The new Trump indictment, and what’s new in it, explained

Special prosecutor Jack Smith unexpectedly filed a new indictment against former President Donald Trump on Thursday night — a totally different indictment from the one many close watchers of Smith thought he might file today.

The new indictment, called a “superseding indictment” because it replaces a previous court filing laying out the charges against Trump, involves allegations that Trump illegally retained classified national security documents after he left the White House and could no longer lawfully possess them. The new indictment adds another charge of illegally retaining national security information, and it also accuses Trump of attempting to destroy surveillance video that was sought by federal investigators.

This case is being heard in a federal court in Florida and is entirely separate from another prosecution Smith is widely expected to bring against Trump in Washington, DC. Smith is also investigating Trump’s attempt to overthrow President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election and Trump’s potential involvement in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. Smith’s office has already informed Trump that the former president is likely to face charges arising out of that investigation.