Trump Lawyers Meet With Justice Dept. 06/06 06:15
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Lawyers for Donald Trump met with Justice Department
officials on Monday as a decision nears on whether to bring criminal charges
over the handling of classified documents at the former president's Florida
The Trump lawyers two weeks ago requested a meeting with Attorney General
Merrick Garland to raise concerns about what they alleged was prosecutorial
misconduct and overreach by the team led by special counsel Jack Smith. But a
defense attorney meeting with Justice Department officials is also often used
as an opportunity to try to persuade prosecutors against bringing charges in
the final stages of an investigation.
It was not clear what was discussed during the meeting, but Trump, in a
social media post and talk radio interview, signaled that he was prepared for
the possibility that he would be charged and reiterated his attacks on the
A trio of Trump attorneys -- James Trusty, John Rowley and Lindsey Halligan
-- exited the Justice Department headquarters in Washington on Monday morning
after spending well over an hour inside. They got into a black sport utility
vehicle and did not respond to reporters' questions.
Garland and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco were not present for the
meeting but special counsel Jack Smith was. The Justice Department had no
comment on the meeting.
After the meeting ended, Trump posted on his Truth Social platform in
capital letters: "How can DOJ possibly charge me, who did nothing wrong" when
no other presidents have been charged. He referenced the investigation into his
2016 opponent Hillary Clinton, which ended without criminal charges, and a
separate ongoing probe into the presence of classified documents at an office
and home of President Joe Biden. And he characterized it as a "witch hunt."
He also called into the Todd Starnes radio show, where he confirmed the
meeting with his lawyers and said, "Well, I can just say this: They did go in
and they saw 'em and they said very unfair. No other president has ever been
charged with anything like his.'"
The Trump investigation differs from both the Biden and Clinton probes,
though, in that prosecutors for months have examined whether Trump or his
representatives sought to obstruct their inquiry and their efforts to recover
classified documents. After suspecting that not all classified documents had
been turned over, the FBI in August obtained a search warrant and returned to
Mar-a-Lago and recovered an additional 100 documents with classification
The Mar-a-Lago investigation into the potential mishandling of classified
documents at Mar-a-Lago, with a charging decision likely coming soon.
Prosecutors have placed a broad cross-section of witnesses, including lawyers
for Trump and close aides, before a grand jury.
Trump's lawyers issued a letter to House lawmakers in April that laid out
possible defenses and referred to the investigation as "misguided, politically
infected, and severely botched."
Besides the Mar-a-Lago investigation, Smith is leading a separate probe into
efforts by Trump and his allies to undo the results of the 2020 presidential