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DOJ accuses Trump of conspiracy to defraud gov’t, witness tampering and more, says report

Former President of the United States Donald Trump at the "Rally to Protect Our Elections" hosted by Turning Point Action at Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix, Ariz., July 24, 2022. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
July 19, 2023

Special Counsel Jack Smith’s target letter to former President Donald Trump reportedly outlines three federal statutes the 45th president is accused of violating over his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Sources familiar with the investigation told ABC News that the three federal statutes the former president is accused of violating include tampering with a witness, informant or victim; deprivation of rights under color of law; and conspiracy to commit offense or defraud the United States.

Target letters, such as the letter sent on Sunday to Trump, are usually provided to subjects involved in criminal investigations in order to inform the subjects of the target letters that they could face indictment, according to ABC News.

ABC News reported that the letter delivered to Trump did not include any additional details. Notably, the letter from Smith’s office does not explain how the former president is believed to have violated any of the three federal statutes.

In a social media post on Tuesday, Trump indicated that he could soon face another federal indictment as part of Smith’s investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

READ MORE: Trump is target of new DOJ Jan. 6 criminal probe, says he expects arrest, indictment

“Deranged Jack Smith, the prosecutor with Joe Biden’s DOJ, sent a letter (again, it was Sunday night!) stating that I am a TARGET of the January 6th Grand Jury investigation, and giving me a very short 4 days to report to the Grand Jury, which almost always means an Arrest and Indictment,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.

Currently, the former president’s aides and attorneys have been unable to find anyone else associated with Trump who might have received a target letter from Smith in regard to the election probe.

“We can’t find anyone,” a source told ABC News on Tuesday.

During a Tuesday night town hall with Sean Hannity in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Trump discussed the latest development with the Justice Department’s investigation.

“It bothers me,” he said. “I got the letter on Sunday night. Think of it, I don’t think they’ve ever sent a letter on Sunday night. And they’re in a rush because they want to interfere, it’s election interference, never been done like this in the history of our country and it’s a disgrace what’s happening to our country.”