If a federal indictment of former President Donald Trump was imminent during the afternoon of June 7, he denied being informed about it.
Throughout the day, numerous news reports were circulating that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had alerted Trump or his lawyers that he would be formally charged in connection with the classified documents found at his Florida residence during an FBI raid last August.
In response, Trump posted on his Truth Social network: “No one has told me I’m being indicted, and I shouldn’t be because I’ve done nothing wrong.”
Already facing charges under New York business records laws, Trump faces multiple other state and federal probes, all of which the Republican former president has denounced as persecutions led by his political enemies, mainly Democrats and “RINOS,” short for “Republicans In Name Only.”
Trump, in his Truth Social denial of knowledge about a pending Washington indictment, says that he has assumed for years he has been “a target of the weaponized DOJ & FBI.” He says the agencies are committing “a travesty of justice and election interference at a level never seen before.”
Trump is urging Republicans in Congress to make this their top concern.
Biden, Trump Both Face Probes
The flurry of reports about a looming federal indictment of Trump comes as House Republicans are accusing the FBI of withholding key information about a purported $5 million foreign bribe of Democrat President Joe Biden during his years as vice president. He served in that role under President Barack Obama from 2009-2017.
Trump and his allies allege that Democrats and bureaucrats have long shielded Biden, a career politician, from meaningful scrutiny. Trump, a political outsider prior to his presidential run in 2016, says he has been targeted because entrenched Washington forces fear he will expose them and dismantle their insider network.
Talk of Trump’s possible indictment ramped up after Trump’s lawyers were spotted leaving a two-hour June 5 meeting inside the DOJ. His lawyers had sought a meeting with the DOJ to discuss “the ongoing injustice” that they claim Trump is facing under Special Counsel Jack Smith’s probes.
The DOJ appointed Smith in November 2022 after Trump announced his 2024 presidential run. Since then, Smith has been investigating Trump on two fronts.
One probe of Trump focuses on the former president’s actions as he disputed whether Biden legitimately won the 2020 election.
Smith also is focusing on Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents after he left the White House. Trump says that, as president, he had the power to declassify the records.
Last fall, the American Bar Association (ABA) analyzed Trump’s claim about that. The ABA wrote: “legal guidelines support his [Trump’s] contention that presidents have broad authority to formally declassify most documents that are not statutorily protected, while they are in office.”
In a memo dated Jan. 19, 2021, the day before his presidency ended, Trump wrote that he was declassifying “certain materials related to the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation,” which delved into unproven allegations from political opponents that Trump had ties with Russian officials and spies.
Now, more than two years later, that so-called “Russia collusion” investigation of Trump was declared baseless in a report issued last month by Special Counsel Robert Durham.
Trump has stated that Biden, as a vice president and U.S. senator, had no similar authority to declassify records.
Yet documents from Biden’s pre-presidential years recently turned up in several locations, including in a Delaware garage where he stores his Corvette.
A separate special prosecutor, Robert Hur, started investigating the Biden documents case in January. The White House repeatedly dodged reporters’ questions about the records but stated that the documents apparently were misplaced unintentionally.
Which Federal Law Applies?
A longtime Trump ally Steve Bannon said on his podcast that he thinks the DOJ is headed for an indictment of Trump. He cited a report from John Solomon’s Just The News, as well as a lengthy article by the U.K.-based news outlet The Independent. A Washington grand jury could vote to indict Trump as soon as June 8 for violations of The Espionage Act, The Independent said, citing unnamed sources.
A guest on Bannon’s War Room on June 7, Mike Davis, founder and president of the constitution-defending Article III Project, said he has been arguing since Aug. 8, the date that the FBI raided Trump’s home, “Trump is allowed to have his presidential records” under the Presidential Records Act.
However, he predicted that the DOJ would “ignore the Presidential Records Act, which has no criminal components,” and seek an indictment under the Espionage Act. Davis argues that the Espionage Act, however, does not apply to the president.
Davis predicted that the U.S. Supreme Court would ultimately have to resolve the conflict over the applicability of the Espionage Act after a conviction and appeal. “You might have a convicted presidential candidate who wins back the White House and this has to get resolved by the Supreme Court,” Davis told Bannon.
Grand Jury Witnesses Undaunted
Meanwhile, at least two people disclosed on June 7 that they had testified to a grand jury about Trump. At least two grand juries, one in Miami and one in Washington, are believed to be operating in connection with the Smith probes.
Taylor Budowich, a former Trump aide who continues supporting the former president via a political action committee, confirmed via Twitter that he was compelled to give grand jury testimony about Trump. Budowich didn’t reveal anything about his testimony but said the experience strengthened his resolve. He wants to propel Trump back into the White House.
“America has become a sick and broken nation—a decline led by Joe Biden and power hungry Democrats,” Budowich wrote.
“I will not be intimidated by this weaponization of government. For me, the need to unite our nation and make America great again has never been more clear than it is today,” he said. “That starts with re-electing President Donald J. Trump, a purpose I will not be deterred from pursuing.”
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, an organization known for its dogged pursuit of public records and court fights to obtain them, disclosed that he, too, had been summoned to testify to a grand jury about Trump.
“I was called in before the grand jury in retaliation for defending Trump and the rule of law against this abuse by the Biden Justice Department,” Fitton said in a video he posted on Twitter.
Fitton said he was commenting about “the fake documents scandal that has been used to harass and abuse Trump, to include a raid on his home by the FBI last year.”
“Judicial Watch has been telling you … in terms of this investigation, there’s no good-faith basis to prosecute him, let alone indict him,” Fitton said.
“We’re not going to back down and we’ll continue to investigate and stand against this abuse of power that could undo our republic,” Fitton said.
‘Election Interference’ Alleged
Fitton also denounced the prosecution of Trump as “brazen election interference.”
Similarly, Trump posted on Truth Social: “Wow, this is turning out to be the greatest [and] most vicious instance of election interference in the history of our country.”
He pointed out that he is leading both Biden and his nearest Republican rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, in opinion polls among likely voters.
“Perhaps most importantly, they are launching all of the many fake investigations against me right smack in the middle of my campaign, something which is unheard of [and is] not supposed to happen,” Trump said.
He was referring to federal authorities’ standard rule of thumb, calling for avoiding investigations or other actions that could influence election campaigns.
Trump concluded his post by labeling the DOJ, FBI, and other persecutors “fascists all!”
The former president’s campaign also released a new TV ad, which opens with images of wolves and some of the prosecutors who are targeting him, and then asks: “How far are the radical left and inside-the-beltway bandits willing to go to stop him?”
“We all know they hate him for winning the fight to protect life, for exposing their ‘Deep State,’ for draining their precious swamp,” the ad says. “And they already know he’ll crush Biden. So, like a pack of rabid wolves, they attack.
“So let’s impeach. Let’s get tainted radical left prosecutors to charge him. Let’s conspire with Hillary and the FBI with fake stories about him—all to distract from Biden’s incompetence, weakness, and money-grabbing corruption.
“But here’s the thing. He’ll never blink. That’s called having the courage of your convictions. And it’s why he’s our president.”
From The Epoch Times