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Special counsel in Trump documents case says laws 'apply to everyone'

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Brett Rowland

(The Center Square) – The special counsel investigating former President Donald Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents said the rule of law in the United States applies to all.

Jack Smith, special counsel with the U.S. Department of Justice, spoke briefly at a news conference Friday afternoon, just hours after the 37-count indictment against Trump was unsealed.

The indictment alleges the former president kept sensitive military documents, shared them with people who didn't have security clearance, and tried to evade efforts to get them back.

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Donald Trump. Courtesy U.S. Department of State.

"The men and women of the United States intelligence community and our armed forces dedicate their lives to protecting our nation and its people," Smith said. "Our laws that protect national defense information are critical to the safety and security of the United States and they must be enforced."

Smith said breaking such laws puts the nation in jeopardy.

"Violations of those laws put our country at risk," he said. "Adherence to the rule of law is a bedrock principle of the Department of Justice and our nation's commitment to the rule of law sets an example for the world. We have one set of laws in this country and they apply to everyone."

Trump has denied wrongdoing and said he is innocent. The former president has said he is the target of a witch hunt.

Smith did not take questions at the news conference after making his statement.

In 2022, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Trump-owned properties seeking classified documents.

Trump has repeatedly criticized the investigations against him, calling it election interference. Trump is leading early polls for the 2024 Republican nomination.