Just hours before former President Donald Trump was indicted by the Justice Department over the summer, his attorneys held a lengthy meeting with special counsel Jack Smith.
According to a new book by ABC’s Jonathan Karl, Smith allowed one of the attorneys to speak for as long as an hour about the case while offering no indication Trump would officially become a defendant in a federal trial over his decision to challenge the results of the 2020 election.
Trump had already been indicted a month earlier over classified documents that had been seized from his Mar-a-Lago home during a raid by the FBI last August.
Four hours after the meeting wrapped, Trump was indicted again over his alleged mishandling of classified documents as more charges were added to the case.
Politico shared excerpts of Karl’s forthcoming book, “Tired of Winning,” on Monday morning.
According to Karl, Trump attorneys Todd Blanche and John Lauro were in Washington, D.C, on July 27 where they met with Smith.
Smith was accompanied by federal prosecutors J.P. Cooney and Ray Hulser during the conversation.
Karl claimed in his book that Smith was coy during the meeting but was cordial with the two attorneys.
“After some short pleasantries, Smith invited the Trump lawyers to sit at the conference table and offered them some water to drink,” Karl wrote.
The ABC News reporter alleged that Lauro made an appeal to Smith about why charges against Trump would be a mistake.
At one point, Karl claimed in the book, Lauro spoke nearly uninterrupted for an hour.
Politico reported: “Lauro’s presentation featured a now-familiar case — that Trump genuinely believed he won the [2020 election] and was exercising his First Amendment right to challenge it and raise questions; that Trump was following the advice of his lawyers; and that he had already faced impeachment and an extensive congressional investigation over the matter. Indicting him would just inflame a divided country further, Lauro said, according to Karl’s account.”
Karl further claims that Smith, Cooney and Hulser appeared to be listening to Lauro.
“As Lauro spoke, the prosecutors took notes, but they said nothing. Smith waited until Lauro was done speaking and then, without commenting on what he just heard, he bid the Trump lawyers farewell,” Karl wrote in an excerpt of the book.
The excerpt continued, “According to sources with direct knowledge of the meeting, Smith did not ask a single question. And aside from the pleasantries at the start of the meeting (including the offer of a glass of water) and the goodbye at the end, neither Smith nor the two prosecutors said anything at all.”
Four hours after the conversation wrapped up, Trump was stunned by a superseding indictment in the classified documents case as Smith alleged Trump ordered security footage at Mar-a-Lago deleted.
Five days after that, Trump was indicted for alleged crimes related to challenging the results of the last election.
“Smith had given the Trump lawyers no hint it was coming,” Karl stated in the book.
Both cases were brought against Trump after Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged Trump with dozens of questionable counts of the alleged falsification of business records.
Three weeks after Smith indicted Trump for challenging the 2020 election results, the former president was targeted by a fourth indictment in Georgia.
None of the cases are related to the ongoing trial in New York regarding Trump and his business.
The case Trump is currently facing in New York is a civil matter.