Donald Trump is notified he’s a target of the U.S. criminal probe into efforts to overturn the 2020 election

trump ap
The former President posted on the Truth Social platform, that he anticipates being indicted in addition to the 27 charges he's already facing.

Former President Donald Trump said Tuesday he has received a letter informing him that he is a target of the Justice Department’s investigation into efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, an indication he could soon be charged by U.S. prosecutors.

New federal charges, on top of existing state and federal counts in New York and Florida and a separate election-interference investigation nearing conclusion in Georgia, would add to the list of legal problems for Trump as he pursues the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

Trump disclosed the existence of a target letter in a post on his Truth Social platform, saying he received it Sunday night and that he anticipates being indicted. Such a letter often precedes an indictment and is used to advise individuals under investigation that prosecutors have gathered evidence linking them to a crime; Trump himself received one soon before being charged last month in a separate investigation into the illegal retention of classified documents.

A spokesman for special counsel Jack Smith, whose office is leading the investigation, declined to comment.

Legal experts have said potential charges could include conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of an official proceeding, in this case Congress’ certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

Smith’s team has cast a broad net in its investigation into attempts by Trump and his allies to block the transfer of power to Biden in the days leading up to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, when Trump loyalists stormed the building in a bid to disrupt the certification of state electoral votes in Congress. More than 1,000 people accused of participating in the riot have been charged.

Smith’s probe has centered on a broad range of efforts by Trump and allies to keep him in office, including the role played by lawyers in pressing for the overturning of results as well as plans for slates of fake electors in multiple battleground states won by Biden to submit false electoral certificates to Congress.

Prosecutors have questioned multiple Trump administration officials before a grand jury in Washington, including former Vice President Mike Pence, who was repeatedly pressured by Trump to ignore his constitutional duty and block the counting in Congress of electoral votes on Jan. 6.

They’ve also interviewed other Trump advisers, including former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, as well as local election officials in states including Michigan and New Mexico who were targets of a pressure campaign from the then-president to overturn election results in their states. A lawyer for Giuliani, who participated in a voluntary interview, said Tuesday that he did not receive a target letter.

Trump has consistently denied wrongdoing and did so again in his Tuesday post, writing, “Under the United States Constitution, I have the right to protest an Election that I am fully convinced was Rigged and Stolen, just as the Democrats have done against me in 2016, and many others have done over the ages.”

Trump remains the Republican party’s dominant frontrunner, despite indictments in New York arising from hush money payments during his 2016 campaign, and in Florida, which appear to have had little impact on his standing in the crowded GOP field. The indictments also have helped his campaign raise millions of dollars from supporters, though he raised less after the second than the first, raising questions about whether subsequent charges will have the same impact.

A fundraising committee backing Trump’s candidacy began soliciting contributions just hours after he broke the news of the new letter, casting the investigation as “just another vicious act of Election Interference on behalf of the Deep State to try and stop the Silent Majority from having a voice in your own country.”

Trump was traveling to Iowa Tuesday, where he was taping a town hall with Fox News host Sean Hannity.

The Trump indictments have proven politically challenging for some of Trump’s rivals, who must be mindful of his deep support among many of the party’s primary voters.

Asked about the letter during a press conference in South Carolina, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump’s most serious challenger, said he hadn’t seen it, but delivered his most forceful critique to date of Trump’s inaction on Jan. 6.

“I think it was shown how he was in the White House and didn’t do anything while things were going on. He should have come out more forcefully,” DeSantis said. However, he added, “But to try to criminalize that, that’s a different issue entirely.”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who had previously criticized Trump for his actions that day, accused Democrats of trying to “weaponize government to go after their number one opponent.”

Trump, since leaving office, has increasingly downplayed the events of Jan. 6, describing the rally he held that day as a “lovefest” and “a beautiful thing.” He has also embraced defendants jailed over their alleged roles in the insurrection, including promising to pardon a “large portion” and to issue an official apology to them if he is reelected to the White House. In June, he spoke at a fundraiser for the defendants and earlier this year collaborated on a song called “Justice for All,” a version of the Star-Spangled Banner sung by the J6 Prison choir and recorded over a prison phone line that is overlaid with Trump reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

One purpose of a target letter is to advise a potential defendant that he or she has a right to appear before the grand jury. Trump said in his post that he has been given “a very short 4 days to report to the Grand Jury, which almost always means an Arrest and indictment.” Aides did not immediately respond to questions seeking further information.

