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Federal prosecutors have told Trump he is target of classified documents probe-ABC

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By Dan Whitcomb and Sarah N. Lynch

(Reuters) -Federal prosecutors have notified former U.S. President Donald Trump that he is the target of an investigation into his handling of classified materials after he left office, ABC News reported on Wednesday.

The prosecutors have sent Trump a letter informing him that he is under investigation, Politico reported. Reuters could not immediately confirm the report.

The Justice Department typically notifies people when they become targets of an investigation to give them an opportunity to present their own evidence before a grand jury. This does not necessarily mean Trump will be charged.

News of the notification to Trump’s legal team surfaced just two days after his attorneys met with Justice Department officials to discuss the case.

A federal grand jury has been investigating Trump’s retention of classified materials after leaving the White House in 2021.

A second criminal investigation is looking into alleged efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn his 2020 election loss to Democratic President Joe Biden.

A spokesperson for Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is leading the probes, declined to comment.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Trump’s attorneys could not be reached for comment.

Investigators in August 2022 seized roughly 13,000 documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. One hundred of these were marked as classified, even though one of Trump’s lawyers had previously said that all records with classified markings had been returned to the government.

Trump has previously defended his retention of documents, suggesting that he declassified them while he was president. However, Trump has not provided evidence of this and his attorneys have declined to make that argument in court filings.

Trump is the front-runner in the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination to unseat Biden.

Trump is the first U.S. president past or present ever to face criminal charges, having pleaded not guilty in April to felony charges brought by the Manhattan district attorney of falsifying business records relating to hush money paid to a porn star before his election in 2016.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb and Sarah N. Lynch in Washington; Editing by Ross Colvin, Noeleen Walder and Lisa Shumaker)

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