First things first—this headline sums up how today has felt:
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First things first—this headline sums up how today has felt:

Unsealed Indictment Formally Accuses Donald Trump of Keeping National Secrets Near a Toilet

A bathroom with a marble floor is seen in which cardboard file boxes are stacked to a height of approximately four feet around a toilet and in front of a shower.
Department of Justice

Ben Mathis-Lilley explains what new facts have been revealed in the 49 page trove, including all of the specific, somewhat ridiculous locations where documents were illegally kept. This includes a bathroom,pictured above.

We’ve known since August that—regardless of what the former president himself said—the documents he was keeping at Mar-a-Lago were classified, and we mean classified. But whew boy, the situation is even worse than early reporting implied! Slate’s Fred Kaplan explains:

“The indictment quotes tape recordings of conversations proving Trump knew that he had classified documents—he’s showing them to a visitor during the conversation—and that he had no business having them. The indictment also claims, with photographic evidence, that these boxes were stored, for several months, in places at Mar-a-Lago that were completely accessible to guests—including a ballroom stage, a public bathroom, and a storage room that could be ‘reached from multiple outside entrances,’ including one near a swimming pool.”

If Trump is found guilty on all 38 counts, he could go to prison for 100 years. Mark Joseph Stern helps explain how those numbers add up, and what the most serious crimes are.

Will Donald Trump go to prison for the rest of his life? A lot of what happens next is in the hands of a somewhat familiar Florida judge…yes, there is more than one federal judge in the state of Florida, but nonetheless, this case has landed, once again, in front of Trump-appointee Aileen Cannon, who has already dramatically mishandled this case. Mark Joseph Stern explains what that means.

Views of what appear to be the same room: one containing classified documents in boxes; the other well-lit for a luxurious event.
Department of Justice/Screenshot from Mar-a-Lago

Another place boxes of classified documents were kept? On the stage of a Mar-a-Lago ballroom—which is still being advertised as a place where one could host a wedding. Or an Indictment Party! OK, we are really done talking about this now.

How true is the origin story behind Flamin’ Hot, a new film which supposedly explains how the world was blessed with spicy Cheetos? Sam Adams takes a look at the facts, how stories like this travel, and what version of reality really matters.

Before True Detective or Serial or even Law & Order, author Ann Rule was a pioneer in the field of true crime. Laura Miller unpacks her wild journey—Rule once answered phones next to Ted Bundy—and why she switched from writing mostly for men under a male pseudonym, to writing about the more psychological aspects of crime.

It’s been a long week! Treat yourself to the Slate News Quiz. See if you can beat staffwriter Luke Winkie.

…yes, the Bad Spaniels Silly Squeaker is a chew toy replica of a Jack Daniel’s whiskey bottle. And that, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday, is not allowed under copyright law.

A side-by-side image of a bottle of Jack Daniel's No.7 Tennessee Whiskey and Bad Spaniels No.2 On Your Tennessee Carpet, a dog toy by VIP Products LLC, that was involved in a Supreme Court battle of trademark infringement.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Jack Daniel’s and Silly Squeakers Store.

Who knew this Court would preserve voting rights, but unanimously vote down fun.

Have a wonderful weekend! We’ll be back on Monday.


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