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Trump Lawyers Meet With Justice Dept.  06/06 06:15


   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Lawyers for Donald Trump met with Justice Department 
officials on Monday as a decision nears on whether to bring criminal charges 
over the handling of classified documents at the former president's Florida 

   The Trump lawyers two weeks ago requested a meeting with Attorney General 
Merrick Garland to raise concerns about what they alleged was prosecutorial 
misconduct and overreach by the team led by special counsel Jack Smith. But a 
defense attorney meeting with Justice Department officials is also often used 
as an opportunity to try to persuade prosecutors against bringing charges in 
the final stages of an investigation.

   It was not clear what was discussed during the meeting, but Trump, in a 
social media post and talk radio interview, signaled that he was prepared for 
the possibility that he would be charged and reiterated his attacks on the 

   A trio of Trump attorneys -- James Trusty, John Rowley and Lindsey Halligan 
-- exited the Justice Department headquarters in Washington on Monday morning 
after spending well over an hour inside. They got into a black sport utility 
vehicle and did not respond to reporters' questions.

   Garland and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco were not present for the 
meeting but special counsel Jack Smith was. The Justice Department had no 
comment on the meeting.

   After the meeting ended, Trump posted on his Truth Social platform in 
capital letters: "How can DOJ possibly charge me, who did nothing wrong" when 
no other presidents have been charged. He referenced the investigation into his 
2016 opponent Hillary Clinton, which ended without criminal charges, and a 
separate ongoing probe into the presence of classified documents at an office 
and home of President Joe Biden. And he characterized it as a "witch hunt."

   He also called into the Todd Starnes radio show, where he confirmed the 
meeting with his lawyers and said, "Well, I can just say this: They did go in 
and they saw 'em and they said very unfair. No other president has ever been 
charged with anything like his.'"

   The Trump investigation differs from both the Biden and Clinton probes, 
though, in that prosecutors for months have examined whether Trump or his 
representatives sought to obstruct their inquiry and their efforts to recover 
classified documents. After suspecting that not all classified documents had 
been turned over, the FBI in August obtained a search warrant and returned to 
Mar-a-Lago and recovered an additional 100 documents with classification 

   The Mar-a-Lago investigation into the potential mishandling of classified 
documents at Mar-a-Lago, with a charging decision likely coming soon. 
Prosecutors have placed a broad cross-section of witnesses, including lawyers 
for Trump and close aides, before a grand jury.

   Trump's lawyers issued a letter to House lawmakers in April that laid out 
possible defenses and referred to the investigation as "misguided, politically 
infected, and severely botched."

   Besides the Mar-a-Lago investigation, Smith is leading a separate probe into 
efforts by Trump and his allies to undo the results of the 2020 presidential 

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