A Trump Organization staffer reportedly received a target letter from special counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating former President Donald Trump’s handling of the classified documents.
The former president has repeatedly called the investigation a “witch hunt.”
Smith sent the target letter to the staffer in recent weeks in which he indicated that the staffer may have lied under oath during a May appearance before the federal grand jury hearing evidence in the classified document case, ABC News reported, citing sources familiar with the case.
A target letter puts the subject of an investigation on notice they would potentially face an indictment, the report said. Trump was also served a target letter in the investigation before the grand jury in Florida indicted him.
The letter underlined Smith’s interest in the Trump Organization’s role in the handling of the surveillance footage and potential efforts to withhold it from investigators, the report said.
Investigators are also reportedly looking into whether the employee in question had any subsequent conversations with other Trump Organization employees, including Walt Nauta, who was indicted along with Trump in June for allegedly obstructing the investigation.
“This is the kind of action I was anticipating. Obstruction charges for people in course of the investigation,” said Andrew Weismann, a Department of Justice veteran, who commented on ABC News.
Trump has pleaded not guilty on 37 counts related to the classified documents as he is forbidden to speak to Walt Nauta related to the case. He was arraigned in Miami.
This was the second time the former president was indicted, but the first on a federal level. He was previously indicted by a New York grand jury for falsifying business records related to hush money payment.
The attorneys for the former president had motioned to have the trial postponed after the 2024 election, which Smith’s office urged the judge to reject the motion.
“There is no basis in law or fact for proceeding in such an indeterminate and open-ended fashion, and the Defendants provide none,” said prosecutor David Harbach in writing in the filing.
“The PRA is not a criminal statute, and in no way purports to address the retention of national security information,” said Harbach in writing. “The Defendants are, of course, free to make whatever arguments they like for dismissal of the Indictment, and the Government will respond promptly. But they should not be permitted to gesture at a baseless legal argument, call it ‘novel,’ and then claim that the Court will require an indefinite continuance in order to resolve it.”
Smith had previously asked the judge to delay the trial from August 11 to December 11 state that it “would deny counsel for the defendant or the attorney for the Government the reasonable time necessary for effective preparation.”
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