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College professor breaks down Trump Indictment

Newswatch 16's Claire Alfree spoke with a professor to break down the charges.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — The words "Trump" and "indictment" are taking over headlines across the country, as former President Trump is facing 37 felony counts after officials allegedly found boxes of sensitive documents from the White House, in his home in Florida.

Newswatch 16 spoke with Benjamin Toll, a political science professor at Wilkes University, to break down the alleged crimes.

“Once the president is no longer the president, the documents in his care are no longer his, they're actually owned by the government. We have had a law in place since the 1970s that all documents during one's presidency are given to the government,”  he said.

According to Toll, all classified documents are collected by the National Archives and Records Administration so they can be archived officially and legally.  

But after finding the documents in former President Trump's possession, the 49-page Indictment was released around 3 p.m., making it public knowledge what prosecutors are alleging.

“We're seeing that they had to do with nuclear capabilities from the US government, nuclear capability of our allies, people that are not our allies, and that President Trump shared information about military invasion plans with other countries,” he added.

Professor Toll reminds us this is actually only a part of the whole Trump investigation, making this indictment different from the last one in New York this past spring.

“That was from before he was the president, versus this has to do with stuff from after he was president, and the other major difference is that was a state-based crime while this is a federal crime,” mentioned Toll.

Still, former President Trump is making history.

He's the first former president to be charged with a federal crime, and Professor Toll is uncertain of what will happen next.

“Cases like this may go slowly unless both sides want it to go fast. If both sides want it to go fast, then the trial could happen sometime early in January in 2024,” Toll said.

Which would be right at the beginning of the next election year.

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