Trump says he has been notified he’s a target of the US probe into efforts to overturn 2020 election

18 July 2023

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he has received a letter informing him that he is a target of the Justice Department’s investigation into efforts to undo the results of the 2020 presidential election, an indication that he could soon be indicted by federal prosecutors.

Trump made the claim in a post on his Truth Social platform, saying he received the target letter while with his family on Sunday night. Such a letter can precede an indictment and is used to advise individuals that prosecutors have evidence linking them to a crime; Trump received one ahead of being charged last month in a separate investigation into the mishandling of classified documents.

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

Smith’s team has cast a broad net in its investigation into attempts by Trump and his allies to block the legitimate transfer of power to Democrat Joe 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 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 schemes from Trump and allies to keep him in power, including the use of slates of so-called fake electors in battleground states won by Biden and disputed by Trump.

Trump, who is currently the dominant early frontrunner for the Republican nomination, is scheduled to travel to Iowa Tuesday, where he is taping a town hall with Fox News host Sean Hannity.

One purpose of the 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,” but aides did not immediately respond to questions seeking clarity.

Prosecutors in Georgia are conducting a separate investigation into efforts by Trump to reverse his election loss in that state, with the top prosecutor in Fulton County signaling that she expects to announce charging decisions next month.

In his post, 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 enforTrump was indicted last month on 37 felony counts accusing him 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 in Fort Pierce, Fla.cement!”


Associated Press writer Jill Colvin in New York contributed to this report.

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