Report: Donald Trump’s lawyers spent Monday begging the DOJ not to indict him
Back in April, Donald Trump experienced a unique phenomenon that, for his first 70-odd years on earth, he’d managed to avoid: actual consequences for his behavior, in this case, felony charges for the hush money deals he paid in the run-up to the 2016 election. Not surprisingly, Trump did not enjoy the experience and would no doubt like to avoid it happening again. But unfortunately for the ex-president, that’s not up to him, and he may soon be going two for two.
NBC News reports that the grand jury that has been hearing evidence in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation of Trump’s handling of classified documents is expected to meet in Washington again this week, according to people familiar with the matter. While it’s obviously impossible to know if that grand jury will choose to indict the ex-president—who is currently seeking a second term in office—the situation certainly does not sound great for the former guy, given that over the course of the last several weeks, we’ve learned that:
– The Justice Department has a recording of Trump saying he decided to hang on to classified material concerning a potential attack on Iran, and suggesting that he would like to share it but, per CNN, is “aware of limitations on his ability post-presidency to declassify records”;
– A Mar-a-Lago staffer who helped move boxes at the resort—seemingly at Trump’s request—allegedly asked, around the time the Trump Organization was subpoenaed for footage of the club, “how the security cameras worked and how long images remained stored in the system”;
– Trump attorney Evan Corcoran was “steered away” from searching for classified documents—in order to comply with a government subpoena—beyond the Mar-a-Lago storage room, despite the fact that a subsequent FBI raid uncovered classified documents in Trump’s office;
– Smith’s team has roughly 50 pages of notes from Corcoran revealing, among other things, that he advised Trump against retaining any government documents after the subpoena was issued, i.e., Trump was made well aware of what he was and was not allowed to do (according to CNN, Trump asked if he could fight the DOJ’s attempt to take back the documents);
– The National Archives and Records Administration gave the DOJ “16 records that show Trump…had knowledge of the correct declassification process while he was president” and did not follow it;
– Everyone from Trump’s pals to his lawyers think an indictment is on the horizon.
Speaking of the ex-president’s legal team, his lawyers were reportedly in Washington today to make their case.
Per The Washington Post:
Attorneys for Donald Trump came to the Justice Department on Monday morning to make their case that the government should not charge the former president in connection with his possession of classified documents after leaving office, a person familiar with the situation said. The lawyers at the meeting were Lindsey Halligan, John Rowley, and James Trusty, according to multiple people familiar with the situation, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss it.
It’s not clear what the outcome of that sit-down was, but it does appear that Trump seems to have a sneaking suspicion about how things are going to play out, if this outburst is any indication: