The Justice Department has notified former President Trump that he is the target of an investigation, signaling that prosecutors may be nearing a charging decision, according to media reports.
The notification reportedly involves the department’s probe into the former president’s handling of classified documents, according to The Guardian.
The Justice Department manual encourages prosecutors to provide such notifications before seeking an indictment in order to give the individual an opportunity to testify before the grand jury.
Special counsel Jack Smith has been overseeing the classified documents probe, as well as the investigation into Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, since he was appointed in November to take over cases involving the former president.
Trump’s lawyers were spotted meeting with federal prosecutors Monday, after CNN reported that prosecutors had obtained an audio recording of the former president discussing a classified document in his possession in July 2021.
Trump appears to acknowledge that the document remained classified in the recording, reportedly telling two authors working on an autobiography for his former chief of staff Mark Meadows that they couldn’t view it given their lack of security clearances.
The Justice Department first became involved in the classified documents debacle after the National Archives and Records Administration discovered classified materials among several boxes of records recovered from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence last January.
The former president turned over several more documents after he was subpoenaed for any remaining classified materials in his possession in May 2022. However, suspecting there were more, the FBI searched the Mar-a-Lago property in August and found about 100 additional classified documents.
Members of the Trump campaign and Trump’s legal team did not respond to requests for comment from The Hill.
Updated at 10:27 p.m. EDT.