Indictments against former President Donald J. Trump and a personal aide, Walt Nauta, unsealed Friday reveal a host of embarrassing and potentially devastating new details about a yearlong investigation previously cloaked in prosecutorial secrecy.
The 49-page indictment, containing 37 counts and seven separate charges against the former president and one against his aide, gave the clearest picture yet of the breadth of sensitive materials Mr. Trump removed from the White House, the comically haphazard way the former president and his staff handled documents — and, most significantly, what prosecutors described as a pattern of obstruction and false statements intended to block the F.B.I. and grand jury.
Here are some of the most significant, and startling, allegations:
Mr. Trump and Mr. Nauta are accused of conspiring to obstruct justice.
Prosecutors say they have assembled evidence proving that Mr. Trump willfully ignored a May 2022 subpoena requiring him to return everything belonging to the National Archives — and took extraordinary steps to obstruct the F.B.I. and grand jury.
In the hours before Trump’s lawyer visited Mar-a-Lago to search for documents in a storage room — an attempt to comply with the subpoena — Trump directed Mr. Nauta, his co-defendant, to move 64 of the boxes out of the storage room because he maintained they were his property.
“I don’t want anybody looking through my boxes, I really don’t,” Mr. Trump told one of his attorneys, according to the indictment.
He stored boxes of important documents in the shower.
The indictment says that in April 2021, Trump’s staffers needed to move dozens of boxes from a ballroom space they were converting to office space. “There is still a little room in the shower where his other stuff is,” one aide texted another. Soon after, the boxes were hauled to a small bathroom adjacent to a Mar-a-Lago banquet room and piled up nearly to the tiny chandelier next to the toilet.
Top Secret documents were stored so sloppily they spilled onto the floor.
One of the most striking images in the document is a picture of a box of top secret national security documents that in 2021 had spilled on the floor of a Mar-a-Lago storage room accessible to many of the resort’s employees. The files were marked with restrictive “five eyes” classification markings indicating they could only be viewed by officials with top security clearances issued by the United States and its closest allies.
Trump suggested his lawyer take a folder of documents and ‘if there’s anything really bad in there, like, you know, pluck it out.’
In one of the most problematic pieces of evidence for Trump, the indictment recounts how, according to his lawyer’s words, Mr. Trump and the lawyer discussed what to do with a folder of 38 documents with classification markings. The lawyer said Mr. Trump made a “plucking motion” that implied, “why don’t you take them with you to your hotel room and if there’s anything really bad in there, like, you know, pluck it out.”
That could indicate that he knew he was holding onto sensitive documents, the “bad” ones, authorized people without appropriate security clearances to vet them — rather than simply returning everything to the archives, as the government demanded.
Mr. Trump shared secrets with visitors to Bedminster. There’s audio.
Many of the episodes recounted in the filing have been reported in the media — including a potentially damaging revelation that he was recorded showing off secret U.S. battle plans — describing the material as “highly confidential” and “secret,” while it admitting it had not been declassified.
“See, as president I could have declassified it,” Mr. Trump said. He later adds: “Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret.”
A secret map was said to be shared with a political action committee staff member.
In another incident in August or September 2021, he shared a top secret military map with a staff member at his political action committee who did not have a security clearance.
According to the indictment, at the meeting the former president suggested that a military operation in an unnamed country was not going well. He showed the map to the political action committee member but warned the person “not to get too close,” the indictment said.
In these interactions, he seemed to be less interested in the content of the material, than the fact that they had been “presented to me,” like a gift or a keepsake.
“Isn’t it amazing?“ he asked one visitor after showing off a document — adding that he had randomly plucked the papers off “a big pile,” suggesting he had many more.
M. Evan Corcoran, one of Trump’s lawyers, is a key witness.
Mr. Corcoran, who kept meticulous notes (some of them transcribed from iPhone voice memos he made for himself), found himself in the position of pressuring his evasive client into doing both the lawful and self-protective thing by returning the documents to the government.
In one of the more stunning revelations, prosecutors said that Mr. Trump and Mr. Nauta moved around boxes so that Mr. Corcoran, who requested a full accounting of the material to provide to investigators, could not find them.