According to multiple sources who spoke with ABC News, former president Donald Trump rejected a proposal last fall from one of his attorneys who wanted to avoid being charged in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents.
According to the sources, the lawyer, Christopher Kise, sought to suggest a deal with the Department of Justice that would prevent charges, but Trump and certain members of his team, who preferred a more aggressive approach to federal investigators, rapidly shot down the notion.
Trump was charged on Tuesday with 37 criminal counts stemming from his handling of classified materials, according to Smith’s investigation. Prosecutors claim that Trump repeatedly refused to hand over hundreds of documents containing sensitive information, such as U.S. nuclear secrets and the nation’s defense capabilities.
To all accusations, Trump entered a not-guilty plea.
During Trump’s arraignment on Tuesday, Kise, who never approached prosecutors with the possibility of a deal, was present. The Washington Post broke the news of the proposed settlement first.
The former president maintains that his handling of the records complied with the Presidential Records Act and has denied any misconduct in the matter. However, according to representatives of the National Archives and Records Administration, the legislation mandates that a president separate their personal and official records “before leaving office.
The tweet below confirms the news:
Donald Trump reportedly rejected his lawyer’s efforts to avoid classified documents indictment — Christopher Kise wanted to quietly approach Justice Dep’t for a settlement, per @washingtonpost.
Instead he listened to Tom Fitton, head of the conservative group Judicial Watch. pic.twitter.com/rqWWyDM9L7
— The Recount (@therecount) June 15, 2023
What Will Happen After the Federal Indictment of Donald Trump?
As authorities pursued the return of sensitive materials, the incident represented one of several occasions when Trump’s lawyers and advisers urged him and his team to cooperate with investigators, according to sources previously spoken to by ABC News.
Trump is currently whittling down his list of prospective lawyers as he and his team attempt to grow their legal team in the wake of the Friday resignations of two of their members, Jim Trusty and John Rowley.
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