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- A federal grand jury indicted former President Donald Trump on 37 counts relating to the mishandling of classified documents. Trump is expected in court June 13.
After former President Donald Trump posted a video on Truth Social declaring his innocence in the face of a federal grand jury indictment, some of his supporters hypothesized the news of his legal trouble was all bunk.
One Facebook user posted a screenshot of Trump’s video, claiming the painting seen hanging on the wall behind Trump was a clue that the indictment was a hoax.
"A great lesson in Optics 101: The Monroe Doctrine (picture behind Boss). He hasn’t been ‘indicted.’ It’s all part of the Operation 🕶️💪🏼," the post read.
It went on to quote a National Archives description of the Monroe Doctrine: "The Monroe Doctrine is the best known U.S. policy toward the Western Hemisphere. Buried in a routine annual message delivered to Congress by President James Monroe in December 1823, the doctrine warns European nations that the United States would not tolerate further colonization or puppet monarchs."
Referring to Trump as the "commander in chief," the post claimed that the former president still holds military control and that what is really unfolding is "the greatest Sting Operation in World History."
The post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
This post is wrong. Trump does not command the military. He has declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination but any presidential power he had while in office ended on Jan. 20, 2021, when President Joe Biden took office.
The Justice Department on June 9 unsealed its indictment against Trump. It included 37 charges, including 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information and one count each of the following:
conspiracy to obstruct justice;
withholding a document or record;
corruptly concealing a document or record;
concealing a document in a federal investigation;
scheme to conceal; and
false statements and representations.
When the FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on Aug. 8, 2022, it carried away more than 25 boxes of classified materials. That evidence and photographs of the documents were included in the indictment.
Trump is expected to appear June 13 in a Miami federal court.
To claim that there is no indictment against Trump is false and ridiculous. We rate that claim Pants on Fire!
PolitiFact, Fact-checking Trump's Truth Social response video to his documents indictment, June 9, 2023
Facebook post, June 8, 2023
National Archives, Monroe Doctrine (1823), accessed June 12, 2023
U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida, Indictment against Donald Trump and Waltine Nauta, unsealed June 9, 2023
PolitiFact, Read Donald Trump’s indictment in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents investigation, June 9, 2023
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