Grand jury in Trump documents case to reportedly meet this week

Donald Trump
(Image credit: Al Drago / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The federal grand jury convened for the Justice Department investigation of former President Donald Trump's handling of classified documents will meet again this coming week, NBC News reported Sunday.

The grand jury had been hearing evidence in the case for several months, but "activity appeared to have slowed in recent weeks based on observations at the courthouse and sources," NBC reported. The pause came even as prosecutors, led by special counsel Jack Smith, continued to gather evidence against the former president, though it is unclear if the DOJ is prepared to bring charges.

The crux of the case is whether Trump mishandled classified documents found at his Mar-a-Lago estate after leaving office, and whether he impeded efforts to return them. Trump has consistently maintained his innocence, saying he could declassify whatever he wanted as president.

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However, a bombshell report this past week revealed that the former president had been recorded talking about a classified document in his possession. In the audio recording, made in July 2021, Trump reportedly acknowledges keeping a classified military document after leaving office, despite understanding that he was not legally allowed to do so. The recording also reportedly makes it clear that Trump understood he could not automatically declassify documents, despite his earlier assertion that as president, he could declassify anything, including with his mind.

It was also reported by CNN that Trump's lawyers have been unable to find the classified document referred to in the recording.

As the grand jury prepares to reconvene, attorney Bradley Moss said Trump's declassification case was always weak. "A verbal command doesn't do it," he told NBC. "A tweet doesn't do it. There has to be follow-up documentation through the agencies making clear what is being declassified."

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Justin Klawans

Justin Klawans is a staff writer at The Week. Based in Chicago, he was previously a breaking news reporter for Newsweek, writing breaking news and features for verticals including politics, U.S. and global affairs, business, crime, sports, and more. His reporting has been cited on many online platforms, in addition to CBS' The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

He is also passionate about entertainment and sports news, and has covered film, television, and casting news as a freelancer for outlets like Collider and United Press International, as well as Chicago sports news for Fansided.