Lawyers for Donald Trump met with justice department officials on Monday as a decision nears on whether to bring charges over the handling of classified documents at the former president’s Florida estate.

The Trump lawyers two weeks ago requested a meeting with attorney general Merrick Garland to raise concerns about what they alleged was prosecutorial misconduct and overreach by the team led by special counsel Jack Smith.

But a defence attorney meeting with justice department officials is also often used as an opportunity to try to persuade them against bringing criminal charges.

A trio of Trump attorneys: James Trusty, John Rowley and Lindsey Halligan; exited the justice department building in Washington on Monday morning after more than an hour inside.

Trump Classified Documents
President Donald Trump’s lawyers, James Trusty, right, John Rowley, centre, and Lindsey Halligan, left, leave the department of justice (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

They got into a black sport utility vehicle and did not respond to reporters’ questions.

It was not immediately clear who from the justice department attended the meeting.

A spokesman for Mr Smith had no immediate comment, and a justice department spokesman did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

The investigation into the potential mishandling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago is believed to be near its end, with a charging decision likely soon.

Prosecutors have placed a broad cross section of witnesses, including lawyers for Trump and close aides, before a grand jury.

Besides the Mar-a-Lago investigation, Mr Smith is leading a separate probe into efforts by Mr Trump and his allies to undo the results of the 2020 presidential election.

It is not clear when or if charges might be brought.