GOP expects AG Garland to indict former President Donald Trump after midterm elections

The walls may soon be closing in on former President Donald Trump, again, for the umpteenth time, as GOP insiders used the I-word to set a timetable after Election Day sure to set the left salivating.

Early in September, the deadline for the unofficial Justice Department’s “60-day-rule” regarding steps taken by the DOJ that could impact the decisions of voters passed without any action taken against Trump. Now, with the midterms just over a week away, Republican aides in Washington, D.C. spoke with The Hill, predicting an indictment from Attorney General Merrick Garland in the near future.

“A couple of weeks after the election,” one individual said to be a veteran Republican aide told the outlet. “I assume that Garland will indict Trump.”

The mere suggestion produced giddy reactions from Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferers despite the numerous letdowns they’ve experienced in the past.

However, the enthusiasm to see the president dragged through the mud and locked up failed to acknowledge certain inherent realities. For one, another Republican aide suggested to 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.”

The anonymous source used this as reasoning to suggest Garland act sooner than later as, “There’s a substantial risk in waiting,” as it relates to Trump’s intentions for 2024.

As previously reported, the attorney general had extended a memorandum set by his predecessor Bill Barr that stated in part, “No investigation (including any preliminary investigation) may be opened or initiated by the Department or any of its law enforcement agencies: 1. Of a Declared candidate for president or vice president, a presidential campaign or a senior presidential campaign staff member or advisor’ absent prior (i) written notification to and consultation with the Assistant Attorney(s) General and U.S. Attorney(s) with jurisdiction over the matter and (ii) written approval of the Attorney General, through the Deputy Attorney General.”

As such, many have also predicted that Trump would potentially announce his candidacy expressly to avoid facing an indictment. The raid of his residence at Mar-a-Lago by the FBI brought some to speculate that the president had violated the Espionage Act, specifically Section 793 for allegedly taking classified documents from the White House.

“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,” former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Robbins said.

He further contended, “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.”

The second aide who spoke with The Hill suggested “the decision Garland has to make is really tough,” because any prosecution would “plunge the country which is already so divided…into a potentially precarious situation.”

Republican strategist Vin Weber agreed for another reason and said, “I don’t think it’s a good idea and I don’t want to be misinterpreted as supporting [it.] If it’s going to happen, though, it should happen as soon after the [midterm] election as possible because it complicates everybody’s plans: Biden’s plans, Trump’s plans, every other Republican’s plans.”

“If this is going to happen,” he added, “it’s not in anyone’s interest to prolong this process until the presidential process for ’24 is underway and drop this like a bomb into the middle of an already established presidential field.”

Robbins touched on that as well and said of the AG, “Had he indicted right before the midterms it truly would have rocked the indictment with criticisms that there had been a violation of the de facto policy within the DOJ,”and it, “really would have undercut the credibility of the indictment and in addition could very well have affected the midterms.”

University of Michigan law professor Barbara McQuade disagreed on that front and said, “I doubt the timing of the midterm election has much to do with the timing of any indictment of Donald Trump. The next time he will appear on the ballot, if ever, will be in the 2024 primary elections, which begin in January of 2024. The DOJ policy would not come into play until 60 days or so before that date.”

In any case, Weber argued, “I think an indictment is a bad idea, but I think that Garland is under such political pressure by the Democratic left that it may well happen.”


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Kevin Haggerty


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