Donald Trump
Donald TrumpReuters

Former US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he has been informed by special counsel Jack Smith that he is a target of the criminal investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election, a sign he may soon be charged by the special counsel.

“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 posted on his Truth Social platform, as quoted by CNN.

Trump’s attorneys received the target letter from Smith’s team Sunday informing them that their client could face charges in the investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election, two sources familiar with what happened told CNN.

A target letter from federal prosecutors to Trump makes clear that prosecutors are focused on the former president’s actions in the investigation into overturning the 2020 election – and not just of those around him who tried to stop his election loss.

Trump’s legal team has not formally responded to the invitation to testify before the grand jury, which the letter provides, but it is largely expected that Trump will decline to do so, according to the report.

The letter caught Trump’s team off guard, as they had not been anticipating Smith to potentially bring charges this month, or against Trump.

Smith was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland last November to oversee over two Justice Department investigations involving Trump: The investigation into efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election and his handling of classified documents, for which Trump has already been indicted and pleaded not guilty.

Trump’s advisers spent Tuesday morning calling lawyers and allies, trying to figure out who else – if anyone – received a target letter related to the special counsel’s investigation into the aftermath of the 2020 election, multiple sources familiar with the outreach told CNN.

So far, Trump’s team has not identified anyone else who got a target letter, the sources said.

Smith declined to comment Tuesday when asked by CNN about the target letter and whether his office is preparing to indict the former president.

The White House declined to comment.

Trump has already been indicted twice this year. Before the indictment in the classified documents probe, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged the former president on 34 counts of falsifying business records in March.