The Biden administration Department of Justice has informed 45th President Donald Trump that he will be criminally indicted next week, reportedly over alleged mishandling of documents the former president declassified at the end of his term in office.
Multiple reports now confirm federal prosecutors have informed Trump and his legal team that he is a criminal target and likely to be indicted “imminently” over claims that he, as the sitting President of the United States, did not have the authorization to declassify certain documents taken to Mar-a-Lago and his Bedminster, New Jersey address after he left office.
Trump’s legal team met with the Department of Justice earlier this week, and Just The News reports possible witness tampering on behalf of federal prosecutors was a subject of discussion. Ultimately, the DOJ refused to delay the indictment to investigate claims a key witness’s lawyer may have been offered a federal judgeship by prosecutors.
Meanwhile The Hill notes that Rep. Jim Jordan sent a controversial letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding details about the scope of special prosecutor Jack Smith’s investigations into the former president.
For his part, Trump has unleashed a series of statements on Truth Social describing the actions as part of a greater witch hunt meant to keep him from regaining the White House in 2024.
Just The News reports that Trump’s team of lawyers intends have formed a “robust” defense based on a case against former President Bill Clinton:
Trump’s lawyers have prepared a robust defense based on months of legal research, anticipating Smith might pursue charges. Trump’s lawyers are prepared to argue that a president had broad powers under the Constitution to keep documents or declassify without any fanfare documents from his presidency and take them with him upon leaving office.
They will rely heavily on a U.S. District Court case in Washington more than a decade ago involving former President Bill Clinton that concluded a president had broad and mostly unchallengeable power to determine which documents from his presidency can be kept personally and that any documents moved to Trump’s homes in Mar-a-Lago, Fla., and Bedminster, N.J., fall under that category.
If Trump is indicted as the reports claim, he will be the first current or former President of the United States to be indicted by the federal government.
Trump was indicted by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg earlier this year over claims he misrepresented the value of his company, Trump Organization, and its real estate holdings in official business documents.
This is a breaking news story and may be updated with additional information as it becomes available.