Lawyers for former President Donald J. Trump sent a letter on Tuesday requesting a meeting with Attorney General Merrick B. Garland in connection with the special counsel’s investigation into Trump’s conduct.
The letter didn’t say anything specific, but it alleges Trump has been mistreated by the Justice Department through an investigation led by Special Counsel Jack Smith. Smith has scrutinized Trump’s handling of confidential documents discovered at his private Mar-a-Lago club in Florida after taking office, as well as his efforts to stay in power after losing the 2020 election. there is
There are signs that Smith is nearing an investigative stage where he can begin deciding whether to seek indictment against Trump and others in the document case. The status of another area of investigation is less clear: Trump’s efforts to reverse his election loss and how it contributed to supporters’ storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. isn’t it.
“Unlike President Biden, his son Hunter and the Biden family, President Trump has been wronged,” Trump’s attorneys James Trusty and John Lowery wrote to Garland.
“No U.S. president in the history of our country has been investigated in such outrageous, unlawful and unsubstantiated ways,” they wrote.
They requested a meeting to discuss “ongoing misconduct” by Smith’s team.
the letter is previously reported From ABC News.
A spokeswoman for Smith declined to comment.
The tone of the letter is markedly different from the approach Trump took immediately after the FBI conducted its investigation. Search warrant in Mar-a-Lago In August 2022, it recovered documents that Trump did not turn over after receiving a subpoena to return them to the government. At the time, Trump messaged Justice Department officials through his intermediaries that the investigation was stirring up the country and asked how they could work together to bring the temperature down.
A letter sent by his lawyer on Tuesday was diametrically opposed. That’s because the Biden family, who appointed Garland and is himself the subject of a separate special counsel investigation, had far fewer classified documents from his years as vice president and senator in the space he worked for. suggests that it was found in At his home, he enjoys more favorable treatment.
Hunter Biden is under separate investigation into possible tax charges and lying about drug use on a federal application he filled out to buy a handgun.
Trump is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in an increasingly crowded Republican arena. But in the letter, Trump resorts to an oft-used tactic of suggesting that judges and prosecutors are wronging him by their actions investigating him.
Most recently, the judge overseeing the prosecution against him in a Manhattan state court tried to suggest he was at odds because a family member was a Democrat.
under Department of Justice regulationsGarland will have a limited role in whether Smith decides to press charges against Trump.
The Attorney General may override the Special Counsel’s judgment in certain circumstances. If Garland determines that the prosecutor’s actions were “extremely inappropriate or unjustified in light of established departmental practices, they should not be pursued.” Garland also needs to disclose to Congress and explain any such interventions once the special counsel’s investigation is complete.
In other words, Smith is not simply making recommendations that Garland has broad discretion to reject. Unless seeking prosecution violates certain Department of Justice rules, guidelines, or norms, Mr. Smith will make the decision to proceed.
In the document case, prosecutors looked for evidence related to obstruction of justice and whether Trump mishandled classified material.
Smith’s team is still interviewing witnesses in the two cases, but all indications are that the documentary investigation is nearing its end, according to people familiar with the operation.
Some of Trump’s advisers have privately predicted that he would at least be indicted in a case related to the documents, even though he insisted he had done nothing wrong. They are also angered by the number of people being subpoenaed, ranging from low-level Mar-a-Lago workers to former government officials.
Trump has been indicted in New York on charges related to paying hush money to a porn star, and has been accused of a separate lawsuit in Georgia over his efforts to reverse a 2020 Georgia poll loss. is facing an investigation.
A former aide to the attorney general said it was highly unlikely Garland would agree to meet with Trump’s lawyers.
“Merrick Garland will not meet with Mr. Trusty or any of the other Trump attorneys,” said Anthony Corey, Garland’s former publicist. “Jack Smith is leading this investigation, not Merrick Garland.”
Glenn Tsugumi and Charlie Savage contributed to the report.
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