Donald Trump’s legal team sent a short four-sentence letter to the DOJ requesting a meeting now that it is being reported that the special counsel’s investigation is wrapping up. The Wall Street Journal reported that the investigation into whether or not Trump deliberately mishandled classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort is ending and some of his close associates are bracing for his indictment. His inner circle plans to fundraise off of any prosecution that comes and clashes within Trump’s legal team have caused a key lawyer to depart. So, business as usual in Trump World.
Special counsel Jack Smith is signaling he is finished with gathering testimony and other evidence in what is a criminal investigation. Trump’s legal team is making a last-ditch effort to argue that the former president is being treated unfairly. The letter states that no president has been investigated in such an “outrageous and unlawful fashion.” Hard to argue with that. Joe Biden has a special counsel assigned to his case of possession of classified documents but his case has been handled quite differently. The double standard is clear. Trump attorneys John Rowley and James Trusty are asking Attorney General Garland for a meeting at his “earliest convenience.”
Smith has been hauling in top aides to Trump as he advances two extraordinary criminal investigations into the former president and his allies. In one, Smith is pursuing a sprawling inquiry into Trump’s bid to subvert the 2020 election, obtaining testimony from figures like former Vice President Mike Pence and top aides in Trump’s White House.
Smith is also probing Trump’s alleged mishandling of highly classified national security records at his Mar-a-Lago estate after leaving office, as well as alleged efforts by the former president to resist returning those records to the federal government even after a Justice Department subpoena.
It’s this second investigation that appears closer to the charging phase. Smith recently secured testimony from Trump’s own attorney — Evan Corcoran — after a secret court battle led to an appeals court ruling in favor of the Justice Department. The Wall Street Journal reported late Tuesday, just hours before Trump posted the letter, that the documents probe appeared all but concluded, with indictments anticipated imminently.
It’s reported that all employees at Mar-a-Lago have been interviewed, from top aides to the maintenance staff. The special counsel team conducted a flurry of grand jury interviews in recent weeks, appearing to tie up loose ends. News organizations like the Wall Street Journal have not been able to determine whether or not Smith will decide to charge Trump or present a recommendation to Garland. The attorney general makes the final decision on charges. In the past, a Trump spokesman has referred to the investigation as a politically motivated witch hunt.
Tim Parlatore, Trump’s former lawyer who left the team last week, publicly blasted one of Trump’s current lawyers during an appearance on CNN on Saturday. He alleges that Boris Epshteyn attempted to interfere with additional searches at Trump’s properties for classified material.
“In my opinion, he was not very honest with us or with the client on certain things. There were certain things like the searches that he had attempted to interfere with,” Parlatore said during an appearance on CNN on Saturday. Parlatore added that Epshteyn, who has served as somewhat of a liaison between the lawyers, made defending Trump more difficult.
A Trump campaign spokesperson denies Parlatore’s accusations.
Any charges filed would come at a delicate time. Trump is campaigning for the Republican nomination in 2024 and is out front in polls, ahead of all the other candidates and potential candidates. Parlatore doesn’t think charges will be brought against anyone in the Mar-a-Lago investigation.
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