Trump told he's target of criminal investigation into classified docs

Donald Trump has been notified that he is a target of a criminal investigation regarding his handling of classified materials

  • Donald Trump’s attorneys have been notified in a letter that he is the target of a criminal investigation into his handling of classified documents
  • On Monday, the attorneys met Justice Department officials to discuss the investigation
  • The official notification is seen as a sign that Jack Smith, the special counsel investigating the documents, could be close to deciding about charges 

Donald Trump has been officially informed that he is the target of a criminal investigation into his handling of classified documents, according to multiple reports on Wednesday night.

The Justice Department told Trump’s lawyers in a letter several days ago, Politico reported – although Trump himself wrote on Truth Social that he had not been informed.

Two sources told Fox News that the attorneys had been notified. 

The formal notification is seen as a sign that Jack Smith, the special counsel appointed to investigate Trump’s handling of classified documents, is close to a decision as to whether to recommend charges against him.

Trump’s lawyers met with Smith’s team on Monday. 

Prosecutors are said to be wrapping up their investigation of Donald Trump

Trump attorneys Lindsey Halligan, from left, John Rowley and James Trusty exit the Department of Justice on Monday after meeting with federal prosecutors

The Justice Department manual states that prosecutors may send a ‘target letter’ to those who are likely to be charged in connection with a grand jury probe.

The move is designed to give them an opportunity to testify, before an indictment comes down. It is not a guarantee that charges will be filed.

Prosecutors consider a target a person for whom there is ‘substantial evidence linking him or her to the commission of a crime and who, in the judgment of the prosecutor, is a putative defendant.’

Trump denied he had been told he was a target.

He wrote on Truth Social: ‘No one has told me I’m being indicted, and I shouldn’t be because I’ve done NOTHING wrong, but I have assumed for years that I am a Target of the WEAPONIZED DOJ & FBI, starting with the Russia, Russia, Russia HOAX, the ‘No Collusion’ Mueller Report, Impeachment HOAX, Impeachment HOAX, the PERFECT Ukraine phone call, and various other SCAMS & WITCH HUNTS. 



Jack Smith was appointed in November as special counsel to investigate Trump’s handling of classified information

Documents found at Mar-a-Lago in an August raid are pictured on display

News of the official notification came days after it emerged that a storage room at Mar-a-Lago where surveillance camera footage was kept flooded.

The flooding happened as a swimming pool was being drained, it emerged on Monday.

Prosecutors wanted the footage to track how White House records were moved around Trump’s Palm Beach residence.

It’s unclear if the room was intentionally flooded or if it was a mistake. 

Prosecutors are investigating whether there was any attempt by Trump or his associates to obstruct the Justice Department’s investigation after Trump received a subpoena in May 2022 for classified documents.

Trump continues to deny any wrong doing and claims to be the victim of a politically-charged investigation led by prosecutors who don’t want to see him make another run for president. 

Prosecutors have focused on Trump, his body man Walt Nauta and a maintenance worker who helped Nauta move boxes of classified documents ahead of federal agents searching the property last summer in their investigation.

The maintenance worker is the person who drained the pool that led to the flooding of the IT room where the surveillance footage was held, CNN reported. 

A Mar-a-Lago employee drained the resort’s swimming pool and flooded a room where computer servers containing surveillance video logs were kept

Donald Trump has denied any wrongdoing but took to his Truth Social platform to post a message that seemed to indicate his lawyers had discussed with him the possibility he might be indicted

Under the Presidential Records Act, all documents from a presidential administration are the federal government’s property and go to the National Archives upon the end of a presidency. 

Trump, it’s been reported, believed they were his property.

The Justice Department has been investigating potential mishandling of classified material by Trump for about a year. 

The attorney general, Merrick Garland, assigned Smith as special counsel on November 18. 

But there are signs its investigation may be wrapping up. 

A grand jury has been hearing testimony from dozens of witnesses in recent months at the federal courthouse in downtown Washington. 

Smith is also investigating efforts by Trump and his allies to undo the results of the 2020 presidential election – the subject of a similar, ongoing inquiry by prosecutors in Atlanta. 

New York prosecutors charged Trump earlier this year with falsifying business records.

Timeline of the classified documents 

May 2021: National Archives realizes some records from Trump’s presidency are missing

December 2021: Archives requests the documents from the former president

January 2022:  Archives received 15 boxes of material that had been stored at Mar-a-Lago, some of which were found to contain classified material

February 2022: The matter is referred to the Justice Department. Trump’s team perform a ‘dress rehearsal’, to ready for the possibility of a search for the documents

May 2022: After several back-and-forths with Trump’s legal team, the Justice Department issues a subpoena for additional records they believe to be in the former president’s Florida home

Investigators believe after that subpoena arrived, storage boxes, including some containing classified material, were moved from a Mar-a-Lago storage area, so Trump personally examined some of them

June 2, 2022: Walt Nauta and two employees move documents out of a store room. Hours later, Trump’s lawyers contact the DOJ and say they are welcome to visit and retrieve the documents 

June 3, 2022: Three FBI agents and one DOJ attorney go to Mar-a-Lago to retrieve the additional material. They were given a single Redweld envelope, double-wrapped in tape, containing the documents, according to later court filings. That envelope contained 38 records with classification markings, including five papers marked confidential, 16 marked secret and 17 marked top secret

August 2022: DOJ applied for a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago, citing ‘probable cause’ that additional presidential records and records containing classified information remained at Trump’s Florida home. Court papers show that the original search warrant application showed agents believed that ‘evidence of obstruction will be found at the premises’

August 8, 2022: FBI agents raid Mar-a-Lago: They recover 18 documents marked as top secret, 54 marked secret, 31 marked as confidential, and 11,179 government documents or photographs that had no classification markings

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