On Monday morning, attorneys for former President Donald J. Trump were seen entering the Justice Department, marking a critical juncture in the ongoing investigation led by Special Counsel Jack Smith. The investigation into his classified documents held at his Mar-a-Lago home has been heating up over the last couple of weeks.
Trump’s legal team, comprised of John Rowley, James Trusty, and Lindsey Halligan, remained at the Justice Department for almost two hours, sparking speculation about the nature of their discussions and the direction of the investigation into the former President’s alleged handling of classified documents.
All three are extremely experienced lawyers. Rowley and Trusty are both former federal prosecutors with a focus on white-collar crime, while Halligan, a partner in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale East offices of the Property Group, has handled cases involving various types of property claims. All three have gained significant attention for their involvement in the legal proceedings surrounding Trump.
CBS News caught video of the trio entering the DOJ today.
CBS News confirmed that the attorneys did not provide any comment upon entering or exiting the Justice Department. The meeting comes on the heels of the lawyers expressing concerns about the alleged unjust treatment of the former President by the Special Counsel and his prosecutors, a sentiment captured in a letter penned by Rowley and Trusty last month.
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 central focus of the investigation is the discovery of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida residence, in August 2022. The Special Counsel is also probing potential obstruction of attempts to recover these records.
Trump’s attorneys have been steadfast in their assertion that the former President is being treated unfairly. While grand jury proceedings have slowed down, indicating a possible wind-down of the investigation, sources have suggested that a charging decision could be forthcoming.
However, the inherent secrecy of grand jury proceedings makes it difficult to predict the exact trajectory of this case, and the role that this recent meeting between Trump’s lawyers and the Justice Department will play in the final outcome.
Before a scheduled visit by the FBI and a federal prosecutor to Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in June 2022, Trump’s staff moved boxes, the contents of which are unclear. This movement of the boxes was reportedly preceded by a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the visit.
In August of the same year, the FBI arrived unannounced at Mar-a-Lago with a search warrant and retrieved allegedly classified documents. Trump was not informed about this August search, which he has repeatedly referred to as a “raid”.
Trump’s campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung characterized the situation as a politically motivated witch hunt against Trump, intended to interfere with an election and prevent his return to the White House. Trump has defended his handling of government documents after his presidency, even those that are classified, asserting that presidents have the ability to declassify documents “even by thinking about it.”
The overarching question remains: Is this a legitimate pursuit of justice or a politically motivated attempt to tarnish the reputation of the former President?