WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump said Tuesday he has received a letter informing him he is a target of the Justice Department’s investigation into efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, an indication that he could soon be indicted by federal prosecutors.
Trump made the claim in a post on his Truth Social platform, saying he received the target letter while he was with his family on Sunday night. This letter may precede an indictment and is used to inform people that prosecutors have evidence linking them to a crime; Trump received one before he was indicted last month in an independent investigation into the mishandling of classified documents.
A spokesman for special counsel Jack Smith, whose office is leading the investigation, declined to comment.
Smith’s team has cast a wide net in its investigation into attempts by Trump and his allies to block the legitimate transfer of power to Democrat Joe Biden in the days leading up to the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol, when Trump loyalists stormed the building. in an attempt to disrupt the certification of electoral votes in Congress. More than 1,000 people accused of participating in the riots have been charged.
Smith’s investigation has focused on a wide range of schemes by Trump and his allies to keep him in power, including using the slates of so-called bogus voters in battleground states won by Biden and disputed by Trump.
Trump, who is currently the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, plans to travel to Iowa on Tuesday, where he will tape a town hall with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
One purpose of the arraignment letter is to notify a potential defendant that he or she has the right to appear before a grand jury. Trump said in his post that he has been given “about 4 very short days to appear before the Grand Jury, which almost always means an arrest and indictment,” but aides did not immediately respond to questions that they were looking for clarity.
Prosecutors in Georgia are conducting a separate investigation into Trump’s efforts to reverse his election loss in that state, and Fulton County’s top prosecutor says he expects to announce charging decisions next month.
In his post, Trump wrote that “I have now been indicted effectively three times…with a fourth likely coming from Atlanta” and added in capitals: “This witch hunt is about election interference and a complete weaponry (policy) of law enforcement!”
Trump was indicted last month on 37 felony counts accusing him of illegally withholding hundreds of classified documents at his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago. He has pleaded not guilty. A pretrial conference in that case was set for Tuesday in Fort Pierce, Florida.
Associated Press writer Jill Colvin in New York contributed to this report.