February 22, 2024

Trump says he has received a target letter in the special counsel’s investigation Jan. 6

Former President Donald Trump posted on social media on Tuesday that he has received a letter indicating that he is the target of a criminal investigation grand jury investigating attempts to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 election.

Trump said in a post on Truth Social, his social media platform, that he received the target letter from special counsel Jack Smith on Sunday night and was given four days to report to the grand jury.

The former president repeatedly claimed that the special counsel is engaged in a “witch hunt” and criticized the investigation as “full and complete political weaponization of law enforcement.”

Multiple sources have confirmed to CBS News that the former president’s post is accurate – he received a target letter in the special counsel’s investigation into the events surrounding the 2020 presidential election.

What is the special counsel investigating?

The special counsel’s office is investigating a meeting in the Oval Office on December 18, 2020, where Trump talked about bringing in attorney Sidney Powell as a White House special counsel and seizing voting machines by executive order.

Earlier this month, CBS News’ Robert Costa reported that special counsel investigators are digging into whether Trump believed the fraudulent claims of election fraud raised at that meeting, weeks before Jan. 6, even though White House lawyers told him that personal that night – and after – the claims were not true.

Several members of Trump’s inner circle testified as part of the special counsel’s investigation, including former Vice President Mike Pence, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, national security adviser Robert O’Brien, top aide Stephen Miller and close friend Steve Bannon.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who Trump called in a phone call on January 2, 2021, confirmed that he “found” 11,780 votes – just enough to give the former president Georgia’s electoral votes – in the probe as well.

In addition to the efforts to find “votes” in Georgia, a group of phony electors from battleground states won by President Biden in December 2020 met and signed a certificate falsely declaring that Trump had won the presidential election in their state and that they themselves were the “properly elected and qualified” electors of the state.

Before the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021, Trump also publicly pressured Pence to “do the right thing” and refuse to accept the results of the election. At a rally near the White House before the joint session, Trump encouraged his followers to “walk down” to the Capitol to support him as Congress made a largely ceremonial declaration of Electoral College votes.

Thousands of Trump supporters then stormed the Capitol, and lawmakers were sent fleeing amid the violence, delaying the confirmation of the election results for hours. Pence finally announced Mr. Biden as the winner of the election after 1 a.m. on January 7.

Other investigations into Trump

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Smith last November to investigate not only the events surrounding him January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol but also Trump’s handling of national defense related documents since he left office. In June, Trump and longtime aide Walt Nauta were charged with multiple felony counts related to the documents. Trump pleaded not guilty on June 13 to the 37 charges against him.

A special purpose grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, earlier this year concluded its investigation into alleged efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has said she will announce decisions about it possible charges related to that investigation this summer.

Trump has too charged separately in New York for allegedly falsifying business records in connection with a “hush money” payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. He pleaded not guilty in April to those state charges.

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