WASHINGTON — Lawyers for Donald Trump on Tuesday requested a meeting with Attorney General Merrick Garland as a Justice Department investigation into the former president’s handling of classified documents shows signs of slowing.
In the letter, which Trump posted on his Truth Social platform, attorneys John Rowley and James Trusty claimed Trump was “unfairly treated” and requested a meeting to discuss “the continuing injustice perpetrated by your special advocate and his prosecutors”. .” The language echoed some of Trump’s own complaints in recent months about investigations by Special Counsel Jack Smith.
It was not immediately clear what specifically prompted the letter, but the year-long investigation into the documents appears to be coming to an end. Agents and prosecutors interviewed a wide range of witnesses, including Trump lawyers, former White House officials and other close associates.
The investigation is looking into whether Trump illegally kept hundreds of classified documents taken with him from the White House to his Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, after his term ended and whether he sought to obstruct the government efforts to obtain the records. back.
It’s not uncommon for defense attorneys to seek meetings with senior Justice Department officials to oppose possible indictments by their clients, though it’s unusual for such meetings to include the attorney general. .
Special advocates enjoy broad autonomy within the Justice Department, and officials have repeatedly signaled that the recommendation on whether to prosecute Trump or anyone else in the investigation rests with Smith and his team. . Garland has not moved once to undo one of the steps taken in the recently concluded investigation by another special counsel, John Durham, into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation in 2016.
Trump’s attorneys and a Trump spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday. A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.
In addition to the document investigation, Smith is separately investigating efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.