Jack Smith Addresses 'Gravity' of Trump Charges

Special counsel urges Americans to read the indictment
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2023 3:14 PM CDT

The special counsel handling the Donald Trump classified documents case addressed the nation Friday afternoon, asking Americans to read the indictment of the former president "in full to understand the scope and the gravity of the crimes charged." (You can do so here.) In a two-minute televised statement delivered at the Justice Department in Washington, accompanied by a security guard, Jack Smith pointed out that those working in the military and intelligence community "dedicate their lives to protecting our nation and its people," NBC News reports. "Our laws that protect national defense information are critical for the safety and security of the United States. And they must be enforced." The counts filed against Trump include violating the Espionage Act.

Smith promised a speedy trial, per the Washington Post. He did not say in his remarks, delivered solemnly, why the case was brought in Florida. The address constituted the special counsel's first public comments about the case. Just before Smith stepped to the microphone, Trump attacked him in a social media post. Republican allies of Trump have argued the case isn't worth prosecuting, per the New York Times; Smith emphasized its seriousness. They've also said the Justice Department is being weaponized against Trump; Smith thanked "the dedicated public servants" working on the investigation, saying they "work tirelessly every day upholding the rule of law in our country." (Watch video of his statement.)

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