Legal professionals for former President Donald J. Trump met on Thursday with officers within the workplace of the particular counsel, Jack Smith, as federal prosecutors edged nearer towards bringing an indictment in opposition to Mr. Trump in connection together with his wide-ranging efforts to overturn the 2020 election, in keeping with three folks acquainted with the matter.
It was not instantly clear what topics had been mentioned on the assembly or if Mr. Smith took half. However related gatherings are sometimes utilized by protection attorneys as a last-ditch effort to argue in opposition to costs being filed or to convey their model of the info and the legislation.
On Thursday, the prosecutors had been stated to have listened courteously — with out signaling their intentions past what they’d conveyed in an earlier letter to the previous president — as Mr. Trump’s attorneys made their arguments.
In a publish following the assembly on his social media web site, Mr. Trump stated that his attorneys had “a productive assembly” with the prosecutors. He stated they’d defined to Mr. Smith’s group that “I did nothing fallacious, was suggested by many attorneys, and that an indictment of me would solely additional destroy our nation.”
The previous president’s authorized group — together with Todd Blanche and a newly employed lawyer, John Lauro — has been on excessive alert since final week, when prosecutors working for the particular counsel sent Mr. Trump a so-called target letter within the election interference case. It was the clearest sign that costs might be coming.
The letter described three potential counts that Mr. Trump might face: conspiracy to defraud the USA, obstruction of an official continuing and a Reconstruction-era civil rights cost that makes it a criminal offense to threaten or intimidate anybody within the “free train or enjoyment” of any proper or privilege offered by the Structure or by federal legislation.
One other group of attorneys working on the time for Mr. Trump had the same assembly with officers on the Justice Division final month, days earlier than prosecutors led by Mr. Smith filed an indictment in Florida charging the previous president with illegally holding onto extremely delicate categorised paperwork after leaving the White Home.
The indictment within the Florida case, which is ready to go to trial in Could, additionally accused Mr. Trump of conspiring with considered one of his private aides, Walt Nauta, to impede the federal government’s repeated makes an attempt to retrieve the categorised paperwork. That case expanded on Thursday, as prosecutors unsealed conspiracy costs in opposition to one other Trump worker, Carlos De Oliveira, and added three serious new charges against Mr. Trump.
If Mr. Trump is charged in connection together with his efforts to reverse his election loss, it might be a unprecedented second by which a former president — and present presidential candidate — stood accused of utilizing the powers of his personal authorities to stay in workplace in opposition to the desire of the voters.
Mr. Trump, the present front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, has already been charged not solely within the categorised paperwork case but additionally by the Manhattan district lawyer, who has accused him of dozens of felonies associated to hush cash funds made to a porn actress within the run-up to the 2016 election.
Mr. Trump additionally faces scrutiny from the district lawyer in Fulton County, Ga., who’s investigating his efforts to bend the outcomes of the 2020 election in that state in his favor.
William Okay. Rashbaum contributed reporting.