Washington, DC – Former United States President Donald Trump has said that his lawyers warned the Department of Justice (DOJ) against charging him over the 2021 Capitol riot, during a meeting with federal prosecutors on Thursday.
Trump, who is seeking the White House again in 2024, also dismissed reports that his lawyers were notified that he would be imminently indicted.
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“My attorneys had a productive meeting with the DOJ this morning, explaining in detail that I did nothing wrong, was advised by many lawyers, and that an Indictment of me would only further destroy our Country,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform on Thursday.
“No indication of notice was given during the meeting — Do not trust the Fake News on anything!”
Last week, Trump said he had received a letter from Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is leading federal investigations into the former president, asking him to report to a grand jury — an investigative body that approves criminal indictments.
Smith’s letter reportedly pertains to Trump’s alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, which saw the then-president lose to his Democratic rival Joe Biden.
In the aftermath, Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, to prevent the certification of Biden’s victory.
The former Republican president has continued to argue that he lost the 2020 vote due to widespread election fraud — a false claim that many Democratic lawmakers and other observers argue helped spur the riot.
“They don’t go after the people who cheated in the election. They only go after the people who report on or question the cheating,” he said in a video posted on social media on Wednesday. “This will go down as the biggest disgrace in American history.”
Late last year, a congressional panel that investigated the Capitol attack recommended criminal charges against Trump, who is leading a crowded race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
The former president is already facing federal charges over accusations of mishandling classified documents. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, and the trial in the case is set for May 2024, less than six months before the general elections.
Trump was previously charged in New York earlier this year for allegedly falsifying business records in relation to a hush-money payment made to a porn star before the 2016 elections. He has denied wrongdoing in all cases, dismissing the charges as a political witch-hunt.
Trump is the first former US president to be criminally prosecuted. But the state and federal indictments he is facing do not prevent him from running or serving as president, should he be elected to a second term.
Smith was named as special counsel last year as Attorney General Merrick Garland — a Biden appointee — recused himself from Trump-related probes to avoid any conflicts of interest.
Last month, Smith stressed equality under the law when announcing the charges against Trump in the classified documents case.
“We have one set of laws in this country, and they apply to everyone,” Smith told reporters. “Applying those laws, collecting facts — that’s what determines the outcome of an investigation, nothing more, nothing less.”
Biden, who is also running for reelection and could ultimately face Trump for a rematch, has repeatedly declined to comment on legal issues involving his predecessor.