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Former President Donald Trump Target of Jan. 6 Grand Jury Investigation

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Former President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he had received notice that he was the target of a Washington D.C.-based grand jury investigation related to the Jan. 6th riot and related efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Trump said that he received the letter in a post on his Truth Social account.


"Such a letter 'almost always means an arrest and indictment,'" Trump stated in his Truth Social post.


The letter, which is typically sent before prosecutors make a charging decision, offered Trump the opportunity to speak to the Washington D.C. grand jury. However, Trump has not taken up this option in the two other criminal cases he has been charged in.


The letter is the most recent sign that Jack Smith, appointed as special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland in November 2022, is close to issuing an indictment against Trump for his role in disrupting the peaceful transfer of power that occurred in the wake of the 2020 Presidential election. The specific charges against Trump are not yet known, but Smith's team has been exploring potential obstruction charges in reference to Trump's actions leading up to and on the day of the January 6 riot, among other things.


This includes Trump’s pressure on Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally block the certification of Joe Biden's electoral victory, Trump’s consideration of a plan to seize voting machines from states, his campaign of false claims and fundraising based on the claim that the election was stolen, and his role in formulating a plan to identify and certify fake presidential electors.

Trump Target Letter

The federal investigation has also included interviewing dozens of people associated with Trump, including Pence, and seizing the phones of two of Trump's key allies, John Eastman and Jeff Clark.


In February 2021, Trump was impeached by the House for "incitement of insurrection" in relation to the Jan. 6 riot, but was acquitted by the Senate.


Trumps Other Legal Troubles

In addition to the Jan. 6 investigation, Trump was recently indicted in June 2023 by a Florida grand jury for 37 counts in connection with his handling of classified documents and alleged efforts to obstruct an investigation into those behaviors. Trump was sent a target letter in that case, on May 19, 2023 about three weeks before he was indicted. His co-defendant in that case, personal aide Walt Nauta, was sent a target letter on May 24, 2023. Trump pleaded not guilty in that matter when he was arraigned.


Before the charges related to the federal documents case, Trump was also charged in New York state court in April 2023 with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to his role in hush money payments.


A third case is playing out in Georgia state court, where Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has been leading a years-long running investigation into Donald Trump and his campaign's alleged interference with the 2020 Georgia Presidential Election. Potential indictments there may come later this summer, and they are likely to involve accusations of Trump and others attempting to coerce changes to the election results in Georgia, including through his calls to Georgia state officials, the fake elector scheme in Georiga, and efforts to breach or tamper with voting machines. The Georgia investigation, supported by a Special Grand Jury's recommendations, has considered evidence and interviews with numerous witnesses over several months.


Washington D.C. Grand Jury Investigation Follows House Select Committee Investigation

On Jan. 6, supporters of Donald Trump stormed the Capitol, leading to five deaths and numerous injuries. After the attack, Democrats, who then held a majority in the House of Representatives, created a select committee to investigate the former president's role in the riot.


Two months later, in March, the House impeached Trump for the second time due to his alleged involvement in the January 6th insurrection. The Senate later acquitted him when Democrats fell 10 votes short of securing enough Republican votes to convict him.



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