Former President Donald Trump said in a social media post Reported by Special Counsel Jack Smith He is the target of a criminal investigation into efforts to subvert the 2020 election, and he may soon be indicted by the special counsel.
“Jack Smith, an attorney with Joe Biden’s DOJ, sent me a letter saying I’m a target for a grand jury hearing on January 6th (again, it’s a Sunday night!). Grand jury, which always means an arrest and indictment,” Trump posted on Truth Social.
Trump’s lawyers, including Todd Blanche, received a letter of intent from Smith’s team on Sunday saying their client could face charges in the investigation into efforts to rig the 2020 election, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
A targeted letter from federal prosecutors to Trump makes clear that prosecutors are focusing on the former president’s actions in the probe to rig the 2020 election — not just those around him who tried to prevent his election loss.
Trump’s legal team has not formally responded to a subpoena to testify before the grand jury, but Trump is widely expected to decline to provide the letter. The letter caught Trump’s team off guard, not expecting to file charges against Smith or Trump this month.
Trump’s team spent Tuesday morning debriefing attorneys involved in the investigation into the events of January 6, 2021, hoping to gain better insight into what a potential case might be if anyone else was sent a letter targeted in the investigation. It may seem like it’s against the former president, multiple sources familiar with the outreach told CNN.
Trump also received a targeted letter from Smith about three weeks before he was indicted in an investigation into the mishandling of classified documents.
A spokesman for the special counsel declined to comment.
The White House declined to comment. CNN has also reached out to Biden’s re-election campaign for comment.
Trump has already been impeached twice this year. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg The former president charged 34 counts of falsifying business records in March and Smith Trump was charged with 37 impeachments Last month, the confidential documents were investigated. Trump pleaded not guilty to both charges.
Judicial regulations allow prosecutors to notify those under investigation that they have been targeted. Frequently declaring that a person is a target is a strong indication that an indictment may follow, but the recipient may not ultimately be charged.
Those notifications aren’t required, but prosecutors have the right to be told they’ve been targeted.
Although Trump did not specifically say why the grand jury must be notified, individuals who receive a target letter are generally given the opportunity to present evidence before a grand jury or testify if they choose.
In the classified documents case, Trump received a targeting letter from the Office of Special Counsel on May 19. His lawyers then met with judicial officials on June 5. Three days later, on June 8, a grand jury returned an indictment against Trump. His co-defendant and accomplice was Walt Nauta.
Trump himself is breaking this news. The former president spent Monday at his Bedminster golf club with some close advisers and will travel to Iowa on Tuesday with a small group of his campaign team for a town hall with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
Trump defended himself in his social media posts Tuesday morning.
“Under the Constitution of the United States, I have the right to fight an election that I fully believe was rigged and stolen, as the Democrats did against me in 2016, and as many others have done over the years,” Trump wrote.
Smith is investigating efforts to subvert the January 6, 2020, 2021 election, including an attack on the U.S. Capitol, fielding fraudulent voters in states Trump lost and trying to subvert a pressure campaign against his then-Vice President Mike Pence. The January 6th election was when Congress certified Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
The special counsel examined knowledge that Trump was losing the 2020 election, fundraising efforts after the election, and pressure within the Justice Department to aid efforts to overturn the election.
Dozens of witnesses The 2020 election has spoken to prosecutors and testified before a grand jury, including a long list of key aides to Trump and Pence in the White House.
In addition, lawyers focused on a chaotic December 2020 Oval Office meeting in the final days of the Trump administration, in which Trump’s advisers discussed seizing voting machines, naming a special counsel to investigate voter fraud and invoking martial law as part of the effort. Cancel the election.
Several Trump lawyers also spoke with federal investigators. Last month, Trump’s former lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, met with investigators over two days for a voluntary interview that covered a range of topics. Turbulent December 2020 The meeting he attended was before CNN reported.
Giuliani’s attorney, Robert Costello, told CNN that Giuliani did not receive the target letter.
In recent months, lawyers They have also given an interview Election officials in seven battleground states falsely accused Trump’s team of fraud after the 2020 election.
A grand jury to investigate 2020 election interference convenes Tuesday In federal court in Washington, DC.