Trump's Lawyers Preparing for Potential Indictment in Document Probe

Former President Donald Trump's lawyers appear to be preparing for a potential indictment in connection with the Department of Justice (DOJ) probe into classified documents allegedly stored at his Mar-a-Lago residence.

FBI agents raided Mar-a-Lago on August 8, 2022, seizing 20 boxes containing classified documents. The DOJ is investigating whether the documents were being improperly stored at Trump's Florida home. The investigation has led to security concerns, but Trump has maintained that he did nothing wrong, claiming that the investigation is part of a witch hunt against him.

Trump's attorneys, in a letter Monday night, acknowledged that they are preparing for a potential indictment related to the case.

His lawyers wrote to oppose a request from Judge Raymond Dearie, the special master appointed to oversee the DOJ's review of the seized documents, for both parties to submit their own proposed agenda, while also providing them with his draft plan.

Trump attorneys acknowledge indictment possibility
Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Perry, Georgia, on September 25, 2021. Trump’s legal team acknowledged that the probe into classified documents kept at Mar-a-Lago could end in an indictment in a letter sent to special master Judge Raymond Dearie on Monday. Sean Rayford/Getty Images

They specifically opposed submitting information about the "declassification" of the Mar-a-Lago documents.

They argued that submitting such a draft plan would force them to disclose their defense against any indictments that could be issued at a later point, an acknowledgement that the investigation could result in an indictment.

"The Special Master process will have forced the Plaintiff to fully and specifically disclose a defense to the merits of any subsequent indictment without such a requirement being evident in the District Court's order," the letter reads.

Their opposition to the draft plan comes after they pushed for Judge Aileen Cannon to appoint a special master to oversee the DOJ's review. A special master is somebody—often a retired judge—who acts as an independent third party to ensure both sides follow court orders.

Dearie's appointment was seen as a victory for Trump's defense, as his lawyers suggested him as one of two potential candidates for the position. Dearie is tasked with going through the thousands of records to determine which, if any, documents are protected by attorney-client privilege or executive privilege.

Legal experts who have been critical of the former president called attention to the attorneys' statement.

"Important new data point: Trump's lawyers REFUSE to tell special master Judge Dearie if Trump actually declassified anything because it would hurt their 'defense to the merits of any subsequent indictment.' Hang in there friends...indictments are coming. Because #JusticeMatters," former federal Prosecutor Glenn Kirschner tweeted.

Trump, meanwhile, has maintained his innocence. He has said that he declassified all of the documents that were being stored at Mar-a-Lago, though some legal experts have raised doubts that the argument would be successful in court.

It remains unknown what classified information was stored in Mar-a-Lago, alongside documents that lacked classification. However, it has been reported that one of the documents contained information related to another country's nuclear secrets.

Newsweek reached out to Trump's office for comment.