Federal prosecutors from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office have sent a letter to Donald Trump notifying him that he is the target of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Trump is alleged to have mishandled classified documents after he left office, concealing them in his residence at Mar-A-Lago and devising a plan to prevent authorities from confiscating them. The former president continues to deny any wrongdoing.

Lawyers for Trump met with officials at the Department of Justice on Monday, presumably to plead for more time before charges are to be brought against Trump. His legal team has voiced concerns about the integrity of the investigation, claiming that he is being treated unfairly in comparison to other political figures.

The purpose of a target letter is to inform someone that they are facing probable indictment. The Justice Department manual stipulates that prosecutors may send a target letter to allow the subject an opportunity to testify before an official indictment.


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This is the clearest signal yet that Smith is nearing close to the end of his investigation and that a decision is mere days, or hours, away.

In recent days, Smith has been hearing testimony from people within Trump’s circle, including one of his attorneys, Evan Corcoran. Corcoran only went before a grand jury after a legal battle over attorney-client privilege, which he lost due to evidence of conversations in which the former president may have incriminated himself.

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows also testified before a grand jury this week after evidence was found linking him to Trump’s handling of classified documents. He is widely believed to be cooperating in Smith’s investigation.

In addition to the classified documents case, the special counsel’s office is still looking into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Last month, the Manhattan D.A. charged Trump over the hush money he paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the final days of the 2016 presidential race.

A representative for Smith has declined to comment on the target letter or the investigation into the mishandling of the documents.

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