a day after the Financial Times published an investigation alleging the fund’s founder, Crispin Odey, had sexually assaulted or harassed 13 women. Morgan Stanley moved to sever ties with the fund after the publication of the story while JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs said they were reviewing their ties with the investor.
2. Smoke from Canada’s forest fires spread yesterday, affecting millions of people in the cities of New York, Philadelphia and Washington. The US National Weather Service warned the smoke would push southwards and westwards later today, worsening air quality in Alabama and Georgia but said some improvement was expected over the weekend. See the latest advice.
3. Traders are upping their bets that US interest rates will be higher for longer after Australia and Canada’s central banks this week unexpectedly lifted borrowing costs. Read more on the latest interest rate projections from the Treasury futures market.
4. Antony Blinken said the US would push for the normalisation of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, following his first visit to the kingdom as secretary of state. But Saudi Arabia has pushed back, publicly saying it first needed Israel to provide concessions to Palestinians. Read more on Blinken’s press conference in Riyadh.
5. A former executive of First Republic Bank has been appointed as the new governor of Turkey’s central bank. Hafize Gaye Erkan is Turkey’s first female central bank chief and is the latest sign of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rowing back on his unorthodox approach to economic policy following his recent re-election. Read more on the appointment.
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Central to the lawsuit filed this week by the US Securities and Exchange Commission against Binance are allegations involving Merit Peak and Sigma Chain, two secretive companies directly or indirectly owned by the crypto exchange’s chief executive Changpeng Zhao.
We’re also reading and watching . . .
Graphic of the day
Kyiv yesterday committed German-made tanks into battle against Russian positions in south-eastern Ukraine, launching the first heavily armoured assaults of its long-anticipated counter-offensive. One military expert said the fighting appeared to be “along the Tokmak axis” and a Ukrainian breakthrough would help sever Russia’s supply lines to the Crimean peninsula. Read more
Take a break from the news
A darkly comic hairdressing whodunnit and the return of Chilean director Patricio Guzmán are among this week’s top picks of our film critic Danny Leigh.
Additional contributions by Tee Zhuo and Benjamin Wilhelm.