• Wed. May 22nd, 2024

Donald Trump says he’s a target of special counsel’s criminal probe into 2020 election aftermath

Donald Trump says he's a target of special counsel's criminal probe into 2020 election aftermath


Former President Donald Trump said in a social media post that he’s been informed by special counsel Jack Smith that he is a target of the criminal investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election, a sign he may soon be charged by the special counsel..

“Deranged Jack Smith, the prosecutor with Joe Biden’s DOJ, sent a letter (again, it was Sunday night!) stating that I am a TARGET of the January 6th Grand Jury investigation, and giving me a very short 4 days to report to the Grand Jury, which almost always means an Arrest and Indictment,” Trump posted on Truth Social.

“Under the United States Constitution, I have the right to protest an Election that I am fully convinced was Rigged and Stolen, just as Democrats have done against me in 2016, and many others have done over the ages,” Trump wrote.

Two sources familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN that Trump received the letter.

Trump also received a target letter earlier this year from Smith before he was indicted in the investigation into the mishandling of classified documents.

A spokesman for the special counsel declined to comment.

A target letter from federal prosecutors to Trump makes clear that prosecutors are focused on Trump’s actions in the investigation into overturning the 2020 election – and not just of those around him who tried to stop his election loss.

Justice Department regulations allow for prosecutors to notify subjects of an investigation that they have become a target. Often a notification that a person is a target is a strong sign an indictment could follow, but it is possible the recipient is not ultimately charged.

Those notifications aren’t required, but prosecutors have the discretion to notify subjects that they have become a target. Once informed, a target has the opportunity to present evidence or testify to the grand jury if they choose.

Smith has been investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election leading up to the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, including putting forward fake electors in states Trump lost and a pressure campaign against his then-Vice President Mike Pence to try to overturn the election when Congress certified Joe Biden’s Electoral College win on January 6.

The grand jury investigating 2020 election interference is meeting today at the federal courthouse in Washington, DC.

Dozens of witnesses have spoken to prosecutors and testified before the grand jury in the 2020 election investigation, including a lengthy list of top aides to Donald Trump in the White House as well as former Vice President Mike Pence.

In recent months, prosecutors have also interviewed election officials in the seven battleground states where Trump’s team falsely claimed fraud and put forward fake electors after the 2020 election.

In addition, prosecutors have 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 efforts to overturn the election.

A number of Trump lawyers also have spoken to federal investigators. Last month, Trump’s former attorney Rudy Giuliani met with investigators for a voluntary interview over two days that covered a range of topics, including the tumultuous December 2020 meeting that he attended, CNN previously reported.

Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, tells CNN that Giuliani has not received a target letter.

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