Former US President Donald Trump is on the cusp of being indicted for a third tranche of offences.
Lawyers for Mr Trump have been told to expect their client will be indicted in connection with his efforts to overturn the 2020 election result as well as the January 6, 2021, Washington DC attack.
Two members of his legal team, Todd Blanche and John Laura, met with prosecutors from special counsel Jack Smith’s office at the Justice Department in Washington on Thursday morning, NBC News reported.
Trump, 77, announced on July 18 that his lawyers had been told he was a “target” of the investigation, which M r Smith is overseeing in addition to a probe of the former president’s hoarding of national security documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort, reported the New York Post.
On Thursday, after the gathering broke up, Mr Trump posted on Truth Social that his lawyers had a “productive meeting” with prosecutors and explained “in detail that I did nothing wrong, was advised by many lawyers, and that an indictment of me would only further destroy our country”.
“No indication of notice was given during the meeting — do not trust the Fake News on anything!” he added.
The target letter sent to the 45th president’s lawyers referenced potential charges of conspiracy, witness tampering and civil rights violations against Mr Trump, magazine Rolling Stone reported. It did not implicate others close to Mr Trump or contain charges of sedition or insurrection.
The Capitol riot-related charges would be the third indictment against the former president this year.
On June 8, Mr Smith charged Mr Trump on 37 counts for allegedly holding onto classified documents in his post-presidency and then lying about having done so to his attorneys and federal officials who sought them.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in late March indicted the ex-president on 34 counts of business fraud for allegedly concealing the reimbursement of “hush money” payments to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who covers Atlanta, Georgia, is also reportedly considering racketeering and other charges against Mr Trump for his efforts to overturn his 2020 electoral loss in Georgia.
The 45th president is the first in US history to be indicted by the federal government.
Mr Trump pressured former Vice President Mike Pence to decertify results from key swing states and invited his supporters to a rally on the National Mall to object to the electoral college vote on January 6, 2021.
He told thousands of attendees in a speech at the White House Ellipse that they should protest “peacefully and patriotically” but also “fight like hell” to oppose Mr Pence, 63, and members of Congress from certifying the 2020 election.
A pro-Trump mob later breached the US Capitol building and clashed with police officers in an attempt to halt the electoral proceedings, forcing Mr Pence and politicians to hide in secure areas.
In his 2022 memoir So Help Me God, Mr Pence affirmed his decision to accept the election results as part of his constitutional duty and blamed Mr Trump for the riot, saying his former boss’s “reckless words … endangered my family and all those serving at the Capitol”.
Three of the former president’s supporters died of medical emergencies during the riot and another, Ashli Babbitt, 36, was fatally shot by Capitol police as she tried to enter the House chamber.
Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, 42, died the day after of a stroke. Four other officers and three rioters later took their own life.
More than 1000 participants were later arrested in connection with the day’s events and many were sentenced to federal prison.
The former vice president in April sat for seven hours before the federal grand jury investigating the Capitol riot to answer questions about Mr Trump’s various attempts to overturn the 2020 election.
Mr Trump’s son-in-law and former White House adviser, Jared Kushner, his former lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, have also been questioned by the grand jury.
This story appeared in the New York Post and is reproduced with permission.