Former President Donald Trump received notification on Wednesday that he is the subject of a criminal investigation into his handling of secret documents, as reported by multiple news outlets. This revelation came after Politico disclosed earlier that the Justice Department had sent a letter to Trump’s lawyers, alerting them of the indictment. Despite Trump’s claim of being unaware of the indictment on Truth Social, two independent sources confirmed to Fox News that his lawyers were informed of his status change.
The formal notification, seen as a sign that special counsel Jack Smith is nearing a decision on whether to bring charges against Trump for his handling of secret documents, has sparked anticipation. Trump’s legal team recently held discussions with Smith’s prosecutors, indicating a significant development in the investigation. Prosecutors can issue a ‘target letter’ to individuals likely to be charged based on a grand jury investigation, providing an opportunity for them to provide testimony prior to an indictment. However, receiving such a letter does not guarantee legal action will be taken.
While Trump denied knowledge of the indictment, he claimed that he had expected to be a target for years. On Truth Social, he expressed his belief that the Department of Justice and FBI had weaponized against him, citing various incidents such as the Russia investigation, impeachment proceedings, and alleged scams and witch hunts. Trump’s remarks reflect his perception of being the victim of a politically motivated probe.
In another development, it was revealed that a storage room at Mar-a-Lago, where surveillance camera recordings were kept, had flooded. Prosecutors had requested access to the surveillance footage to monitor the movement of White House records within Trump’s Palm Beach residence. The cause of the flooding, whether accidental or intentional, remains unknown.
The ongoing investigation is examining whether Trump or his associates obstructed the Justice Department’s inquiry after receiving a subpoena for confidential documents. The fact that Trump considered these records his possessions, despite the Presidential Records Act stating that all records from a president’s administration become federal property upon leaving office, adds another layer of scrutiny to the investigation.
Special counsel Jack Smith was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland and has been leading the investigation for almost a year. Recent months have seen hundreds of witnesses testifying before a grand jury in downtown Washington, signaling progress in the probe. Furthermore, prosecutors in Atlanta are conducting a parallel investigation into possible attempts by Trump and his associates to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
In addition to the ongoing investigations, Trump is facing accusations from New York authorities regarding false tax returns and financial documents. He continues to deny any wrongdoing and portrays himself as a victim of politically motivated prosecutors.
Another focus of the investigation is the disappearance of secret information from Trump Tower. The involvement of Trump, his bodyguard Walt Nauta, and a maintenance worker in moving the boxes containing the information is under scrutiny. The maintenance worker’s actions, including the drainage of the pool that resulted in the flooding of the IT room housing the camera tapes, have attracted attention as part of the investigation.
The developments surrounding the criminal investigation, flooding incident, and parallel inquiries highlight the intense scrutiny and legal challenges that Trump is currently facing. The outcomes of these investigations have the potential to significantly impact his future political aspirations and legal standing.