Story by Stephen Silver
5 Jun 2023
Donald Trump seems to be worried about more legal troubles and jail time. His lawyers meet with DOJ ahead of a possible indictment
Donald Trump. Image: Creative Commons.
More Drama for Donald Trump
Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that attorneys for Former President Donald Trump had requested a meeting with Attorney General Merrick Garland, ahead of the possible indictment of the former president in the case related to his handling of classified documents.
Trump himself posted the letter to his Truth Social account, in which attorneys John Rowley and James Trusty stated that the former president was “being treated unfairly” and was seeking the meeting with Garland in order to “discuss the ongoing injustice that is being perpetrated by your Special Counsel and his prosecutors.”
“No President of the United States has ever, in the history of our country, been baselessly investigated in such an outrageous and unlawful fashion,” the letter continued.
Now, the lawyers have had their meeting. According to CNN, the attorneys met Monday morning with officials at the Justice Department. The meeting lasted 90 minutes, the report said, although it’s not clear whether they met with Garland himself, or other Justice Department personnel. According to the Washington Post, the attorneys requested the meeting in order to “make their case that the government should not charge the former president in connection with his possession of classified documents after leaving office.”
The meeting comes as, per reports over the weekend, the grand jury in the documents case is set to reconvene later this week, to hear testimony from a witness. This comes as it appears the special counsel, Jack Smith, is nearing a charging decision in the documents case.
Meanwhile, experts believe that it’s likely that Trump will be charged in the documents case.
“Prosecutors in addition have gathered evidence indicating that Trump at times kept classified documents in his office in a place where they were visible and sometimes showed them to others, these people said,” The Washington Post said back in May.
“Taken together, the new details of the classified-documents investigation suggest a greater breadth and specificity to the instances of possible obstruction found by the FBI and Justice Department than have been previously reported.”
Just Security, last week, published a document called “Model Prosecution Memo for Trump Classified Documents,” whose authors included Andrew Weissman, a veteran of Robert Mueller’s team.
“There is sufficient evidence to obtain and sustain a conviction here if the information gleaned from government filings and statements and voluminous public reporting is accurate. Indeed, the DOJ is likely now, or shortly will be, internally circulating a pros memo of its own saying so,” the authors of the report wrote.
“Since it will not be publicly available, we offer this analysis. Ours is likely more detailed than what DOJ will prepare internally for explanatory purposes. But, given the gravity of the issues here, our memo provides a sense of how prosecutors will assemble and evaluate the considerations that they must assess before making a prosecution decision.”
The document lays out six ways that Trump could face charges, including three each on the “Mishandling of Government Documents” side and the “Obstruction, Contempt, False Information” side.
“This model prosecution memorandum assesses potential charges federal prosecutors may bring against former President Donald Trump. It focuses on those emanating from his handling of classified documents and other government records since leaving office on January 20, 2021,” the introduction to the document says.
“It includes crimes related to the removal and retention of national security information and obstruction of the investigation into his handling of these documents. The authors have decades of experience as federal prosecutors and defense lawyers, as well as other legal expertise. Based upon this experience and the analysis that follows, we conclude that Trump should–and likely will–be charged.”
The exact timing of a charging decision on Trump, and others who might be charged, remains unknown.