Donald Trump announced Tuesday morning that he has been notified by the Department of Justice that he is a criminal target in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into the former president’s effort to subvert the 2020 election. If what Trump says is true, it’s a sign that he could be facing indictment over his efforts to retain power following his defeat by President Joe Biden.
Trump, naturally, seems upset by that. But in a post on his Truth Social site Tuesday, he also seemed oddly focused on his receipt of the so-called “target letter” on Sunday night. He complained: “Deranged Jack Smith, the prosecutor with Joe Biden’s DOJ, sent a letter (again, it was Sunday night!)”
The letter, according to Trump, offered him a chance to appear before a grand jury meeting in Washington, DC, this week. Prosecutors typically send such letters when they are close to seeking the indictment of a target of their probe.
Trump received a separate target letter from Smith’s office in June prior to his indictment for allegedly violating the Espionage Act, along with other charges, related to his efforts to retain White House documents, many of them highly classified, at his Mar-a-Lago resort. Trump has also been charged in New York with falsifying business records to hide hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels. Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis is also expected to decide soon whether to charge Trump and associates over their attempts to interfere with the 2020 election results in that state.
In the face of all this legal jeopardy, Trump continued to insist Tuesday that he was fully justified in attempting to overturn the election. “Under the United States Constitution, I have the right to protest an Election that I am fully convinced was Rigged and Stolen,” he wrote.