Trump Lawyers Meet Special Counsel Amid Indictment Looms

Donald Trump’s legal team did not receive any instructions from special counsel Jack Smith at their meeting on Thursday in Washington, DC.

The meeting took place on the same day that a federal courthouse grand jury was viewing evidence from the special counsel’s investigation into Trump and his aides’ attempts to rig the election.

There won’t be any grand jury indictment returns on Thursday, according to a court official. It’s unclear what Thursday’s revelations entail for Smith’s inquiry because grand jury sessions are confidential.

Trump had pushed against a meeting between his attorneys and Smith’s team ever since receiving a letter from Smith suggesting he is a target of the investigation earlier this month because the former president assumed the indictment was already finalized, according to two sources familiar with his thinking.

Trump’s attorneys wanted to at least postpone any potential plans for the grand jury to deliver an indictment on Thursday, according to people briefed on the proceedings, which is why they requested a meeting with Smith’s team.

According to a second source familiar with the legal team’s thinking, they also plan to go over the specifics of how the former president may be indicted and brought before a judge for arraignment.

“My attorneys had a productive meeting with the DOJ this morning, explaining in detail that I did nothing wrong, was advised by many lawyers, and that an Indictment of me would only further destroy our Country,” Trump said on Truth Social.

Trump’s political and legal strategy has been to postpone any potential trials, possibly until after the 2024 presidential election, and to put the Justice Department in the awkward position of pursuing a case against President Joe Biden’s leading 2024 rival even as primary voters are starting to cast their ballots.

Every day they can delay an indictment also delays the start of the trial.

John Lauro and Todd Blanche from Trump’s legal team met with Smith on Thursday, according to sources with knowledge of the situation who spoke to CNN. To handle topics pertaining to the 2020 election and the lead-up to the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, Lauro recently joined the team.

In the criminal case involving a hush-money plot in Manhattan as well as the Mar-a-Lago case involving secret data, Blanche has defended Trump.

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Trump is currently being investigated by Smith’s team for the second time. Trump also received notification from prosecutors that he was a target of the investigation before he was charged in Florida in Smith’s investigation into the improper handling of secret documents from his White House.

Investigatory targets are not required to get this notice from prosecutors. Early in June, Trump’s attorneys met with Smith’s team’s prosecutors at the same time he was informed of the potential classified materials charges against him. Later in that month, he was charged with using secret documents.

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