The new indictment against Donald Trump shows that the former US president has not been telling the truth in at least one of his two principal political concepts; probably both.
Either the results of the 2020 election, which he lost, were not rigged as he claims, or the release of classified documents stored in a private home is not a political set up by the Democrats.
Trump will have a hard time explaining to the court how he could have considered himself the winner of the 2020 election whilst at the same time, he stored hundreds of classified documents at his country club in Florida.
Why did he move classified presidential archives and endangered national security if he was confident of his victory, tried to prove election fraud, and was not supposed to move out of the White House?
Perhaps he will say in court that it was an act of patriotism, and he moved sensitive documents away to safety, so he could return them after confirming his new mandate.
This is possible, because Trump's excuses for the crimes uncovered so far still ring true for a large number of Republican voters, so why not continue on this path?
American democracy was severely embarrassed by the new indictment against the former president, even though it bounced back due to the decision of the Department of Justice to disclose 37 counts it accuses Trump of, most of them under the Espionage Act.
The indictment represents the American people facing the fact that for four years, they had a man who violated the Constitution, the presidential oath, threatened the most significant national security interests, and the lives of soldiers and public servants while holding the position of president.
“The classified documents Trump stored in his boxes included information regarding defence and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign countries; United States nuclear programmes; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack; and to plans for possible retaliation in response to a foreign attack”, stated the indictment.
This represents the potential damage the prosecutors identified and applied to draft an indictment. It is reasonable to assume that there were more classified state documents in Trump's Mar-a-Lago warehouses, which are not part of the indictment.
This creates a nightmare for the US intelligence community, which now has to assume that the list of compromised documents from the indictment is just the bare minimum of damage.
They have to clean up a much larger circle than the one covered by the indictment, because it is reasonable to assume that documents found in Trump's lounges, bathrooms, basements, and bedrooms were compromised.
Flaunting in front of friends
Trump could have had at least two motives for this operation. One could be quite bizarre, but very typical of Trump's arrogant and narcissistic personality.
He flaunted the state secrets in his possession (some documents were marked "Top Secret") in front of his friends and acquaintances in private meetings.
In one of those meetings, mentioned in the indictment, at his golf club in New Jersey in July 2021, Trump showed one writer, one publisher, and two of his associates a secret document he described as an "attack plan" prepared by the Department of Defence.
“As President, I could have declassified it. Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret”, said Trump, according to his friends, who should have never been near such a document.
If this is about the "attack plan" on Iran, as unofficially stated, it would be reasonable to assume that it was leaked long ago thanks to Trump and caused immeasurable damage to US security.
A real danger
Another motive, far more dangerous and serious than Trump's personal need to impress his subordinates, is his idea of gaining influence and perhaps a profit from the stolen documents.
If Trump tried to use state secrets to influence people from politics or business, it would be equal to blackmail on the domestic level.
He would have to admit somehow that he was blackmailing with "stolen merchandise" and not just any, but state secrets, which could expose him to significant risk.
His motive remains. He could have used the documents on the international scene. But how? Who could have been his client?
Perhaps Iran, against whom the Pentagon ordered an attack plan? Or, perhaps, North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong Un recently publicly congratulated his own country on its admission to the World Health Organisation's Executive Board? Or Russia, for whose leader Vladimir Putin he expresses respect?
The investigation needs to answer these questions before the court, considering 31 counts of the indictment based on the Espionage Act, which carries a penalty of up to 420 years in prison.
Poor defence attempts
Attempts to defend Trump, claiming that it is a "witch hunt" and a ploy of the Democratic administration, seem pitiful against the pile of evidence found in places unsuitable for material that protects the lives of US citizens.
“He’s so egotistical that he has this penchant for conducting risky, reckless acts to show that he can sort of get away with it. There’s no excuse for what he did here”, said Bill Barr, the attorney general during Trump, and not just any Trump opponent.
Support for Trump as a presidential candidate has almost doubled since last March after the accusation of financial fraud before a court in New York.
There is no doubt that Trump sees the new indictment as a launching pad for gaining even more support, still presenting himself as a victim of political persecution.
All those whom Trump convinces that he is a patriot and a keeper of order may, in two years, be in a situation where their president betrays them to hostile forces, and as a result, they lose their lives.