Indictment coming? Donald Trump's lawyers seek meeting with prosecutors on documents case

Donald Trump

WASHINGTON - Donald Trump's lawyers are seeking a meeting with Attorney General Merrick Garland about the classified documents investigation, a request that is often a sign that an indictment is imminent.

"We request a meeting at your earliest convenience to discuss the ongoing injustice that is being perpetrated by your Special Counsel and his prosecutors," said the Tuesday letter to Garland signed by Trump attorneys John Rowley and James Trusty.

It's unclear whether Garland will grant a meeting to Trump's legal team; last year, he assigned the documents case to Special Counsel Jack Smith.

The Trump letter "suggests to me that Trump’s lawyers believe an indictment is coming soon," said Barb McQuade, a former federal prosecutor and a law professor at the University of Michigan. "Lawyers often request a meeting at this stage to try to negotiate some resolution."

Trump, who is running for president again in 2024 but is also under numerous investigations, posted a copy of the letter on the Truth Social website.

Smith is investigating whether the former president mishandled classified documents and whether he obstructed justice by defying a subpoena to return presidential documents he had taken from the White House.

The subpoena led to the highly publicized August search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida.

Trump has denied wrongdoing and described the investigation as politically motivated. He publicized his lawyers' letter as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis prepares to formally enter the 2024 presidential election against him.

Parts of the letter appear to have come from Trump himself; it complains about political foes, including President Joe Biden.

"Unlike President Biden, his son Hunter, and the Biden family, President Trump is being treated unfairly," the letter said. It also claimed that no president has ever "been baselessly investigated in such an outrageous and unlawful fashion."

Smith, the special counsel, is also investigating Trump in connection with the insurrection by his supporters on Jan. 6, 2021.

Earlier this year, a New York City grand jury indicted Trump on allegations of falsifying business records in order to hide hush payments to a former mistress, seeking to keep her quiet before the 2016 election.

Prosecutors in Atlanta, meanwhile, are investigating Trump over efforts to overturn his loss of Georgia to Biden in the 2020 election.

Trump also has problems in civil court. A New York City jury this month found him liable for sexual abuse and defamation of writer E. Jean Carroll over an incident in 1996; another defamation suit by Carroll is still pending.

The jury in the first trial assessed Trump $5 million in damages, though he has appealed the verdict.

The documents case also looms.

"The Trump team clearly fears indictments are coming soon," said Bradley P. Moss, a national security attorney. "How soon is debatable but you don’t publicly announce this letter to Garland unless you see the writing on the wall."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump indictment soon? His lawyers seek meeting on documents case