In his post on Tuesday, Trump wrote that “they have now effectively indicted me three times … with a probably fourth coming from Atlanta” and added in capital letters, “This witch hunt is all about election interference and a complete and total political weaponization of law enforcement.”

Trump was indicted last month on 37 federal felony counts in relation to accusations of illegally retaining hundreds of classified documents at his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago. He has pleaded not guilty. A pretrial conference in that case was set for Tuesday afternoon in Fort Pierce.

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Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

 

Associated Press


12 comments

  • Earl Pitts"Dont Whizz Off Earl" American

    July 18, 2023 at 5:35 pm

    Good afternoon America,
    Now all this stuff the left is throwing at Trump just prior to the election is the same total BS leftist loosers have always thrown at Trump. Still Desantis will be the better, younger, more healthy choice for POTUS.
    Thank you America,
    EPA

    • Florida's Finest

      July 18, 2023 at 7:21 pm

      What if the left has miscalculated Mr Pitts-American? What if the RNC selects Trump, then rather than being able to beat Trump like in 2020 Trump actually wins by such a large margin the left can not do anything about it?

      Do you think that Trump could really win it this time Mr. Pitts-American? Do you think Trump really wants it or has Trump already agreed to be beaten again?
      The main reason I ask is because after 2020 Trump made a lot of noise about the election being stolen but if you really back away from political emotions and take an honest look at 2020 and what Trump actually did after the election you will see 99% noise, whining, B’ing and moaning. The 2020 reality mathamatically along with observed reality on what Trump actually did is indisputable that Trump actualy did next to nothing about his 2020 beat down. Its almost like Trump agreed to the 2020 outcome in advance and promised to B’itch a lot but actually do nothing beyond that.
      I think the left is totally expecting Trump to do exactly the same thing in 2024.
      Florida’s Finest

      • Dont Say FLA

        July 20, 2023 at 3:58 pm

        Trump made all the same “it’s rigged” noises going into 2016 vs Hillary, but then he won and promptly shut his face sphincter about it until 2020.

    • My Take

      July 19, 2023 at 12:21 am

      Queen Rhonda rejoices in Trump’s many and deep troubles. 0,5He just can’t do it publicly.

  • My Take

    July 18, 2023 at 6:55 pm

    LOCK HIM UP !

  • Dont Say FLA

    July 18, 2023 at 7:29 pm

    Is it a witch hunt, a hoax, or is it because a huge majority of people find his work in Florida to be appealing? LOL @ Stupid Trump

  • Earl Pitts " Dont Whizz Off Earl" American

    July 18, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    You have been paying attention Finest.
    Thats exactly why I, Earl Pitts American, tied my wagon to the Desantis team.
    And listen up Finest:
    The political fix (pretty much 100% as you described) may be too deep for Desantis to prevail in 2024. Should the left take it again in 2024, courtsey of Trump again, we must take the long view and prepare for 2028. We shall not give up.
    There is no way we will not have a total Republican Majority in Washington in 2028 if they take The White House again in 2024.
    Thank you Finest,
    EPA

    • Silly Wabbit

      July 19, 2023 at 1:05 pm

      You kwazy.

  • PeterH

    July 18, 2023 at 9:04 pm

    We must remember what happened that day and bring ALL THE CRIMINALS involved with Trump’s attempted coup to justice.

    It is unfortunate that these criminal acts perpetrated by Trump and his associates will directly influence voters in the 2024 election …… but that was Trump’s intention all along. He has delayed and delayed court proceedings…… like he has done all of his life!

    Republicans will pay the price for Trump’s obstruction of justice.

    Republicans are America’s biggest problem!

    Vote all Republicans out of office!

  • My Take

    July 18, 2023 at 10:18 pm

    He sounds just like the typical street criminal.
    “I’m innocent. I didn’t do nothing. They’ve got the wrong guy. The cops have set me up. They all have it in for me.”

    • My Take

      July 18, 2023 at 10:22 pm

      Who will be the judge for this case?

  • My Take

    July 19, 2023 at 11:39 pm

    Nèxt Up — ATLANTA !

Comments are closed.


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