DON’T EVER SPEAK TO FEDERAL AGENTS ALONE, GET COUNSEL ASAP!
While President Trump and his inner circle have known that they have been under investigation for many months now, the fact of the matter is that most targets of a federal criminal investigation don’t find out about it until it’s too late. Nicholas G. Matassini is board certified in criminal trial law and represents clients at all levels of federal investigations and prosecutions.
There are several ways that people learn they are under investigation by the federal government. It is important to remember that federal law enforcement agents often orchestrate encounters with people in an effort to confuse and disorient them into talking without their attorney present.
An agent from a federal law enforcement agency such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Labor (DOL), or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) may try to speak with you. These agents may come to your home, approach you at the airport, or come to your job.
Also, a prosecutor may send you a “target letter” informing you that you are the subject of a federal investigation. You may be served with a subpoena for documents, also known as a “subpoena duces tecum.” This request will require you to provide the government with the requested documents. President Trump has an army of lawyers ready to defend him – most targets of a federal investigation aren’t so fortunate.
Lawyers for President Trump have advised him against sitting down for a wide-ranging interview with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, according to four people briefed on the matter, raising the specter of a months-long court battle over whether the president must answer questions under oath.
His lawyers are concerned that the president, who has a history of making false statements and contradicting himself, could be charged with lying to investigators. Their stance puts them at odds with Mr. Trump, who has said publicly and privately that he is eager to speak with Mr. Mueller as part of the investigation into possible ties between his associates and Russia’s election interference, and whether he obstructed justice.
Mr. Trump’s decision about whether to speak to prosecutors, expected in the coming weeks, will shape one of the most consequential moments of the investigation. Refusing to sit for an interview opens the possibility that Mr. Mueller will subpoena the president to testify before a grand jury, setting up a court fight that would drastically escalate the investigation and could be decided by the Supreme Court.
If you have not already done so, your next step should be to hire an attorney with extensive experience representing people in federal or white collar investigations and prosecutions. Nicholas G. Matassini, an AV Rated and board certified criminal trial lawyer, will reach out to the investigating agent and prosecutor to let them know that you are represented, and that all future attempts to communicate with you need to instead be directed to your attorney. Since 1976, The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. has been committed to excellence in federal criminal defense.