Former President Donald Trump blasted the Justice Department’s investigations into him and appeared to direct his supporters to “FIGHT!” in a series of social media posts made after his lawyers met with Justice Department officials on Monday.
The meeting was reportedly held in connection with special counsel Jack Smith’s probe into Trump’s handling of classified documents after he left office, and his possible obstruction of that investigation – a probe that appears to be nearing its final stages. And the bellicose posts are raising questions about the message that may have been conveyed to the ex-president.
“It’s all about ELECTION INTERFERENCE. They don’t want to run against me,” Trump posted Tuesday morning on his social media site, Truth Social.
“They are the Party of Disinformation! They are using the DOJ & FBI against me to Rigg the 2024 Election. They’ll hit Hunter with something small to make their strike on me look ‘fair.’ Nothing about these Fascists is fair or honest. FIGHT!” He said, referencing President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, who is the subject of a separate, unrelated federal investigation.
The posts echo in tone statements he made leading up to his criminal indictment in New York earlier this year in a separate matter and also posts he made leading up to the violent Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol, in which he directed his supporters to protest and “TAKE OUR NATION BACK.”
Trump’s lawyers requested a meeting with DOJ officials last month, asking Attorney General Merrick Garland to discuss “the ongoing injustice that is being perpetrated by your Special Counsel and his prosecutors.”
The meeting reportedly did not include Garland or Lisa Monaco, the deputy attorney general. Shortly after Trump’s lawyers were seen exiting the Justice Department building on Monday, Trump posted online suggesting that his lawyers may have told him that an indictment could be on the table.
“HOW CAN DOJ POSSIBLY CHARGE ME, WHO DID NOTHING WRONG, WHEN NO OTHER PRESIDENT’S WERE CHARGED, WHEN JOE BIDEN WON’T BE CHARGED FOR ANYTHING, INCLUDING THE FACT THAT HE HAS 1,850 BOXES, MUCH OF IT CLASSIFIED, AND SOME DATING BACK TO HIS SENATE DAY WHEN EVEN DEMOCRAT SENATORS ARE SHOCKED,” he posted Monday afternoon, repeating a claim that Biden has over a thousand boxes of classified documents in his possession.
A small number of classified documents were found at Biden’s former office and home and turned over to authorities. The Justice Department has also opened an investigation into Biden’s handling of documents. Biden’s lawyers have said they are confident that, after a thorough search, no more documents remain in Biden’s possession.
Prosecutors in Trump’s case are said to be zeroing in on an audio recording of the former president in which he acknowledges that he held onto Pentagon documents and references that they were classified – undercutting his defense that he “declassified” everything after leaving office and demonstrating that he was aware of the restrictions around classified documents. CNN first reported the existence of the audio.
A grand jury that has been meeting for months in Washington has also heard testimony and seen notes from Trump’s attorney, Evan Corcoran. Prosecutors were able to question Corcoran after a judge ruled that they could pierce attorney-client privilege to do so, implicitly lending credence to the argument that Corcoran’s services were used in furthering a crime.
Prosecutors are also said to be looking into the movements of staff at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s club and residence in Palm Beach, Florida, where a large cache of classified documents were found during a search in August by the FBI.
And the Justice Department has also convened a second grand jury – this one in Florida – in connection with the probe, indicating a wider scope than expected, according to The New York Times.
The effect of a federal indictment on the GOP presidential primary is far from certain. The investigation is not the only legal issue he faces.
Smith is investigating Trump and his allies’ actions leading up to the insurrection at the Capitol. Trump was also indicted earlier this year in New York on criminal charges of falsifying business records in connection with hush money payments made to a porn star during the 2016 election.
And a district attorney in Georgia has indicated that she plans to indict Trump in August for his role in attempting to overturn the 2020 election results in the state.