According to a report on Monday, Republicans believe that former President Donald Trump will be charged between 60 and 90 days after the midterm elections.
Despite denying having inside information of an indictment against Trump, Republican aides on Capitol Hill and former strategists allege that Garland is under pressure from Democrats to move quickly since there is a deadline to indict the former president. However, other aides warned that indicting Trump may backfire on Democrats.
“[An indictment] could actually end up helping the [former] president politically,” an anonymous Republican aide told the Hill. “People have been talking about splintering support and dampening enthusiasm among Republican voters for him. An indictment could actually galvanize and reunify Republicans around him.”
According to the experts, it’s best to indict Trump as soon as possible since doing so would reduce the possibility of accusations that the legal action is politically motivated and intended to influence the 2024 presidential race. Trump has not announced a bid for the White House in 2024, but he has teased the possibility.
“I think that the department will strive to bring an indictment as soon as it can consistent with other constraints, in order to at least minimize the ‘legs’ on the inevitable barrage of charges it will face that by indicting the former president it is interfering with an upcoming presidential election,” former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Robbins told the outlet. “The DOJ will face a storm of such criticism whenever it acts, but doing so as soon as possible at least provides some defense, however limited, against that inevitable criticism.”
Either the FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate over the summer or the accusations that he instigated the protest at the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021, would be the basis for the indictments. The raid, according to Robbins, is the most compelling evidence that the president-elect is guilty of breaking the Espionage Act by removing top-secret materials from the White House to his Florida home.
“I think that the Espionage Act violations are relatively straightforward, even self-evident, and that the Department likely already has substantial evidence of obstruction of justice,” Robbins said.
Garland revealed that he authorized the raid on Mar-a-Lago in August, adding, “Upholding the rule of law means applying the law equally without fear or favor.” He has not indicated that he will prosecute Trump, though.