Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers met with Justice Department officials on Monday, including special counsel Jack Smith, to express concerns about alleged prosecutorial misconduct and to argue against a potential indictment.
After the meeting, Trump posted on his Truth Social platform, questioning how the DOJ could charge him when he claims he did nothing wrong, citing that no other presidents have faced charges.
“No one has told me I’m being indicted, and I shouldn’t be because I’ve done NOTHING wrong,” the 76-year-old former president wrote in a Truth Social post.
“But I have assumed for years that I am a Target of the WEAPONIZED DOJ & FBI, starting with the Russia, Russia, Russia HOAX, the ‘No Collusion’ Mueller Report, Impeachment HOAX #1, Impeachment HOAX #2, the PERFECT Ukraine phone call, and various other SCAMS & WITCH HUNTS,” Trump added.
The investigation primarily focuses on Trump’s possession of classified documents, including those at the top-secret level, his refusal to return them when requested, and potential obstruction. Last year, the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago after issuing a subpoena for classified records. The FBI found an additional 100 documents with classification markings.
Meanwhile, former President Trump’s rival in the 2024 election, incumbent President Joe Biden, is the subject of a Special Counsel investigation for his mishandling of classified documents tracing back to his time as vice president. Unlike former President Trump, however, Biden lacked ultimate declassificiation authority to have the documents and transported and stored them in unsecured fashion in several locations.
“The federal investigation into President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents shows few signs of an imminent conclusion even as the probes into former Vice President Mike Pence and former President Donald Trump have reached or appear to be reaching the end, according to three people familiar with the matter,” NBC reported on Thursday.
The federal grand jury in Florida investigating Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents nonetheless heard from at least one additional witness on Wednesday, indicating that the Justice Department may be moving closer to a possible indictment.
According to media reports, the Trump legal team has received a target letter from prosecutors, often a precursor to criminal charges. A target is defined by the Justice Department as someone who has substantial evidence linking them to a crime. Legal experts, including Brandon Van Grack, a former Justice Department prosecutor, believe that the charges against Trump will likely be filed in Florida.
While Trump’s lawyers have not provided a comment on the matter, the existence of a target letter has not been independently confirmed by the Associated Press. Furthermore, a Trump spokesman refused to confirm or deny receiving a letter, and a Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.
Reports from multiple news outlets suggest that investigators recently informed Trump’s legal team that he is a target in the documents investigation. The Washington Post also reported that prosecutors are planning to bring a significant portion of the charges in federal court in South Florida instead of Washington, D.C., where the investigation has been based.
The documents investigation, which came to public attention when the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago last August, appears to be reaching a critical stage. Taylor Budowich, a former spokesman for Trump who currently runs a pro-Trump super PAC, testified before the grand jury. Budowich confirmed his appearance on Twitter, stating that he answered every question honestly and referred to the investigation as a “bogus and deeply troubling effort to use the power of government to ‘get’ Trump.”
Over the past year, various witnesses, including Trump’s lawyers, close aides, and Trump Organization officials, have appeared before the grand jury in Washington as part of a Justice Department special counsel investigation. The focus of the investigation is Trump’s retention of hundreds of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago and potential obstruction of the government’s efforts to recover the records.
Van Grack explained that even though most of the investigative work has been conducted in Washington, prosecutors could present key testimony to the Florida grand jury or summarize all the crucial evidence through a summary witness.
If charged in the documents probe, it would be Trump’s first federal indictment, although he already faces charges from state prosecutors in New York. Apart from the Mar-a-Lago investigation, another probe led by special counsel Jack Smith in Washington centers on efforts by Trump and his allies to dispute the results of the 2020 presidential election.