Lawyers for former US President Donald Trump said he is “being treated unfairly” as they asked for a meeting with attorney general Merrick Garland over the investigation into the handling of classified documents.
Attorneys John Rowley and James Trusty requested a meeting about the Justice Department investigation in a letter posted by Mr Trump on his Truth Social media platform, saying they wanted to discuss “the ongoing injustice being perpetrated by your Special Counsel and his prosecutors”.
The wording echoed Mr Trump’s language about the investigations into whether the former president illegally retained hundreds of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort home in Florida and whether he sought to obstruct government efforts to get the records back.
While it is not unusual for defence lawyers to seek meetings with senior Justice Department officials, it is rare for such meetings to include the attorney general.
Justice Department officials have repeatedly signalled the recommendation on whether to pursue charges against Mr Trump or anyone else in the investigation belongs with Mr Smith and his team.
The attorney general did not move to overrule any of the actions taken in the probe by special counsel John Durham into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation in 2016.
In addition to the documents investigation, Mr Smith is separately investigating efforts by Mr Trump and his allies to undo the results of the 2020 presidential election.
A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment while Mr Trump’s lawyers and spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment.