The Justice Department is preparing to ask a Washington, DC grand jury to indict former President Donald Trump as soon as Thursday on charges of violating the Espionage Act and obstruction of justice. The party’s nomination for next year’s presidential election.
The Independent Prosecutors are prepared to ask a grand jury to approve an indictment against Mr Trump for violating a section of the US Penal Code known as Section 793, which prohibits the “collection, transmission or loss of information relating to national security”.
The use of Section 793, which does not refer to classified information, was understood as a strategic decision by prosecutors to undermine Mr Trump’s ability. After his term ends on 20 January 2021, he is housed in the White House and his residence in Palm Beach, Florida.
That section of the US criminal code is written to cover Mr Trump’s conduct as it says he is “lawfully in possession, access, control or custody”. any document …relating to national security,” and “intentionally communicating, delivering, transmitting or causing to communicate, delivering, or transmitting or attempting to communicate, delivering, transmitting or communicating, delivering or transmitting any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retaining it, Failure to deliver upon request to an officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it” is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Prosecutors are understood to want to ask grand jurors to vote on the indictment on Thursday, but that vote could be delayed for up to a week, to allow more complete evidence to be presented or to allow investigators to gather more evidence needed to present the case until the grand jury’s next meeting.
A separate grand jury in Florida also heard evidence in the documents hearing. The grand jury was empaneled in part to deal with legal issues that some of Mr. Trump’s alleged crimes took place in that jurisdiction, not in Washington. Under federal law, prosecutors must bring charges against federal defendants in the jurisdiction where the crimes occurred.
Although grand juries voted this week to return indictments against the former president, those indictments will remain sealed until both Washington and Florida grand juries complete their work.
Another source familiar with the matter said Mr. Trump’s team was recently informed of the “target” of a Justice Department investigation that began in early 2022 after National Archives and Records Administration officials discovered more than 100 classified documents in a bundle. 15 boxes of Trump administration records were recovered from Mar-a-Lago, the century-old mansion turned private beach club where Mr Trump maintains his primary residence and post-presidential office.
Throughout the past year, grand juries have heard testimony from many of the former president’s associates, including nearly every Mar-a-Lago employee, former administration officials who worked in Mr. Trump’s post-presidential office and for his political operations, and former top officials such as Mark Meadows, his final White House chief of staff. Administrative officers.
Mr Meadows has already testified before a grand jury and is said to be cooperating with investigations into his former employer. The former North Carolina congressman testified as part of a deal for which he already received limited immunity in exchange for his testimony.
A source briefed on the deal said the alleged deal included guilty pleas by the former chief of staff to unspecified federal crimes, but Mr Meadows’ lawyer, George Terwilliger, denied that. The Independent. Mr Terwilliger said the idea that his client would enter any criminal charges was “absolute bulls***” but did not discuss immunity in a brief telephone conversation with this reporter.
It is not yet known whether the testimony or the allegations in question are related to the documents investigation or to a separate investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Both investigations are being overseen by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith. According to ABC News, Mr Meadows has given evidence in both the documents matter and the January 6 hearing.
Prosecutors are poised to ask a grand jury to indict Mr Trump on charges that he obstructed justice during a year-long investigation into the documents and made false statements to investigators by people working for him.
Such allegations may stem from a notification submitted to federal investigators nearly a year ago that FBI agents and prosecutors went to his home to retrieve a sealed folder filled with 38 classified documents. Subpoena. If so, those charges could come in federal court in Florida rather than Washington.
According to court documents, the government later produced evidence that the documents were removed from a storage room where his attorneys said all such documents were stored in the days following the receipt of the grand jury subpoena.
Using that evidence, which included surveillance footage captured by cameras placed inside Mar-a-Lago, prosecutors obtained a search warrant for the property that was executed by FBI agents on August 8 of last year.
During that search, special agents found 103 documents, including 18 marked “Top Secret,” 54 marked “Secret” and 31 marked “Confidential,” including several stored in Mr. Trump’s personal office.
This article has been updated to include a comment from Mr. Meadows’ attorney, George Terwilliger.