Former President Donald Trump said in a social media post Reported by Special Counsel Jack Smith He is the target of a criminal investigation into efforts to subvert the 2020 election, and he could soon be indicted by a special prosecutor.
“Jack Smith, an attorney with Joe Biden’s DOJ, sent me a letter saying I’m a target for a grand jury hearing on January 6th (again, it’s a Sunday night!). Grand jury, which always means an arrest and indictment,” Trump posted on Truth Social.
Trump’s lawyers, including Todd Blanchett, received a letter of intent from Smith’s team on Sunday saying their client could face charges in the investigation into efforts to rig the 2020 election, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
A targeted letter from federal prosecutors to Trump makes clear that prosecutors are focusing on the former president’s actions in the probe to rig the 2020 election — not just those around him who tried to prevent his election loss.
Trump’s legal team has not formally responded to a subpoena to testify before the grand jury, but Trump is widely expected to decline to provide the letter. The letter caught Trump’s team off guard, not expecting to file charges against Smith or Trump this month.
Trump’s advisers called lawyers and associates Tuesday morning to try to find out who — if anyone — received a letter targeting the special counsel’s investigation after the 2020 election, multiple sources familiar with the outreach told CNN. Trump’s advisers are hoping to gain better insight into what a potential criminal case could be against the former president, sources said.
So far, Trump’s team has not identified anyone else who received the targeting letter, the sources said.
Trump also received a targeted letter from Smith about three weeks before he was indicted in an investigation into the mishandling of classified documents.
Smith declined to comment Tuesday when asked by CNN about the targeting letter and whether his office was preparing to indict the former president. CNN spotted Smith leaving a Subway sandwich shop in Washington, DC.
The White House declined to comment. CNN has also reached out to Biden’s re-election campaign for comment.
Trump has already been impeached twice this year. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg The former president charged 34 counts of falsifying business records in March and Smith Trump was charged with 37 impeachments Last month, the confidential documents were investigated. Trump pleaded not guilty to both charges.
Judicial regulations allow prosecutors to notify those under investigation that they have been targeted. Frequently declaring that a person is a target is a strong indication that an indictment may follow, but the recipient will not ultimately be charged.
Those notifications aren’t required, but prosecutors have the right to be told they’ve been targeted.
Although Trump did not specifically say why the grand jury must be notified, individuals who receive a target letter are generally given the opportunity to present evidence before a grand jury or testify if they choose.
In the classified documents case, Trump received a targeting letter from the Office of Special Counsel on May 19. His lawyers then met with Justice Department officials on June 5. Three days later, on June 8, a grand jury returned an indictment against Trump. His co-defendant and accomplice was Walt Nauta.
Trump himself is breaking this news. The former president spent Monday at his Bedminster golf club with some close advisers and will travel to Iowa on Tuesday with a small group of his campaign team for a town hall with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
Trump defended himself in his social media posts Tuesday morning.
“Under the United States Constitution, I have the right to protest an election that I fully believe was rigged and stolen, as the Democrats did against me in 2016, and as many others have done over the years,” Trump wrote.
Smith is investigating efforts to subvert the January 6, 2020, 2021 election, including an attack on the U.S. Capitol, fielding fraudulent voters in states Trump lost and trying to subvert a pressure campaign against his then-Vice President, Mike Pence. The January 6th election was when Congress certified Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
The special counsel examined Trump’s loss in the 2020 election and the pressure on the Justice Department for efforts to subvert the election and post-election fundraising efforts.
Dozens of witnesses The 2020 election has spoken to prosecutors and testified before a grand jury, including a long list of key aides to Trump and Pence in the White House.
In addition, lawyers focused on a chaotic December 2020 Oval Office meeting in the final days of the Trump administration, in which Trump’s advisers discussed seizing voting machines, naming a special counsel to investigate voter fraud and invoking martial law as part of the effort. Cancel the election.
Several Trump lawyers also spoke with federal investigators. Last month, Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani met with investigators for two days of voluntary interviews that covered a range of topics. Turbulent December 2020 The meeting he attended was before CNN reported.
Giuliani’s attorney, Robert Costello, told CNN that Giuliani did not receive the target letter.
In recent months, lawyers They have also given an interview Election officials in seven battleground states falsely accused Trump’s team of fraud after the 2020 election.
A grand jury to investigate 2020 election interference convenes Tuesday In federal court in Washington, DC.
This story has been updated with additional reporting and improvements.