Trump lawyers visit U.S. Justice Department amid documents probe

Trump lawyers visit U.S. Justice Department amid documents probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Three lawyers for former President Donald Trump left the U.S. Department of Justice Monday amid reports that federal prosecutors are wrapping up an investigation into whether he mishandled classified documents.

The three lawyers – Lindsey Halligan, John Rowley and James Trusty – declined to answer questions as they left the building in Washington.

Trump, the front-runner in the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, said he was being unfairly targeted.

“How can DOJ charge me, who did nothing wrong,” Trump wrote on social media. “The greatest witch hunt of all time!”

Several media outlets reported that his legal team was at the Justice Department to argue that prosecutors should not bring charges against Trump for his handling of sensitive government materials he kept after leaving the White House in 2021.

It is one of several criminal probes Trump faces as he seeks to regain the presidency next year.

It was not immediately clear what any potential meeting between the lawyers and the department may mean for Trump. Lawyers typically meet with Justice Department representatives before an indictment is handed down.

Trump’s lawyers last month sent the department a letter asking for a meeting with U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Representatives for the Department of Justice declined to comment.

Trump is the first U.S. president past or present ever to face criminal charges, having pleaded not guilty in April to felony charges brought by the Manhattan district attorney of falsifying business records relating to hush money paid to a porn star before his election in 2016.

Media outlets said the grand jury was expected to hear from another witness in the documents case this week.

Garland has tapped Special Counsel Jack Smith to oversee the documents case as well as the role of Trump and others in a wide range of actions surrounding his election loss that culminated in his supporters’ attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Trump over the weekend said he was “at least as innocent” as his former vice president Mike Pence, who faced no charges after cooperating with authorities when a classified document was found in his Indiana home last year.

Federal investigators are examining whether Trump and his associates broke the law by retaining U.S. documents after leaving the White House and whether they then tried to obstruct the Justice Department’s investigation.

Trump also faces a state-level probe by a Georgia county prosecutor.

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