Trump lawyers seek meeting with Garland as Mar-a-Lago investigation shows signs of winding down

FILE - Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference,...
FILE - Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2023, Saturday, March 4, 2023, at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)(AP)
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 7:39 PM MST
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for Donald Trump on Tuesday asked for a meeting with Attorney General Merrick Garland as a Justice Department investigation into the former president’s handling of classified documents shows signs of winding down.

In the letter, which Trump posted on his Truth Social platform, attorneys John Rowley and James Trusty asserted that Trump is “being treated unfairly” and asked for a meeting to discuss “the ongoing injustice that is being perpetrated by your Special Counsel and his prosecutors.” The language echoed some of Trump’s own complaints in recent months about the investigations being led by special counsel Jack Smith.

It was not immediately clear what specifically prompted the letter, but the yearlong documents probe appears to be nearing an end. Agents and prosecutors have interviewed a broad cross-section of witnesses, including attorneys for Trump, former White House officials and other close aides.

The investigation is seeking to determine whether Trump illegally retained hundreds of classified documents taken with him from the White House to his Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, after the end of his tenure and whether he sought to obstruct government efforts to get the records back.

It is not uncommon for defense lawyers to seek meetings with senior Justice Department officials to argue against potential indictments of their clients, though it is unusual for such meetings to include the attorney general.

Special counsels enjoy broad autonomy within the Justice Department, and officials have repeatedly signaled that the recommendation on whether to pursue charges against Trump or anyone else in the investigation belongs with Smith and his team. Garland did not move once to overrule any of the actions taken in the recently concluded probe by another special counsel, John Durham, into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation in 2016.

Trump’s lawyers and a Trump spokesperson did not respond Tuesday to requests for comment. A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

In addition to the documents investigation, Smith is separately investigating efforts by Trump and his allies to undo the results of the 2020 presidential election.

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Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP