Recent reports indicate that former President Donald Trump has been informed by Joe Biden’s federal prosecutors that he is considered a criminal target and is likely to face imminent indictment in a classified document probe. Sources familiar with the case have revealed that the Justice Department has declined to delay charges, rejecting a request to investigate allegations of witness tampering in connection with a senior prosecutor on the case. The prosecutor allegedly discussed a federal judgeship with a lawyer representing a key witness provided by Trump’s legal team.
These allegations are currently pending in a secret case before Chief US District Judge James E Boasberg in Washington, DC. It is expected that a federal indictment, led by Special Counsel Jack Smith, could be handed to Trump as early as next week. The charges he is facing reportedly include a violation of 18 US Code Chapter 37 Section 793, which prohibits the gathering, transmitting, or losing of national defense information. Other potential charges being considered are alleged false statements and obstruction of justice.
Sources have revealed that Trump’s legal team has been preparing their defense for months, conducting extensive legal research in anticipation of charges. The team plans to argue that as president, Trump had constitutional powers to declassify documents during his tenure and retain them upon leaving office. They will heavily rely on a US District Court case from over a decade ago involving former President Bill Clinton, which determined that a president has the authority to decide which documents from their presidency can be kept in personal possession.
A document posted on Twitter from the Federal Registrar on Wednesday has shed light on Trump’s declassification of certain materials related to the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation during his final days in office. The document reveals that Trump requested a binder of materials from the Department of Justice, related to the investigation, for the purpose of conducting a declassification review. Trump determined that the materials should be declassified to the maximum extent possible, despite objections from the FBI. The FBI provided suggestions for redactions, which Trump accepted and directed the Attorney General to implement.
“At my request, on December 30, 2020, the Department of Justice provided the White House with a binder of materials related to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation. Portions of the documents in the binder have remained classified and have not been released to Congress or the public,” the document states.
“I requested the documents so that a declassification review could be performed and so I could determine to what extent materials in the binder should be released in unclassified form,” the document continues. “I determined that the materials in that binder should be declassified to the maximum extent possible.”
The document states that FBI had objected to further declassification of the materials, and gave suggestions as to redactions that the documents needed, which Trump obliged to.
“I hereby declassify the remaining materials in the binder. This is my final determination under the declassification review and I have directed the Attorney General to implement the redactions proposed in the FBI’s January 17 submission and return to the White House an appropriately redacted copy.