Trump Blindsided

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Federal prosecutors have reportedly notified former President Donald Trump’s legal team that he is under a criminal Probe for his handling of classified documents after he left the Oval Office, according to reporting by Fox News that cites two sources familiar with the ongoing grand jury investigation.

Trump’s handling of classified materials since leaving office in 2021 has been the focus of an investigation led by Special Counsel Jack Smith, who U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed in November 2022.

The appointment came months after the FBI had searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, where they removed a trove of classified documents. The search, which they had received a search warrant for, was carried out on August 8, 2022.

The sources Fox News Digital cites said the DOJ’s announcement came days ago and suggested Smith may be close to deciding whether to file charges as the result of his month-long investigation.

The fact that prosecutors privately told Trump’s lawyers that he was a target, sources said, is another sign that the former President’s own handling of classified material is under investigation.

Notifying a person they are the target of a criminal investigation is a routine part of the process, typically done at the discretion of prosecutors. Still, it doesn’t mean charges will be filed.

Trump’s legal team met privately with Smith and some of his team at the Department of Justice’s headquarters in Washington to discuss the grand jury investigation.

Trump has not been charged with a crime, nor do these recent events suggest he will be charged with a crime. The purpose of the notice is simply to inform the former President that he is a target of a criminal investigation and to give him time to present evidence to a grand jury.