US prosecutors step up inquiry into Trump's handling of classified documents

Former president says 'no one has told me I'm being indicted' in response to news reports

Former US president Donald Trump says he has 'done nothing wrong'. AP
Powered by automated translation

A federal investigation into former US president Donald Trump's handling of classified documents appears to be gathering steam, several news outlets reported on Wednesday, with growing speculation that an indictment could be imminent.

If Mr Trump is charged, it will be his first federal indictment, as he faces several probes. He is already the first US president to ever be charged with a crime, after prosecutors in a New York state case accused him of making hush money payments during the 2016 election campaign.

“No one has told me I'm being indicted, and I shouldn't be because I've done nothing wrong,” Mr Trump posted on his Truth Social platform on Wednesday.

The leading Republican candidate running for the White House next year claimed he was a target of the “weaponised” Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigations.

The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent and CNN have reported that Justice Department prosecutors are close to wrapping up their documents probe to potentially bring charges against Mr Trump, as well as people in his circle.

The Independent reported that indictment charges could be presented to a grand jury in Washington as early as Thursday.

Mr Trump's lawyers met with the Justice Department on Monday to discuss the investigations overseen by special counsel Jack Smith, and The Guardian reported that his lawyers were informed that the former president was a “target” in their documents probe.

Federal prosecutors reportedly have audio of Mr Trump acknowledging he kept a classified Pentagon document about an attack on Iran, and CNN reported that a second grand jury has been convened in Florida.

Mr Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows gave evidence to a grand jury, The New York Times said, signifying that jurors are hearing more evidence from people close to the former president.

The Department of Justice has been investigating Mr Trump's handling of classified documents after his presidency ended in January 2020, with an eye on potential crimes related to espionage or obstruction of justice.

After a federal agency repeatedly requested the return of the government materials with no avail, the FBI conducted a court-approved search of Mr Trump's Mar-a-Lago home and resort in Florida in August 2022.

Agents found 184 classified documents with “confidential”, “secret” and “top secret” labelling – materials requiring the highest level of security clearance to view.

Updated: June 09, 2023, 1:11 AM