Lawyers for former President Donald Trump were seen entering the Justice Department on Monday morning as the probe intensifies into his handling of classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago, according to CBS News reporters.
CBS News’ Robert Costa reported on Monday that his colleague, journalist Rob Legare, saw Trump’s attorneys walking into the Justice Department in Washington, D.C..
Costa tweeted that sources said the former president’s attorneys “are expected to raise concerns about how prosecutors have handled” attorney-client “questions during the grand jury.”
However, he added, “there is no sign the special counsel is going to waver from how he and his team have handled the crime-fraud exception…”
Sources tell @CBSNews that Trump’s lawyers are expected to raise concerns about how prosecutors have handled atty-client questions during the grand jury but there is no sign the special counsel is going to waver from how he and his team have handled the crime-fraud exception…
— Robert Costa (@costareports) June 5, 2023
The news comes after Trump’s lawyers said on Friday that they were unable to find the document which Trump was caught discussing in a 2021 recording, CNN reported.
Special Counsel Jack Smith is expected to make charging decisions soon. Former Trump lawyer Timothy Parlatore said on “Meet the Press” on Sunday that he would “not at all” be surprised if Trump did not face any charges in the investigation.
But that’s not what many legal experts interpret as the outcome of several recent moves, including the Monday meeting at DOJ.
Good sign: if Jack Smith had decided against charging Trump, there would be no need for this meeting. The last federal prosecutors often do before indicting is meet with the target’s defense team & give them an opportunity to present any evidence or arguments they want to offer. https://t.co/RR1574xJyG
— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) June 5, 2023
After Trump’s legal team sent a letter last month seeking a meeting with Attorney General Merrick Garland, several former federal prosecutors told The Messenger they expected Smith to soon bring an indictment against the ex-president.
“In conjunction with WSJ reporting that Special Counsel Jack Smith has concluded the investigative phase of his Mar-a-Lago probe, it suggests that an indictment may be imminent,” Andrew McCarthy, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said, referring to a Wall Street Journal story that said the Smith probe was nearing an end on the documents portion of its work.
“The letter, while childish and intemperate, is an obvious precursor to a federal indictment of a former president of the United States,” added Andrew Weissmann, a former lead prosecutor in Robert Mueller’s special counsel’s Office.
Ty Cobb, a former Trump White House lawyer, said in a recent interview he expected Trump could wind up in federal prison for up to eight years. That’s the timeframe for a punishment if Smith’s probe leads to a conviction on Trump mishandling classified documents, as well as in his separate investigation into whether Trump interfered with the peaceful transfer of power surrounding the 2020 election results.
“I do think prison is a likely and appropriate punishment for the charges under consideration by the special counsel,” Cobb said.
“What he did as president is so abhorrent to the Constitution, such a constitutional insult, that the laws they will be applying were never expected to be used against a president of the United States,” Cobb added. “And because they have to be used against a man who swore to uphold the Constitution while in the highest job in this land, they should be used forcefully as both punishment and a deterrent.”