Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers have requested a meeting with Attorney General Merrick Garland amid reports the investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents is nearing an end.
The letter, posted to Trump’s Truth Social account, criticizes the ongoing probe — centered on boxes of classified files found at his Mar-a-Lago compound in Florida — as unfair and calls for a meeting to discuss Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Smith is nearly finished collecting testimony and evidence in the case, and some in the former president’s orbit are preparing for a possible indictment.
“No President of the United States has ever, in the history of our country, been baselessly investigated in such an outrageous and unlawful fashion,” attorneys John Rowley and Jim Trusty wrote. “We request a meeting at your earliest convenience to discuss the ongoing injustice that is being perpetrated by your Special Counsel and his prosecutors.”
The brief letter doesn’t point to any specific allegations against Smith.
The investigation into the government files is just one of several cases into Trump’s behavior after he lost the 2020 presidential election, but it may pose the most serious legal threat to the former president.
The FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago home last August after the National Archives attempted for months to recover the missing documents, but the Justice Department has reportedly homed in on whether Trump attempted to obstruct the government’s efforts to recover the files. The Washington Post reported last month that federal investigators had gathered evidence that the former president may have sifted through boxes of documents after receiving a subpoena to return them.
Trump has oscillated from saying he did nothing wrong to claiming he automatically declassified the files to excoriating the probe as yet another government witch hunt. But during a CNN town hall-style event this month, he appeared to claim he was allowed to take anything he wanted when he left the White House in January 2021, pointing to what he called the “absolute right” under the Presidential Records Act.
“I took the documents; I’m allowed to,” he said during the live event, adding later that when he left Washington he had “boxes lined up on the sidewalk,” and “everybody knew we were taking those boxes.”
Trump has had several courtroom defeats in recent months. The former president was indicted in April on 34 felony counts centered on hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 election. Earlier this month, he was also ordered to pay $5 million in damages to writer E. Jean Carroll for sexual abuse and defamation.
He has excoriated those decisions and spent his time at the CNN town hall disparaging Carroll as a “whack job.” She responded on Monday, asking a judge to increase the multimillion-dollar judgment by a “very substantial amount” for his continued disparagement of her despite the jury’s verdict.