What to Know in Washington: Trump Heads to Court for Arraignment

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Donald Trump is due in a Miami federal court this afternoon to face charges alleging he jeopardized national security by violating the Espionage Act, even as he leads the Republican field for next year’s presidential race.

Trump is accused of willfully retaining and mishandling classified documents, including top-secret nuclear information and war plans, after he left office. No other former president has ever been indicted federally, let alone faced national security claims.

Photographer: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg

Legal experts say that the Justice Department has historically treated such cases as among the most serious.

“When you look at the information in the indictment, it’s remarkable, and it’s dangerous in terms of national security,” former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said in an interview. “Unless there’s accountability, our allies will start to wonder about us.”

Trump, who insists that he did nothing wrong, has called the prosecution ridiculous and baseless. He and his supporters have questioned why other elected officials — notably President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence — haven’t been charged for having classified information in their possession after leaving office. Both Biden and Pence notified the government and turned over the documents after finding them.

Related: GOP Senator Questions Trump’s Electability on Eve of Arraignment

The indictment against Trump — in which his former White House valet and post-presidency personal aide Walt Nauta is named as a co-defendant — specifically charges the former president with unlawfully retaining 31 documents containing sensitive national security information, most of it classified at the Top Secret level. More broadly, the government claims he held on to more than 300 documents with classified markings after leaving the White House. Prosecutors could point to those larger numbers to argue for a stiffer sentence if he is convicted.

Trump faces an array of legal threats as he pursues a second term. This federal case follows a New York state criminal case set for trial in Manhattan in March. That prosecution is over hush money payments made to adult film actor Stormy Daniels just ahead of the 2016 election. He has pleaded not guilty and said the case is part of a larger political program to take him down. Read the full story from Zoe Tillman, Greg Farrell, and Patricia Hurtado.


  • Biden will meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at 1 p.m. to discuss the upcoming NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.
  • At 5:15 p.m., Biden will deliver remarks at the Chiefs of Mission Reception.
  • At 7 p.m., the president, vice president, and second gentleman will celebrate Juneteenth with a concert on the White House South Lawn.
  • Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will hold a briefing at 1:30 p.m.


  • The House is back at noon to act on measures dealing with gun and gas stove regulations.
  • The Senate meets at 10 a.m. to confirm executive and judicial nominees.

Republicans’ Tax Proposal

GOP’s New Tax Package Proposal: Markup’s Key Themes Explained

The GOP-led House Ways and Means Committee marks up a slate of tax bills today, giving the first glimpse of lawmakers’ tax priorities in this Congress.

White House Dismisses GOP Tax-Cut Plan as Handout to the Wealthy

The White House dismissed the tax-cut proposal offered by House Republicans as disproportionately benefiting corporations and the wealthy and likely to add billions to the deficit.

GOP Plan Would Let Companies Opt Out of Foreign Tax Credit Rules

A provision in House Republicans’ new tax proposal would allow companies to partly disregard Treasury Department rules on the foreign tax credit that have been the target of fierce complaints for a year and a half.

IRS Agrees to Improve Revenue-Boosting Whistleblower Data

The IRS accepted a recommendation to improve its data on the factors in whistleblower claims that are most likely to generate big tax recoveries.

More in Action on the Hill

Rebel Republicans Seek Spending, Power Concessions From McCarthy

Hard-line conservatives angered by Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) debt ceiling deal are insisting on power-sharing and budget-cutting concessions in exchange for allowing legislation to move on the House floor.

Democrats Aim to Spare Most Vulnerable From Nutrition Work Rules

Debt ceiling provisions that exempt certain vulnerable people from work requirements in the country’s biggest food aid program would become permanent under a new Democratic bill.

Flight Delay Refunds, Accessible Planes Pitched in Senate Bill

Air carriers would be pushed to grant more refunds for flight disruption under legislation to reauthorize the FAA introduced in the Senate Monday.

BGOV OnPoint: Congress, Agencies Mull A.I. Regulation

Rapid advances in artificial intelligence have raised concerns among lawmakers and the private sector about possible risks of the emerging technology.

Dobbs Abortion Case Lawyer Reaches Senate Floor for Judgeship

Senate Democrats plan to hold a procedural floor vote to advance the nomination of Julie Rikelman, a Center for Reproductive Rights lawyer nominated to a federal appeals court seat.

China, Russia in Crosshairs

Pentagon Prodded to Send Ukraine Long-Range Tactical Missiles

The House Armed Services Committee is pressing the Pentagon to send the Army Tactical Missile System to Ukraine as part of its annual defense authorization bill draft proposal released Monday.

McConnell Touts US Aid to Ukraine as Boosting Counteroffensive

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) praised US military aid to Ukraine that he said is helping its counteroffensive against Russia, defending the billions of dollars spent just days after McCarthy signaled wariness over further funds that may breach new caps on spending.

Blinken Faults Trump on China Spying After US Confirms Cuba Base

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Trump’s administration didn’t do enough to counter Chinese efforts to boost intelligence-gathering overseas after discovering that Beiijng had been operating a spy facility in Cuba since 2019.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kayla Sharpe at ksharpe@bloombergindustry.com

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