Trump Says He’s the Target of the Special Counsel 2020 Election Probe

July 18, 2023

Former President Trump stated Tuesday that he’s been informed by Jack Smith that he is a target of the special counsel’s 2020 election criminal investigation.

In a statement posted to his Truth Social site, Trump wrote, “Deranged Jack Smith, the prosecutor with Joe Biden’s DOJ, sent a letter (again, it was Sunday night!) stating that I am a TARGET of the January 6th Grand Jury investigation, and giving me a very short 4 days to report to the Grand Jury, which almost always means an Arrest and Indictment.”

He added that “Joe Biden’s Attorney General, Merrick Garland, who I turned down for the United States Supreme Court” along with the DOJ “have effectively issued a third indictment and arrest of Joe Biden’s NUMBER ONE POLITICAL OPPONENT” in the upcoming 2024 Presidential election.

In November, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed veteran career prosecutor Smith as special counsel to investigate any potential criminal wrongdoing by Trump regarding the 2020 election and the related deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Smith was further assigned to investigate Trump’s handling of classified documents post-Presidency following a search warranted raid on August 8 by FBI agents on Trump’s Florida country club residence, Mar-a-Lago.

On June 13, Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 criminal counts brought by a Florida grand jury in the special counsel’s classified documents investigation. The charges include 31 counts for willful retention of national defense secrets in violation of the Espionage Act, as well as one count each of making false statements, conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, and a scheme to conceal. 

The judge in that case, Aileen Canon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, was set to preside over a hearing Tuesday—soon after Trump’s Truth Social posting—following efforts by Trump’s attorneys to seek an indefinite postponement in that trial. Smith’s office has requested a December trial date, which is roughly four month’s later than Canon’s initial scheduled start date of August 14.

Trump’s federal indictment related to classified documents followed April 4 indictment of Trump in New York by Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg. In that case Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records and conspiracy over hush money payments he made to at least two women in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.

A spokesperson for the special counsel declined respond to a CNN request for comment on Trump’s Truth Social posting.

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