Donald Trump, a former US president, has been charged with handling private information after stepping down.
The 76-year-old Mr Trump is accused of mishandling classified documents and obstructing an investigation into the storage of the documents at his Florida home, according to his attorney.
Both offences are punishable by a prison term under federal law.
Mr Donald Trump is running a campaign to take back the White House in 2024.
According to legal experts, the indictment does not prevent him from running for president again.
It is the second time Mr. Trump has been charged with a crime, but now he is facing a federal case. These typically carry harsher sentences.
He is the first former president ever to face criminal charges from the administration he once oversaw.
On Thursday, Mr Trump wrote on Truth Social that he had received a summons to appear in court on Tuesday in Miami, Florida, where the charges against him will be read.
“I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former president of the United States,” Mr Trump wrote.
He added: “This is indeed a dark day for the United States of America. We are a country in serious and rapid decline, but together we will Make America Great Again!”
His lawyer Jim Trusty explained the specifics of the charges, which have not yet been made public. He revealed them to CNN, citing conspiracy, deceit, obstructing the justice system, and unjustly holding on to the classified documents in violation of the Espionage Act.
Mr. Trump was at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Thursday when news of the indictment broke.
On Friday, the US Secret Service will meet Mr Trump’s staff and security officers to plan his journey to Miami next week.
Prosecutors had also presented evidence in court in Washington DC, but a decision to file the indictment in southern Florida instead may offer some consolation for the Trump team.
Legal experts say the state – where the former Republican president is popular – is likely to produce a less Democratic-leaning jury pool than if the case had been prosecuted in the US capital.
The investigation into Mr. Trump’s handling of classified documents has been overseen by special prosecutor Jack Smith, who was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland in November.
Mr Smith, a former war crimes investigator, is also overseeing a separate probe into Mr. Trump’s role in the storming of the US Capitol.
In the case of the document, prosecutors have said that Mr. Trump took about 300 classified files to his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, after leaving the White House.
About 100 of those – some labelled top secret,” were seized when the FBI searched the Palm Beach mansion last August.
Reports surfaced last week that prosecutors had obtained an audio recording of Mr. Trump acknowledging he kept a classified document after leaving the White House in January 2021. Transcripts of that tape circulated in US media on Friday.
It is against US law for federal officials, including the president – to remove or keep classified documents at an unauthorized location.
Legal experts say Mr. Trump will still be able to enter the White House race.
“He can be indicted any number of times and it won’t stop his ability to stand for office,” says David Super, a professor at Georgetown University Law Centre.
According to opinion surveys, Donald Trump is currently in the lead for the Republican presidential nomination. Even if he is found guilty in the case of the documents, he might still be able to escape.
As Mr. Trump issued a fundraising email with the subject line “BREAKING: INDICTED” on Thursday, several leading Republicans voiced their support for him.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, said it was “unconscionable for a president to indict the leading candidate opposing him”.
“House Republicans will hold this brazen weaponisation of power accountable,” he wrote on Twitter.
Mr Trump’s rival for the 2024 nomination, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, said: “We have for years witnessed an uneven application of the law depending upon political affiliation.
“The DeSantis administration will bring accountability to the DOJ, excise political bias and end weaponisation once and for all.”
Mr Trump became the first former president to be charged with a crime in April, after he pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records over a hush-money payment to a porn star.
All the information from this news collects from BBC News.
He faces a trial in that case in New York next year.
A prosecutor in Georgia is anticipated to announce this summer whether Mr Trump will be charged over alleged attempts to rig the outcome of that state’s 2020 presidential election, increasing the legal risk to him.
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