Trump lashes out at target letter from special counsel who led the Jan. 6 investigation

Nabil Anas
Nabil Anas

Global Courant

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump said Tuesday he has been notified he is the target of an investigation by a Washington-based grand jury investigating the Jan. 6 riot and efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

“The deranged Jack Smith, Joe Biden’s DOJ prosecutor, sent a letter (again, it was Sunday night!) stating that I am an OBJECTIVE of the Jan. short 4 days to report me to the grand jury, which almost always means an arrest and indictment,” Trump posted on his Truth Social account.

Trump said this effectively means he will be indicted for a third time. He added that he is “Joe Biden’s POLITICAL OPPOSITION NUMBER ONE, largely dominating him in the race for president.”

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It was not immediately clear what the charges would be or whether anyone else had received a target letter. People who have been told they are the target of criminal investigations are often, but not always, charged.

Trump said his lawyers gave him the letter, which he dubbed “HORRIFYING NEWS for our Country,” on Sunday night while he was with his family after attending a Turning Point event in West Palm Beach, Florida.

“Nothing like this has ever happened before in our country, or even close to it,” Trump wrote in his lengthy statement.

A spokesperson for the Special Prosecutor’s Office declined to comment.

Two sources with direct knowledge of the matter confirmed that Trump had received a target letter from Smith.

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The Department of Justice defines a “goalas “an individual about whom the prosecution or the grand jury has substantial evidence linking him or her to the commission of a crime and who, in the opinion of the prosecution, is an alleged defendant.” The purpose of notifying a target of the status is “to give him or her an opportunity to testify before the grand jury,” according to the Justice Department.

Trump allies have blasted the news and maintained Smith’s investigation and others are politically motivated.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., blasted the news as an example of “armed government,” while Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., called it “absolute bull—-“.

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Some of Trump’s Republican presidential rivals criticized his behavior on Jan. 6, but said they did not think he should be charged.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told reporters on Tuesday that Trump “should have acted more forcefully” to stop the violence during the riot at the Capitol, but that “to try to criminalize that, that’s a whole other problem.” .

Former Vice President Mike Pence, who was pressured by Trump to stop Congress’ electoral college vote counting and then complained on social media as rioters stormed the Capitol, said in an interview Tuesday with NewsNation that his former running mate’s words on January 6 were “reckless,” adding, “I had no right to overturn the election.”

“President Trump was wrong then. He is wrong now. And I believe that history, history will hold him accountable for his actions that day, but in view of an indictment, I hope it doesn’t come to that.” Penny continued. “I’m not convinced that the president acting on bad advice from a group of idiot lawyers who entered the White House in the days leading up to Jan. 6 is actually criminal.”

The White House declined to comment on the target letter.

Attorney General Merrick Garland in November appointed Smith special counsel to determine “whether any person or entity has unlawfully interfered with the post-2020 transition of power or the certification of the Electoral College ballot on or about January 6, 2021. ” Smith was also given oversight of “the ongoing investigation regarding classified and other presidential documents” coming from the Trump White House, “as well as the potential obstruction of that investigation.”

He has since led an extensive investigation in the nearly eight months.

Smith secured an indictment before a federal grand jury in Florida last month, charging Trump with 37 counts related to his handling of classified documents and alleged attempts to obstruct that investigation.

Charges in that case include making false statements, conspiracy to obstruct justice and willfully withholding national defense information related to the more than 100 classified documents recovered last year from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, according to the indictment. . Trump pleaded not guilty and has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

Court records in that case show that Trump was sent a targeted letter on May 19, about three weeks before he was charged. His co-defendant, Walt Nauta, was issued a gun ticket on May 24.

Lawyers for Smith, Trump and Nauta, who have also pleaded not guilty, appeared Tuesday afternoon at a hearing in the Fort Pierce, Florida, documents case, where they became confused about a possible trial date. The judge is expected to rule later.

Also Tuesday, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced she has filed charges against 16 so-called fake voters — people who signed paperwork falsely claiming Trump won the 2020 election as part of a plan to reverse the results .

Meanwhile, at 9 p.m. ET, Trump was scheduled to attend a town hall in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

A possible charge against Trump in the election inquiry comes after a House selection committee set up by Democrats when they held the House majority last year investigated his role in the riot.

Days after the attack, the House impeached Trump—for the second time—for “incitement to insurrection.” The Senate acquitted him because the Democrats fell 10 votes short of garnering enough Republican votes to join them.

In addition to the documents case, Trump was separately indicted in New York City in early April by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg on 34 counts of falsifying business records related to his role in hush money payments toward the end of his 2016 presidential campaign. not guilty.

Trump also faces a criminal investigation related to Georgia’s 2020 election.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has indicated she will most likely file charges in the first half of August. Trump has denied any allegations and insists the investigation by Willis, a Democrat, is politically motivated.

Trump lashes out at target letter from special counsel who led the Jan. 6 investigation

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