By Michael Katz | Tuesday, 18 July 2023
Former federal prosecutors Francey Hakes and Jay Town told Newsmax on Tuesday that Donald Trump should in no way respond to a target letter he received from special counsel Jack Smith regarding an investigation into the former president’s role in the events of Jan. 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol.
Trump posted on Truth Social on Tuesday he received the letter from Smith on Sunday night, giving him four days to report to the federal grand jury impaneled to investigate the events of Jan. 6.
"Trump would be crazy to respond to the target letter, respond to the invitation in it, and go in and testify in front of the grand jury, which is what, of course, Jack Smith wants; it’s what they always want," Hakes told "The Record With Greta Van Susteren." "Because when you’re the subject of a target letter, it means the prosecutor has built the case, right? The evidence is there and, really, all they’re waiting for now is for you to come in and either admit or deny, or fail to come in at all. And then they’ll tell the grand jury that they invited you, and you didn’t show up."
Town, appearing with Hakes, said when he was a prosecutor, he "loved" when people responded to target letters.
"If anything, at trial, their story is locked in," Town, who worked in the Department of Justice in the Trump administration, said. "As a career prosecutor, you know, I knew the questions to ask … so it did help the case, typically, because they’re locked into their story. When we know so much more – they don’t know what we know, they don’t know what the witnesses have told us, or what the documents that we’ve subpoenaed have told us, so it typically works out very favorably for the government."
Town said he doesn’t think Trump will respond to the letter and appear in front of the grand jury.
"If I was advising him, I would tell him not to," Town, vice president and general counsel for Gray Analytics, said. "It doesn’t mean he’s not going to make a speech tomorrow about it, though."